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Taylor Street, San Francisco, California

Hitchcock's Films

Vertigo (1958)


The opening rooftop chase in Vertigo is comprised of three distinct segments:[1]

  1. The initial shot with the rooftop ladder was filmed in the studio with rear projection. The large building to the right in the background of the shot is Brocklebank Apartments, where Madeleine lives, and the background plate was likely shot from the rooftop of 1302 Taylor Street.
  2. A wide right-to-left panning shot — beginning with Brocklebank Apartments and ending with Coit Tower — shows the distant figures running across the rooftops. The Reel SF web site identified the rooftops used as being 1302 to 1360 Taylor Street, with the camera positioned on the penthouse patio of 1329 Taylor Street.[2]
  3. The jump across to the steeply tiled roof, where Scottie is left hanging from the guttering, was filmed in the studio with a rear projection filmed from the 1302-60 Taylor Street rooftop.

The studio-based scenes were filmed on December 18th, 1957, on Paramount's Stage #5. Apart from the shots where James Stewart's face is visible, the action was performed by stunt doubles.

As a side note, the police officer who falls to his death trying to help James Stewart was played by stuntman actor Fred Graham, who had previously played the role of one of the detectives who tries to stop Stewart falling from his apartment window at the end of Rear Window.

Family Plot (1976)

Grace Cathedral

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Selection of film frames: Taylor Street, San Francisco, California

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Notes & References

  1. Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco (2002) by Jeff Kraft & Aaron Leventhal, pages 77-79
  2. Reel SF: Rooftop Chase