Motion Pictures Which Feature Cable Cars

by Joe Thompson

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This is a list of fiction movies which have featured cable cars in some way. It is not a complete list and I am always open to suggestions.

After the Thin Man

Thanks to Jack Tillmany for suggesting After the Thin Man, the second entry in MGM's long-running series about Dashiell Hammett's characters Nick and Nora Charles.
After the Thin Man
Screen capture from After the Thin Man, showing Powell Street car 510. Thanks to Jack Tillmany.

Nick and Nora, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, arrive at the Third and Townsend station in San Francisco. As the ride through the city in their open car, they pass Powell Street cable car 510.
After the Thin Man
Title screen of After the Thin Man. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

Released: 1936
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Written by: Dashiell Hammett (original story), Frances Goodrich

Check the Internet Movie Database

Big Fat Family Christmas, A

Val Lupiz
Our friend gripman Val Lupiz made his film debut with a speaking role in one of these ubiquitous Hallmark Christmas movies, A Big Fat Family Christmas. I thought Val's performance was very natural, and I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. Most made-for-television movies that are set in San Francisco shoot most of their exteriors in Vancouver. This movie had scenes shot in different parts of the city. The film also starred Shannon Chan, Kent Shannon Kook and Tia Carrere.

A Big Fat Family Christmas/Hyde Street
Val was gripping on Car 16, decorated early for Christmas.

A Big Fat Family Christmas/ad

Released: 2022
Produced by: Marguerite Henry, Tina Pehme, Amber Ripley, Kim Roberts
Directed by: Jennifer Liao
Written by: Blaine Chiappetta, Justine Wentzell-Chang

Check the Internet Movie Database

The Birds

The Birds is one of Alfred Hitchcock's scariest movies.
The Birds
Title screen of The Birds. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

The movie contains brief glimpses of cable cars during the opening scenes around Union Square in San Francisco.

Released: 1963
Produced by: Alfred Hitchcock
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Daphne Du Maurier (original story), Evan Hunter

Check the Internet Movie Database

Thanks to Joe Lacey for recommending this movie.

Chinatown Squad

Chinatown Squad is a movie that I have not seen.

Chinatown Squad

Jack Tillmany reports that in the movie, about a former cop who tries to solve a murder to get back onto the force, "actor Hugh O'Connell tries, but fails, to catch a Hyde Street cable car as it descends the hill around Francisco St."

Released: 1935
Produced by: Maurice Pivar (associate producer), Stanley Bergerman (producer)
Directed by: Murray Roth
Written by: Lawrence G. Blochman (story), Dore Schary, Ben Ryan

Check the Internet Movie Database

Crime of Passion

Crime of Passion is a movie that I have not seen.

Crime of Passion
Title screen of Crime of Passion. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

Jack Tillmany reports that the movie, about an advice columnist, played by Barbara Stanwyck, starts out in San Francisco. There's an establishing shot of a California Street cable car heading down the hill from Powell, but nothing more, and we soon move to Los Angeles.

Released: 1956
Produced by: Herman Cohen, Robert Goldstein
Directed by: Gerd Oswald
Written by: Jo Eisinger

Check the Internet Movie Database

Dark Passage

Dark Passage is my favorite Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall movie. The film was made during Hollywood's rediscovery of location shooting; it features wonderful shots of the Bay Area. Lauren Bacall drives through the Waldo Tunnel when there was only one bore. She lives in an Art Deco apartment building by the Filbert Steps. The subjective camera at the beginning is done well. The romance between the leads is moving and well-motivated. I particularly like the supporting characters, including Agnes Moorehead as Madge and Housely Stevenson as the creepy doctor.

Dark Passage
Title screen of Dark Passage. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

Bogart leaves Madge's apartment house at the top of the Chestnut Street steps and catches an O'Farrell, Jones, and Hyde cable car. He is shown hopping onto the left front bench in a moving shot taken from the car. Remarkably, he hops off Powell Street car 520 at Market. This trip was not possible until ten years later when the O/J/H and the Washington/Jackson lines were combined into the Powell/Hyde line.

Released: 1947, Warner Brothers
Produced by: Jerry Wald, Jack Warner (executive producer)
Directed by: Delmer Davies
Written by: Delmer Davies

Check the Internet Movie Database


D.O.A. is a dark mystery about a poisoned man searching for his own murderer. It was filmed on location in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Title screen of D.O.A.. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

Edmund O'Brien, staying at the Saint Francis Hotel, hops on inbound Powell Street car 519. Miraculously, he hops off an outbound car at Powell and California. In the Los Angeles scenes, there are some nice shots of LA Railway PCCs.

Released: 1950
Produced by: Joseph H. Nadel, Harry M. Popkin, Leo C. Popkin
Directed by: Rudolph Maté
Written by: Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse

Check the Internet Movie Database


  • "Daydreams" is a Buster Keaton short that Jack Tillmany reminded me features several glimpses of San Francisco:
    "In 'Daydreams,' a two-reel comedy from 1922, partially filmed in San Francisco, Buster Keaton, as the hapless hero, is pursued by cops, escapes by grabbing a Northbound Powell Bay cable car, which he rides around the turntable at Bay Street, and hops off later on Columbus Avenue. Later, there's a gag wherein a legion of cops are hiding on what appears to be an empty MSRY #27 Line streetcar on Second Street, and he once again attempts an escape by taking a ferryboat.

    "Interesting to note that this makes TWO films from 1922 both of which show the Powell Street cable car on the turntable at the Bay Street terminal, the other one being Moran of the Lady Letty with Rudolph Valentinto, which I reported to you previously."

    After I got this movie on DVD, I made some screen captures:

    Daydreams/1 Buster Keaton, chased by cops, prepares to hop aboard an outbound Market Street Railway Powell/Mason car on Columbus Avenue.

    Daydreams/2 Buster reaches for the rear platform of a moving Powell/Mason car. According to John Bengtson (Silent Locations), this was shot in Hollywood.

    Daydreams/3 Buster waves to pursuing cops from the rear platform of a moving Powell/Mason car.

    Daydreams/4 An outbound Powell/Mason car rolls onto the turntable at Bay and Taylor. The turntable at that time was in the middle of Bay Street. The conductor prepares to turn it.

    Daydreams/5 The crew turns the car on the Bay and Taylor turntable.

    Daydreams/6 Buster sits on the front bench and reads a newspaper as the car turns on the Bay and Taylor turntable.

    Daydreams/7 The crew pushes the car off of the Bay and Taylor turntable.

    Daydreams/8 Cops intercept the inbound car as it turns from Washington Street to Powell Street.

    Daydreams/9 Buster tries to pay his nickel fare to a cop. The gripman works in the background.

    Daydreams/10 Back on Columbus Avenue, Buster jumps off of an inbound car.

    Daydreams/11 In a later scene, at Second and Minna, Buster waits for a Market Street Railway car signed for the 27 line. He will soon find that it is full of cops.

    Released: 1922
    Produced by: Joseph M Schenck
    Directed by: Edward F Cline and Buster Keaton
    Written by: Edward F Cline and Buster Keaton

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

    Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

  • Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine is a movie that I have not seen. Thank you to Dexter Wong for pointing out that "there is a chase through San Francisco and Sausalito on various vehicles including two cable cars (one real, one fake - a motorized cable car). At one point, the two cars climb up Jackson St. past the Washington-Mason powerhouse, where the real cable car backs into the yard and the fake one keeps on going." There is a later scene where Vincent Price drives into the Twin Peaks Tunnel and runs into PCC streetcar 1006.

    Released: 1965
    Produced by: Samuel Z Arkoff
    Directed by: Norman Taurog
    Written by: Elwood Ullman and Robert Kaufman

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Fog Over Frisco

  • Fog Over Frisco is a movie that I have not seen. Jack Tillmany reports that the movie, which stars Bette Davis, features several glimpses of Washington-Jackson cable cars.

    Fog Over Frisco
    Title screen of Fog Over Frisco. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

    Released: 1934
    Produced by: Henry Blanke, Robert Lord
    Directed by: William Dieterle
    Written by: George Dyer, Robert N. Lee

    Check the Internet Movie Database


  • Fools is a movie that I have not seen.

    Jack Tillmany reports that the movie, which stars Jason Robards and Katherine Ross, features a dream sequence in which Jason Robards performs as a mad scientist. His laboratory is the cable car barn. Robards plays a retired horror film actor.

    Released: 1970
    Produced by: Henri Bollinger, Robert Yamin
    Directed by: Tom Gries
    Written by: Robert Rudelson

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Foul Play

  • Foul Play is a comedy that I have seen many times and always enjoyed.

    Thanks to Jack Tillmany for reminding me about the one appearance of a cable car: "... in the lengthy and totally nonsensical chase that defies all logic as well as San Francisco geography, there's a brief shot of a Westbound California Street cable car crossing Larkin Street; that's all there is, there isn't any more."

    Released: 1978
    Produced by: Peter V. Herald, Edward K. Milkis, Thomas L. Miller
    Directed by: Colin Higgins
    Written by: Colin Higgins

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    A Gathering of Eagles

  • A Gathering of Eagles is a movie that I have not seen.

    Jack Tillmany reports that "about an hour into Gathering of Eagles (1963), there's a bit of cable car action, the usual thing, (518 Southbound & 513 Northbound) on the Hyde Street hill. 513 conveniently stops ON THE DOWNGRADE, ostensibly to pick up Rod Taylor & Mary Peach, but they are never seen on boarding or riding the car, probably never left the studio."

    Released: 1963
    Produced by: Sy Bartlett
    Directed by: Delbert Mann
    Written by: Sy Bartlett (story), Robert Pirosh

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    I Love a Soldier

    I Love a Soldier poster
    A poster for I Love a Soldier. Thanks to the wonderful site LucyWho.

  • I Love a Soldier is a 1944 Paramount picture. Jack Tillmany has written a review (Thanks also to Phil Hoffman for the initial tip about the movie):

    I Love a Soldier was a wartime romantic comedy-drama filmed by Paramount Pictures in San Francisco between October and December 1943, and premiered in San Francisco (probably at the Paramount) on August 15, 1944. Paulette Goddard plays Eve, a welder in a shipyard who spends her nights dancing with soldiers and sailors due to ship out immediately. Eve wants to avoid getting emotionally involved and having her heart broken, but then she meets Sonny Tufts, who tries to change her mind. Barry Fitzgerald, plays a curmudgeonly surly cable car gripman.

    There are no less than five almost identical shots of 518 westbound on Jackson Street between Taylor and Jones, where Goddard allegedly lives with her two girlfriends. Another character played by Beulah Bondi lives in one of the well known Washington Street mansions, and there's one very brief shot of 517 passing by from the rear. At one point in the story, the principals go to Playland at the Beach (introduced via a terrific longshot of WWII crowds), with a visit the Fun House; yes, we see Laughing Sal and some of the interior. There's a Tunnel of Love ride (non-existent in San Francisco, it's done in the studio) and some rear projections of the midway and some of the rides.

    On no less than four separate occasions we bid farewell to departing soldiers boarding eastbound Southern Pacific trains at the Oakland Mole. Three times, Goddard returns to San Francisco via Ferry Boat (the "Berkeley" in one shot), and on one of these there's an air raid drill and blackout, but Sonny Tufts assures the audience that the planes heard overhead are ours, not "theirs." That must have been a relief to wartime audiences, especially in San Francisco, where such practice alerts were all too common.

    What's supposed to hold your attention for almost two hours, is a lengthy, rather tedious romance between the principals, in which Goddard doesn't want to get married until after the war, and Tufts can't anyway because he's already got a wife back east who's divorcing him. Yawn. The trials and tribulations of some even less interesting subsidiary characters only make it longer.

    Critics at the time were unkind. After its San Francisco premiere, it did not open in New York City until the following November, a sure sign that Paramount knew they had a turkey on their hands. The New York Times trashed it, saying "the situation here presented is so contrived that its syntheticness is only emphasized by a background of buzzing shipyards and departing troop trains."

    By 1946 the film was still being shown in SF, no doubt because of the local angle, at sub-run theatres such as the Embassy and Downtown, but by the end of the year had finally run out of steam and was put back on the shelf, as was the custom.

    Once upon a time, this reviewer heard rumors that a Sacramento-Clay cable car, out of service by the time the film went before the cameras, was used in this film, and it was towed in order to effect movement. I saw no evidence of this. Perhaps this was the original plan, there may have been some publicity about it, but it didn't work out. Washington-Jackson cable car No. 518 is obviously operating normally uphill on Jackson Street in exactly the same manner as Powell-Hyde cable cars do today. All five shots of 518 are taken from approximately the same angle, with a glimpse of the Bay Bridge in the distant background.

    I Love a Soldier
    Paulette Goddard and Sonny Tufts pose on the platform of a cable car. Thanks to the wonderful site LucyWho.

    car 518
    Car 518 climbs a hill. This car is now number 6.

    Thanks to Muni man Antonio Marquardt for finding an excerpt from the movie on YouTube:

    Murphy the gripman, played by Barry Fitzgerald, works the levers. Normally people aren't allowed to stand directly behind the gripman.

    The letters on Murphy's hat say "Motorman," the name usually applied to operators of electric streetcars. A pushy passenger also addresses him as "Motorman." This was standard practice in the 1940s.

    gripman and passenger
    Murphy offers advice to the three ladies who have just stepped down from the car. The passenger in the black hat repeatedly points out that the light has changed. "I told ye the lights go on and off all day and I pay no attention to them and they pay no attention to me."

    gripman and bell
    Murphy rings the bell before proceeding up the hill. "Well, let's see if it works this time." Annoying passenger: "Doesn't it always?" "If it doesn't, it wouldn't surprise me. It'll send us all to our deaths." The other passengers laugh. He rings the bell and gets two bells back from the conductor. "Stand back everybody and hope for the best."

    Released: 1944
    Directed by: Mark Sandrich
    Written by: Allan Scott

    There is a famous urban legend about Sonny Tufts.

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    I Remember Mama

  • I Remember Mama is a charming movie about a Norwegian-American family in San Francisco in the early 1900s. Thank you to Tony Turrittin for suggesting that I add this movie.

    I Remember Mama
    An I Remember Mama poster. Thanks to the wonderful site LucyWho.

    The movie was shot on sets in Hollywood, but a real San Francisco cable car appears. Allow my late friend Walter Rice to explain:

    Car 62 Car 62 before the 2004 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest in Union Square. Photo by Joe Thompson.

    "In 1947 the movie studio RKO contracted with Cal Cable to borrow a cable car for the movie I Remember Mama (released 1948). It was decided to ship one the short Jones Street shuttle cars, No. 61, since it would be easier to ship than a full size cable car. On June 11, 1947 No. 61 was hoisted aboard a truck and shipped to Los Angeles. The car retained its trucks.

    "No. 61, like all Cal Cable cars at the time, needed paint. A combination of the depression, World War II and an adverse post war economic situation for Cal Cable led to the company’s equipment looking shabby. RKO, accordingly, painted No. 61. It emerged as No. 62!

    "This is clearly shown by a photograph on page 105 of Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg’s book Cable Car Carnival. Beebe and Clegg wrongly caption the RKO photo by stating that "RKO Studios in Hollywood supply authentic San Francisco atmosphere for the film of I Remember Mama with a real California Street grip." The bottom grip Jones Street shuttles never ran on the side grip California line.

    "In the movie the now No. 62 is signed "O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Streets." Interesting, since the movie family lived on Steiner Street. They would have to walk 11-blocks to catch a cable car!

    "Why the number change is unclear. Evidence suggests that the car specified in the contract between the movie studio and Cal Cable was No. 62. No. 61 was sent in place of No. 62 after the Cal Cable determined that No. 61 was in better condition. Cal Cable was going to get a freshly painted cable car. The actual reason may never be known.

    "Muni in January 1952 purchased Cal Cable and in early 1954 the renumbered 62 was motorized on truck chassis by Muni for parades, charters and the annual Cable Car Bell-Ringing Contest. At the time it was correctly signed "O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Streets."

    "The original No. 62 was renumbered to No. 61 painted and placed on rubber tires, but not motorized and shipped during November 1959 to Osaka Japan for display at the Osaka Transportation Museum. Unfortunately, No. 61 was incorrectly signed "Van Ness Ave, California & Market Streets." Subsequently, when now Muni's No. 62 was repainted it was also given this incorrect signage, which is its status today."

    Car 62 decorated Car 62 waits in the staging area for 2005 San Francisco Carnaval Parade. The car was decorated by gripman Val Lupiz and other members of the Cable Car Division, Transport Workers of America Local 250A.

    Actress Irene Dunne, who played Mama, later came to San Francisco to support the Save the Cable Cars movement.

    Released: 1948
    Produced by: Harriet Parsons, George Stevens (executive producer)
    Directed by: George Stevens
    Written by: DeWitt Bodeen, John Van Druten and Kathryn Forbes

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    In Harm's Way

  • In Harm's Way is an exciting movie about naval action during World War II.

    In Harm's Way
    Title screen of In Harm's Way. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

    Paula Prentiss, playing the wife of officer Tom Tryon, walks out of an apartment building at Hyde and Lombard and boards outbound car 512. This is an anachronism because the O'Farrell Jones and Hyde line still ran during the war, using California-type cars. In any event, it's a nice shot. In order not to waste time between takes, Preminger used two cable cars. In addition to car 512, car 514 was also used. Decals were put on 514 that read "512." Thanks to Phil Hoffman for this information.

    Released: 1965
    Produced by: Otto Preminger
    Directed by: Otto Preminger
    Written by: James Bassett and Wendell Mayes

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    In Love and War

  • Thanks to Jack Tillmany for reporting about In Love and War:
    In Love and War (1958) is a decent film dealing with Marines and their romantic involvements as well as psychological problems during WWII; some of it takes place in San Francisco. There are the usual postcard exteriors, including a pair of California Street cable cars passing each other on the hill between Powell and Stockton. Since the film was in CinemaScope and Color, contemporary exteriors had to be used, so there are lots of anachronisms, such as 1950's automobiles and the SP sign on the Southern Pacific building which don't fit into the 1940's environment."

    Released: 1958
    Produced by: Jerry Wald
    Directed by: Philip Dunne
    Written by: Anton Myrer (novel) and Edward Anhalt

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Kiss Them for Me

    Kiss Them for Me

  • Thanks to Tony Turrittin for reporting about Kiss Them for Me:
    Here’s a film critics regarded as a bomb. It features Cary Grant and its single cable car segment is right in the middle. They ride a Powell/Mason car.

    Released: 1957
    Produced by: Jerry Wald
    Directed by: Stanley Donen
    Written by: Julius Epstein, Frederic Wakeman (novel Shore Leave), Luther Davis (play Kiss Them for Me). Leigh Brackett (uncredited)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Man's Favorite Sport

  • Thanks to Jack Tillmany for reporting about Man's Favorite Sport:
    In Man's Favorite Sport, partially filmed in San Francisco in 1963, Rock Hudson, who is supposed to be working at Abercrombie & Fitch, drives his sports car up California Street, passes a Westbound cable car at Mason, and makes a left turn down Mason Street to Pine.

    Nothing more of interest in that one.

    Released: 1964
    Produced by: Howard Hawks, Paul Helmick
    Directed by: Howard Hawks
    Written by: Pat Frank (story "The Girl Who Almost Got Away"), John Fenton Murray and Steve McNeil. Leigh Brackett (uncredited)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Memoirs of an Invisible Man

  • Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a lousy comedy, but several scenes include cable cars. Sam Neill is good as the villain.

    Memoirs of an Invisible Man
    Title screen of Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

    The bad guys are based in a hotel at California and Jones, so there are frequent glimpses of passing California Street cars. Chevy Chase rides a Powell Street car to Market while on the run.

    Released: 1992
    Produced by: Bruce Bodner, Dan Kolsrud, Arnon Milchan (executive producer)
    Directed by: John Carpenter
    Written by: H F Saint (original story), Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, William Goldman

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Moran of the Lady Letty

  • Moran of the Lady Letty is an adventure story based on the novel by Frank Norris. It stars Rudolph Valentino.

    Thanks to Jack Tillmany for suggesting it. It includes a nice shot of a Powell/Mason car at the Bay and Taylor turntable.

    The book and the movie resemble Jack London's The Sea Wolf: A rich, irresponsible young man winds up on a ship and learns to be a real man.

    Released: 1922
    Produced by: Famous Players-Lasky Corporation
    Directed by: George Melford
    Written by: Frank Norris (original novel), Monte M. Katterjohn

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Mr Billion

  • Mr Billion is an adventure comedy starring Terence Hill.

    Thanks to Jack Tillmany for suggesting it. Jack reports that "A California Street Cable Car figures in the finale of Mr. Billion (1977), filmed, in part, in San Francisco in 1976, but it's a phoney. The front panel still reads "Presidio Avenue" and the side panel still reads "California Street Cable R.R. Company" so it's obviously a movie prop, not a real live operational cable car."

    The story involves a rich man who leaves his fortune to his Italian nephew. To collect, the nephew has to get to San Francisco by a certain date. It is not a very good movie.

    Released: 1977
    Produced by: Steven Bach, Ken Friedman, Gabriel Katzka (executive producer), Sheldon Schrager (co-producer)
    Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan
    Written by: Ken Friedman, Jonathan Kaplan

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    No Escape

  • Thanks to Jack Tillmany for reporting about No Escape:
    Just for the record: TCM unleashed a rarely seen turkey titled No Escape (1953), (AKA City on the Hunt) which supposedly takes place in San Francisco. Watching it was like a 75 minute root canal. They keep throwing in postcard like views of SF to remind you where you were, but the actors (if you can call them that) never left the cheap studio sets, and only their doubles were seen in long shots in a couple exterior shots. About 40 minutes into the film, there's the traditional Powell & Market shot, with 521 doing the usual turnaround. Then Lew Ayres (a good actor, but in his decline here)& Marjorie Steele (inept and grating) supposedly board 525 (seen in another Powell Street shot), and exchange some inane conversation while sitting in the front section, but it's all done in the studio on a mockup cable car, not a real one. The only other exteriors of note were a nice, but all too brief, shot of Mason and Market, with a Muni N car headed Eastbound, and a brief establishing shot of the Ferry Building, with Twin Fageol TCs doing the loop.

    File and Forget.

    Released: 1953
    Produced by: Matt Freed and Hugh Mackenzie
    Directed by: Charles Bennett
    Written by: Charles Bennett

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Pal Joey

  • Pal Joey is a musical about a heel night club singer. Frank Sinatra plays the title role.

    Joey gets run out of a town in the Central Valley and arrives at the Oakland Pier. He rides a ferry to San Francisco. In one scene he gets off of an O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde car with Kim Novak. Novak and Rita Hayworth wear some remarkable costumes.

    Released: 1957
    Produced by: Fred Kohlmar
    Directed by: George Sidney
    Written by: John O'Hara (original play), Dorothy Kingsley

    Check the Internet Movie Database


  • Dexter Wong reports that Petulia is a romantic drama set in San Francisco. It stars George C. Scott, Julie Christie and Richard Chamberlain. At the conclusion, former lovers meet by chance at Powell and California, one on a Powell Street car and the other on a California Street car.

    Released: 1968
    Produced by: Raymond Wagner
    Directed by: Richard Lester
    Written by: Lawrence B. Marcus, John Haase (original story), Barbara Turner

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    The Rock

  • The Rock is an implausible but gripping adventure movie. I don't see an honorable military officer pulling a stunt like the one Ed Harris' character attempted, even as a bluff.

    The Rock
    Title screen of The Rock. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

    The only cable car in the movie is a fake one that explodes during a chase scene. I mention the movie because I remember walking along Bush Street to a medical appointment and seeing cable car tracks on Hyde Street. I had to stop and think for a moment because there has never been a cable car line on that block of Hyde. I thought I must have been dreaming. When I got closer, I saw that the tracks were painted on the street.

    Released: 1996
    Produced by: Kenny Bates, Jerry Bruckheimer
    Directed by: Michael Bay
    Written by: David Weisberg (story) & Douglas Cook

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Shoot to Kill

  • Shoot to Kill is a movie that I have not seen.

    Stephen Goodman recommends the movie because it "starts with an interesting opening as the credits start and you see and hear this silver thing going from the top to bottom of your screen. It's the Powell Street cable. The camera then pulls back to reveal the track then looking up Powell reveals a lone cable car. A great movie! Only a few shots were taken in SF however as 99.8% was shot in BC and Vancouver."

    Released: 1988
    Produced by: Ron Silverman
    Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
    Written by: Michael Burton, Daniel Petrie Jr

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Thanks to Stephen Goodman for recommending this movie.

    The Sniper

    The Sniper
    Title screen of The Sniper. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

  • The Sniper is a movie that I have seen only in parts.

    Dexter Wong reports that The Sniper was "was made in 1952 and set in San Francisco about a man who has an obession with a type of woman who who spurned him. So he gets a small rifle and quietly shoots at them from rooftops. But he is spotted and his description published. When he rides the Washington-Jackson car down Washington past the powerhouse, someone recognizes him and in fear he gets off at Mason and runs away... It has been shown on Turner Classic Movies, but it is rarely shown elsewhere."

    Released: 1952
    Produced by: Edna Anhalt (associate producer), Edward Anhalt (associate producer), Stanley Kramer (producer)
    Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
    Written by: Edna Anhalt (story), Edward Anhalt (story), Harry Brown (screenplay)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Thanks to Stephen Goodman for recommending this movie.


  • Starlift is a movie that I have not seen.

    Jack Tillmany reports that: "In WB's Starlift (1951), there's an establishing shot of San Francisco, with a nice shot of a meet between 507 & another car on the Powell/Bay line, but nothing more. The picture is insufferable."

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Released: 1951
    Produced by: Robert Arthur
    Directed by: Roy Del Ruth
    Written by: Karl Kamb (writer), John D Klorer (story and screenplay)

    That Brennan Girl

    That Brennan Girl

  • That Brennan Girl is a 1946 Republic Pictures production which was partly shot in San Francisco.

    Mona Freeman plays Ziggy Brennan, a young woman whose mother raised her to be a con artist. Ziggy meets and works with Denny Reagan, played by James Dunn, who is also a con man. Ziggy steals a watch from a young petty officer and she and Denny both have an attack of conscience. She returns the watch and marries the sailor, Mart Neilson, played by William Marshall. Mart and Ziggy marry before he ships out. Ziggy breaks with her mother after Ziggy finds she is expecting. Mart dies in the Pacific and Ziggy has trouble doing her duty to her child. Eventually the child welfare people take away her baby and she is put in jail. Denny gets out of prison and bails her out of jail. Ziggy is sentenced to a year of probation. Denny's mother suggests that she pray. Ziggy goes to a church and finds an abandoned infant. She takes care of the baby and does a good job. The judge who had sentenced her gives her a break and lets her have her own child.

    Ziggy and Denny, with the two babies, walk to Powell and Market and get on cable car 525, which is now numbered 25.

    Released: 1946
    Produced by: Alfred Santell
    Directed by: Alfred Santell
    Written by: Adela Rogers St. Johns (original story), Doris Anderson (screenplay)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Walk a Crooked Mile

  • Walk a Crooked Mile is a movie that I have not seen.

    Jack Tillmany reports:

    "Much of the first half hour was filmed in SF in 1948, in some unusual places, Clay & Larkin, Octavia North of Market, for example. There's just a single cable car shot on California Street that's only in the background, so it barely qualifies at all.

    "There's also a distant shot, from above, of an N Car heading West on Duboce from Market, but other than that, no streetcars either. It has the U.S. Maritime Service promotional paint job, so it's probably 148,which ran a lot on the N Line around that time.

    "I figure sooner or later someone is going to ask about this one, so you can file this info. It's a darn good film about the FBI (Dennis O'Keefe) and Scotland Yard (Louis Hayward) working together to oust some Commies from a secret atomic project."

    Released: 1948
    Produced by: Edward Small, Grant Whytock
    Directed by: Gordon Douglas
    Written by: George Bruce (writer), Bertram Millhauser (story)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Thanks to Stephen Goodman for recommending this movie.

    What's Up, Doc?

  • Jack Tillmany reports that "Even though What's Up, Doc? (1972) was filmed in San Francisco, there's only a very brief shot of two California Street cable cars crossing at California and Leavenworth; you can add it to your inventory, just for the record."

    What's Up, Doc?
    Title screen of What's Up, Doc?. Thanks to Steven Hill. Visit his Movie Title Screens Page.

    It is a funny movie, with a wonderful performance by Madeline Kahn.

    Released: 1972
    Produced by: Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Lewis
    Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
    Written by: Buck Henry (screenplay), David Newman (screenplay), Robert Benton (screenplay), Peter Bogdanovich (story)

    Check the Internet Movie Database

    Woman on the Run

  • Woman on the Run is a movie that Walter Rice recently saw. Thanks to Walter for the review:

    Woman on the Run is a neat romantic thriller from 1950 about a San Francisco woman (Ann Sheridan) who, along with an intrepid newspaper reporter (Dennis O’Keefe), goes in search of her in-hiding husband after he witnesses a gangland murder -- she must find him before the underworld does. Depicting marital estrangement while offering up a vivid, progressive portrait of feminine strength; the film is a superb showcase for Miss Sheridan, who balances resentment, fear, and ferocity with graceful fluidity while navigating the winding tale’s shadowy twists and turns. There are many tense moments along the way especially when Miss Sheridan ends up riding on a roller coaster. Despite views of Playland’s "Laughing Sal" this action is filmed at Santa Monica’s Ocean Park. The actress’ forcefully nuanced performance is nicely counterbalanced by O’Keefe’s charmingly blunt one-dimensionality. Robert Keith is first-rate and intriguing as San Francisco police inspector Ferris.

    There are many street scenes of San Francisco of 1949. We see Muni "Iron Monsters," including an A-type of the F-Stockton, then new trolley coaches the highlight being a Twin, and yes Sheridan and O’Keefe ride a cable car -- a California Street Cable Railroad California car up Nob Hill to Powell Street. Cable car trackage is seen from the rear window of a Desoto Yellow Cab.

    Released: 1950
    Produced by: Howard Welsch; Universal International Pictures
    Directed by: Norman Foster
    Written by: Norman Foster

    Check the Internet Movie Database

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