Today in History: “Vertigo” Premieres in San Francisco

An image from the "Vertigo" movie poster. [Photo Credit: Creative Commons]

An image from the “Vertigo” movie poster. [Photo Credit: Creative Commons]

On this date in history — Today, in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” premiered in San Francisco, where the film was shot. Today, it considered to be one of the best movies ever made. In fact, this year, the British Film Institute named it the best film ever, sliding “Citizen Kane” into second place.

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In The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” — Place, Pilgrimage, and Commemoration, Douglas A. Cunningham has assembled provocative essays that examine the uniquely integrated relationship that the 1958 film enjoys with the histories and cultural imaginations of California and, more specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area.

For a fun trip down memory lane, take a look at some before and after shots of the actual locations used in the shooting of “Vertigo” and what they look like today courtesy of a blog post from KQED and Reel SF.

In the dramatic nighttime opening sequence detective John 'Scottie' Ferguson (James Stewart) trails a policeman chasing a suspect across a series of rooftops. Scottie slips and ends up hanging perilously from a gutter causing him to suffer a severe case of acrophobia - a feeling of vertigo. The chase spanned almost a whole block from Washington Street towards Jackson Street on the rootops of 1302 to 1360 Taylor Street" (Courtesy Reel SF)

In the dramatic nighttime opening sequence detective John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (James Stewart) trails a policeman chasing a suspect across a series of rooftops. Scottie slips and ends up hanging perilously from a gutter causing him to suffer a severe case of acrophobia – a feeling of vertigo. The chase spanned almost a whole block from Washington Street towards Jackson Street on the rootops of 1302 to 1360 Taylor Street” (Courtesy Reel SF)

The view from today, Brocklebank Apartments, featured later in the movie, and behind it the Fairmont Hotel Tower, not there when Vertigo was filmed." (Courtesy Reel SF)

The view from today, Brocklebank Apartments, featured later in the movie, and behind it the Fairmont Hotel Tower, not there when Vertigo was filmed.” (Courtesy Reel SF)

Scottie in front of St. Paulus' German Evangelican Lutheran Church. The church has since burned down and now the lot is vacant at the corner of Gough. (Courtesy Reel SF)

Scottie in front of St. Paulus’ German Evangelican Lutheran Church. The church has since burned down and now the lot is vacant at the corner of Gough. (Courtesy Reel SF)

Hear more from an KQED interview about a walking tour of “Vertigo” location highlights featured on The California Report which highlights the Scribd excerpt below it.

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