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Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California

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The California Palace of the Legion of Honor (often abbreviated Legion of Honor) is a part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The name is used both for the museum collection and for the building in which it is housed.

The museum building occupies an elevated site in Lincoln Park in the northwest of the city, with views over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hitchcock's Films

Vertigo (1958)

The exterior and interior of the museum were used in Vertigo.

Location filming took place at the Legion of Honor on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th October, 1957 and the museum's Gallery Six was used as the location for the portrait of Carlotta Valdes, painted by artist John Ferren.

Vera Miles as Carlotta

According to producer Herbert Coleman, the "Portrait of Carlotta" was the most troublesome prop on the entire film. Coleman had a photograph taken of Vera Miles dressed in a period costume and instructed Paramount's Rome office to hire an Italian artist to create a portrait based on the photograph, but to paint a Spanish woman's face, rather than Miles' face. In Coleman's words, the result "was a disaster" and looked like "something a beginner in a junior high school might produce". A subsequent painting produced in England was little better. An elderly Los Angeles painter was then hired, but he fell in love with Miles and insisted on painting her face into the portrait. Finally, Coleman and Hitchcock remembered John Ferren, the artist they'd worked with on The Trouble With Harry, and hired him to create the portrait.[1]

Former employee William Eisner later recalled the filming, "We didn't close the museum, but we were afraid people would trip on the cables. People watched the moviemaking more than the paintings." Museum guard Bert Scully was paid $500 for his small role as the man who hands Scottie a museum catalogue which identifies the painting that Madeleine is staring at.[2]

Google Maps

Nearest Locations

Film Frames

Selection of film frames: Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...

Links

Notes & References

  1. The Man Who Knew Hitchcock: A Hollywood Memoir (2007) by Herbert Coleman, pages 249-50
  2. Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic (1998) by Dan Auiler, page 82-83