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Film noir Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock: best GPS locations in San Francisco


The American Film Institute named the film noir director Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" the best modern detective. This definition does not lose its relevance since the release of the film on the screen - since 1958.

The plot is based on the novel by popular writers Tom Narsezhak and Pierre Boileau.

The main roles in the detective melodrama are played by James Stewart, Kim Novak, Tom Helmore, Barbara Geddes.

The central character of the picture - the former detective Scotty Ferguson, retired. The man is unable to cope with several circumstances - all-consuming loneliness, fear of the future and memories of the past.

One day, the retired detective meets his old police buddy. He asks Scotty to follow his wife, who is trying to settle a score with her life. The former detective agrees, because in this way he can distract from his own problems.

And when the lady unexpectedly turns an inexplicable trick, all plans of the detective collapse, and he himself becomes an involuntary participant of a strange story.

San Francisco locations

The most suitable locations in the city of San Francisco were chosen to shoot the natural scenes of the movie, and then the sets were built in the pavilion of Los Angeles.

"Vertigo" is exactly the kind of picture in which the location acts as the main character.

And if you make a tour of the facilities where the detective melodrama was filmed, then you should begin your journey with the Golden Gate Bridge. (37.8200556992063, -122.47761137332739)

Under this structure, the protagonist Madeline decides to leave her life. Fort Point (37.810806624908636, -122.47711146117322), a small fort at the south end of the bridge, is the point from which Madeline jumped into the water. Today it is the most popular attraction in the modern city.

Another real filming place was the temple of San Juan Batista. (36.84544406490624, -121.53768593021864)

Here was filmed the final scene of the main character's fall from the tower. True, we had to add some studio effects, but the location remained the same.

The history of the Spanish mission goes back to the 18th century, but the object is perfectly preserved today.

No less famous location for fans of Hitchcock's work was the art gallery of the Palace of the Legion of Honor. (37.78463558408726, -122.50084192316832) It was here that Madeline came to see the mystical portrait of the stranger.

The palace is situated on the top of a sheer cliff, surrounded by a luxuriant garden, and in the courtyard is a bronze Rodin's "Thinker" (37.78492969321885, -122.50015840957916) and a fountain.

Most of the locations are famous because the fate of the protagonist is connected with them. The Catholic Mission Cemetery of Dolores. (​​37.764122013921266, -122.4265716807438)

Madeline visited the place, and spent much time at the grave of her mysterious great-grandmother.

The Spaniards erected the church in 1776. Since that time the church has not been rebuilt, and its walls were not even damaged in a great earthquake.

The most romantic place where lovers like to visit is Pebble Beach. (36.572844186770226, -121.94863819635749) Here the principal characters of Sir Hitchcock first kissed. This amorous location is near the 17 Mile Drive.

The Hotel Vertigo, (37.788608895827714, -122.41510201194929) where Judy, the heroine of the movie, lived, also exists.

Before the filming, the hotel had a different name, but after the release of the picture on the screen, the hotel was called Vertigo.

Impressive scenes in the woods were filmed in California, on the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. (37.181405190459486, -122.21664061518857)

Hitchcock always liked to feel in control of the situation. So filming continued at the Paramount pavilion as well. About 50 sets were built for the studio to work on.

For those who want to plunge into the atmosphere of the period reflected in the detective melodrama "Vertigo", there is a unique opportunity to visit the places where the natural shooting of the most iconic picture of the century took place.

Filming locations

Location NameLatitude / Longitude
Golden Gate Bridge37.8200557 / -122.4776114
Fort Point 37.81080662 / -122.4771115
San Juan Batista36.84544406 / -121.5376859
Palace of the Legion of Honor37.78463558 / -122.5008419
Rodin's "Thinker" 37.78492969 / -122.5001584
The Catholic Mission Cemetery of Dolores37.764122013921266 / -122.4265717
Pebble Beach36.57284419 / -121.9486382
Hotel Vertigo37.7886089 / -122.415102
Big Basin Redwoods State Park37.18140519 / -122.2166406

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Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.