Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fishing Kim Novak Out Of The Bay

Michael and I are going to San Francisco for a few days in August, from the 10th to the 14th, a short trip.

I love the place. It gets my vote for most beautiful city in the USA. The natural setting, the climate, and the architecture all come together there like no other city in the States. I've always had a great time there.

Most normal people, when they think of San Francisco, think of the music of Tony Bennett, Janis Joplin, or the Grateful Dead.

I think of Bernard Hermann.

Vertigo is one of my all time favorite Hitchcock movies. Although San Francisco has changed a lot in the 50 years since that movie, much of the scenery and the landmarks featured in that movie have not. You can even take Vertigo tours of San Francisco, there's still so much left.
For example, just about everything featured in this famous scene is still there to be seen, and relatively little changed:

When Michael and I last visited San Fran about 2 or 3 years ago, we stayed in the hotel where this crucial scene was filmed. We didn't know this until we arrived.

I think this is one of the finest scenes in the movie. The editing, camera motion, pacing, and above all, the use of color and Hermann's music tell the story of a man who thinks he sees a ghost, and then realizes he's been made a chump.

I just love this movie, and I always think of it when I travel to one of my favorite cities.


JCF said...

Heh: I'm tempted to try to meet up w/ you, Doug, but I think I'll be on vacation (in the Sierra) myself then.

You like baseball? Go see my Giants! They're playing great these days: "Next Year is Here!" [NB: JCF has been saying this as long as I can remember. They still haven't won the World Series yet. Sigh.] But seriously: AT&T Park is beautiful (and the garlic fries are worth the price of admission!)

Have a great time, you and Michael! (Do lots of things I wouldn't ;-/)

JCF said...

Oh: and love, Love, LOVE Vertigo!

Counterlight said...


I'll be back in San Francisco again soon. I have old friends there, and Michael is in love with the place. We'll be back.
I'd be delighted to meet.

If you ever visit NYC again, I'd be delighted to see you and maybe introduce you to some of your readers here.

it's margaret said...

Lots of Hitchcock can still be found around ---from The Birds too.

Have a wonderful wonderful trip. (PS --did you know the tooth fairy lives in the tower of the Hotel Claremont on the Berkeley side of the Bay? --just look, and you'll be able to tell!)

Counterlight said...

Speaking of The Birds, one of my old friends in San Fran owns a small house in Fort Bragg. As I recall, The Birds was filmed in that general vicinity.

I didn't know that the Tooth Fairy lived in Berkeley.

June Butler said...

Ah, San Francisco is a lovely place. I've only been there once, well twice, but the first time, I was only 5 years old, so only one memory, and not a good one.

But the second visit was wonderful. I've always wanted to go back, but we haven't yet. Beautiful city, wonderful food.

it's margaret said...

Yes. I promise. The Tooth Fairy lives there. Hangs up all the little shiny teeth --strews them across the tower and sky he does.... one look across the Bay in the evening --you'll see.

Yes, --and west of Petaluma toward Tomales Bay --all the Hitchcock stuff filmed out there.

Have a wonderful time! I'll be thinking of you --crab, sourdough bread... oh yeah!

Kirkepiscatoid said...

I SOOOO dig Hitchcock. Especially this one. Right after "The Birds," "Rear Window," and "North by Northwest."

susan s. said...

Oh, Margaret, yes, The Birds was actually filmed in the town Tomales!

Have a great time out here, Doug!