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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

World Film Locations: San Francisco

An extraordinarily beautiful city that has been celebrated, criticized, and studied in many films, San Francisco is both fragile and robust, at once a site of devastation caused by 1906 earthquake but also a symbol of indomitability in its effort to rebuild afterwards. Its beauty, both natural and manmade, has provided filmmakers with an iconic backdrop since the 1890s, and this guidebook offers an exciting tour through the film scenes and film locations that have made San Francisco irresistible to audiences and auteurs alike.
Gathering more than forty short pieces on specific scenes from San Franciscan films, this book includes essays on topics that dominate the history of filmmaking in the city, from depictions of the Golden Gate Bridge, to the movies Alfred Hitchcock, to the car chases that seem to be mandatory features of any thriller shot there. Some of America’s most famous movies—from Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark to Hitchcock’s Vertigo to Don Siegel’s Dirty Harry —are celebrated alongside smaller movies and documentaries, such as The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, to paint a complete picture of San Francisco in film. A range of expert contributors, including several members of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, discuss a range of films from many genres and decades, from nineteenth-century silents to twentieth-century blockbusters

Audiences across the world, as well as many of the world’s greatest film directors—including Buster Keaton, Orson Welles, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, and Steven Soderbergh—have been seduced by San Francisco. This book is the ideal escape to the city by the bay for arm chair travelers and cinephiles alike.

128 pages | 50 color plates | 6 x 9 | © 2013

World Film Locations

Film Studies

Travel and Tourism: Travel Writing and Guides

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“San Francisco is the latest addition to this excellent series of urban guides. Scott Jordan Harris has selected 46 films with scenes in this beautiful city of streetcars, fogs and possibly the most famous bridge in the world, which was of course partially destroyed by the giant radioactive cephalopod in It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955). A great guide to the celluloid city."

The Guardian

Table of Contents

San Francisco: City of the Imagination
Omar Moore

The Golden Gate Bridge: Gateway, Escape Route and Battleground

Neil Mitchell

Scenes 1-8


City of Shadows: A Brief History of Film Noir in San Francisco

Brian Darr

Scenes 9-16


Alfred Hitchcock Presents San Francisco: The Master and the City by the Bay

Craig Phillips

Scenes 17-24


Faster Than a Speeding Bullitt: San Franciscan Cinema’s Famous Car Chases

Mel Valentin

Scenes 25-32


Callahan’s City: Dirty Harry and the Mean Streets of San Francisco

Elisabeth Rappe

Scenes 33-39


Midnight Mission: Queer Culture and Midnight Movies in San Francisco

Jason LeRoy

Scenes 40-46




Contributor Bios


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