Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hitchcock on location: Santa Rosa

For the next few days, I will take you on a photo journey of California, as seen through the eyes of the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Today's installment focuses on one of his favorite films, "Shadow of a Doubt," starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten. Filmed almost entirely in the city of Santa Rosa, it is one of the few times that Hitchcock shot the majority of footage on location, mainly because of budget constraints brought on by World War II.

We are introduced to the quaint little town of Santa Rosa with an establishing aerial view, moving onto a shot of the downtown.

You can see the Bank of America building in the photo above as well as the one below, behind the smiling policeman:

Today, it is known as the Empire Building:

The Clock Tower is still perched on top:

Charlie Oakley, expertly played by Joseph Cotten, is the fun-loving Uncle of his namesake niece, Charlotte "Charlie" Newtown (Teresa Wright), who is unaware of his very dark side. Forced to avoid capture for a string of murders, Charlie flees to Santa Rosa to hide out with "Charlie" and her family. They await his arrival at the Santa Rosa Depot:

The Depot is still around, but now used as a Visitor's Center:

The exterior still looks much the same:

The interior has managed to retain its vintage charm as well:

Uncle Charlie as he first steps into town. Note the luggage cart behind him:

A vintage cart sits outside the depot today:

"Charlie" excitedly runs to her Uncle. The stone pillars behind her can be seen in the previous contemporary shots:

From the Alt Film Guide site I found this photo of Hitchcock on location at the Depot:

Although it has been victim to some "remuddling," Santa Rosa still has a quaint and historic downtown area with a number of beautiful buildings and vibrant shops, most notably in the Railroad Square area that surrounds the Depot.

The former Western Hotel now has the Flying Goat Coffehouse:

The Hotel la Rose still functions as a hotel:

Closer to the downtown area where the Empire Building is you can savor tasty cupcakes at Sift, which was featured on Cupcake Wars:

La Rosa, a Tequileria and Grille, was a delicious lunch spot, found next door to the Empire Building:

The Rosenberg name was once prominent in Santa Rosa, most notably with the naming of The Rosenberg Building:

and the former Rosenberg Department Store, which is now a Barnes and Noble. Love the Art Moderne architecture!

Unfortunately, time did not permit much exploration of the rest of town, which means that my camera and I will need to return some day!

See more Santa Rosa photos on my Santa Rosa web page.


K. Martinez said...

My sister lives in Santa Rosa so I get to visit there from time to time. I've seen all these sites in your post today. It's always been a fun town for me being a big fan of both Alfred Hitchcock and Charles Schulz.

The "Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco" book you have linked up at the end is one of my favorite books on Hitchcock.

Looking forward to more of Hitchcock's California. Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

I love "Shadow of a Doubt", it is one of my all-time favorite Hitchcock movies. Joseph Cotten is amazing as Uncle Charlie.

Anonymous said...

A fascinating trip back in time. KS

Irene said...

Great article and shots of the movie scenes and what they look like today. So glad to see not much has changed. I love that movie. One of my favorites and just rewatched it recently.

Daveland said...

K. - I wish I had taken my book with me...there were so many things I missed that I would have loved to see, especially the house from "Shadow of a Doubt."

Major - Cotten really is great in that flick as creepy Charlie!

Anonymous said...

Dave and K, you guys have to come by to say hello next time you're in town. These locales are only steps from my office.

La Rosa is a lunch favorite.

Watch for me, I look more like Hitchcock than Joe Cotton.

Dave, the house is still there, but very overgrown and remuddled.