Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Hitchcock on location: Vertigo, Pt. 2
Back in San Francisco, we continue to visit locations used in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 classic, "Vertigo." On this particular trip, Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) is tailing Madeleine (Kim Novak) back to his own apartment. On the way, you can see Alcatraz Island in the distance.
Here's Madeleine getting out of the car to leave Scottie a note.
The two get a chance to reunite after her jump into the waters near the Golden Gate Bridge.
My 2001 SF trip took me down Lombard Street, famous for how it winds around, as if you were gliding in a caterpillar vehicle from Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland attraction.
Fortunately I visited when I did, because apparently in the last few years, the owner decided to discourage film fans by putting a wall in front of the entrance and plastering over the chimney to change its appearance.
More drama ensues as Madeleine and Scottie share a bit of passion along the 17-Mile Drive near Carmel and Monterey. To make the location match the studio shots, Hitch brought his own Cypress tree.
Most likely not the same point, but still part of the scenery you would see along the 17-mile drive today. No...I didn't bring my own Cypress.
A despondent Scottie can be seen walking through Union Square at night.
Not the same angle, but Union Square nonetheless, circa 2005.
The front of the St. Francis Hotel, which is visible at left in the 1958 film's screen shot shown previously:
And a contemporary shot of the statue at the center of Union Square:
Flash forward: "Madeleine" has killed herself and Scottie is wracked with guilt. However, he does find solace in a girl named Judy (also Kim Novak) who bares a resemblance to Madeline. Except she wears very heavy makeup. Oh...and cheap tight-fitting clothes. Oh yeah...and has dark brown hair with spit curls. Other than that, the girl's a dead ringer. Did I mention she also has a bad accent? You can see her peering out of her seedy apartment room:
The Hotel Empire, 1958:
It had become the York Hotel when I took this February 2001 photo. Only slightly less-seedy looking.
Attempting to strike up a romance, Scottie and Judy take a lovely afternoon stroll by the Palace of Fine Arts:
The sun's shining, the birds are out, and couples are canoodling in the park.
Still, it is obvious that Scottie would prefer to be with Madeleine.
The Palace of Fine Arts today:
And a very telling frame from the film. Judy realizes she's not going to get any action until she dyes her hair again. Oh men...can't live with 'em. Can't live without 'em.
Next up: Bodedga Bay and "The Birds."
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