Los Angeles and Hollywood are very far away, but they seem to enjoy coming up to film in San Francisco. How could anyone blame them? San Francisco is beautifully placed. There is an ocean, a bay, hills in the city, a light fresh breeze most of the year, nearby mountains, nearby beaches, and the list goes on. San Francisco is also the home or birthplace of so many progressive movements and thought processes that it is easy to make it central in many stories. Anyway, before reserving a room through HostelBookers.com, you might profit by reading about some of the movies you should watch before visiting so that you’ll be at least somehow acquainted with SF beforehand.
Image source The Painted Ladies: proimos
The Rock or Escape from Alcatraz
Both films feature Alcatraz Island and both involve escaping from the island in one way or another. The latter is essential especially if you plan on visiting the island (which you should), and the former is also pretty good for getting a scenic overview of the city via car chases and helicopter shots. Pick your cast; Connery and Cage or our favorite Eastwood.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Filmed in 1986, the 4th installation of Star Trek, with Captain Kirk, Spock and the Doctor, brings them back in time to San Francisco. Saving the whales must have been an important current event back then because that’s exactly what the crew is called on for. They sling-shot around the moon and from the 23th century, they’re soon trying to kidnap a whale, which in their time are extinct. All the Star Treks are based in San Francisco, and even in the newest film you get to see the city on display (even if it gets a little bit destroyed).
The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon was the film adaptation of the book that was written by the San Franciscan author. The book set the standards for detective novels, which affords San Francisco a favorable place in the literary world; and the film boasts a cast filled by a Mr. Humphrey Bogart, which set the city in film for all time. It’s interesting to see the city on the silver screen from so long ago.
Jack Nicholson stars in this film that takes San Francisco’s famous Chinatown, which is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia itself, and makes it the primary mis-en-scene of the film. This is the kind of film that you should definitely watch before going to the city, because it presents you many of the city landmarks.
Image source Chinatown: yuyang226
San Francisco can smile happily when reminded that it was the backdrop of Clint Eastwood’s classic portrayal of a tough-guy cop. Cop movies are great to see a city because the characters are usually chasing bad guys all over the place. Everyone knows the famous line, “You gotta ask yourself one question, ‘do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”
Hitchcock is one of the most famous directors of all time, and his movie Vertigo is not only set in San Francisco, but serves as a veritable guide to the city itself. The protagonist moves from one city sight to the next, so the story is revealing in more ways than one.
There might be thousands of films set in San Francisco, but you’d never have time to see them all. You might prefer to see X-men breaking off the Golden Gate Bridge to walk over to Alcatraz. Maybe you prefer to watch Will Smith run around trying to make ends meet and climb the social ladder in The Pursuit of Happiness. Whatever your preferred genre, there’s a film out there to put you in touch with San Francisco.