Arts and CultureSan Francisco

10 Movies You Forgot Took Place in San Francisco

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Over the years, Hollywood filmmakers and directors have sought out the city by the bay as the set for some of the most iconic movies of all time. In the last year, it seems that the majority of films are taking place in San Francisco more than any other city. Here are a few films over the years that you may have forgotten or didn’t know took place in our fair city.

San Francisco is one of the most picturesque cities in the U.S. with it’s endless supply of scenic bay area views, iconic home architecture, rolling hills and landmark bridges. This city by the bay has been a movie set destination for some of the biggest movies of all time. With iconic movies such as Dirty Harry (1971), Bullitt (1968) or Vertigo (1958) shot here, there’s a long running relationship with our film city brothers to the south. Last year’s Oscar winning, Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine (2013), was a beautiful portrayal of everything from the views of the bay area to Ocean Beach. In the past year alone, we have seen the following movies set in San Francisco (some of which are all choose to destroy our fair city for some reason); Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), Pacific Rim (2013), Godzilla (2014), Big Hero 6 (2014), Dawn of The Planet of The Apes (2014) San Andreas (2015), Terminator Genisys (2015), Pixels (2015), Inside Out (2015).

We’ve had everything from the late and great Robin Williams frolicing around the streets of San Francisco dressed as a nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) or Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery fighting through Alcatraz to save this city from a nuclear disaster in The Rock (1996). With all these amazing motion pictures filmed here, we got to thinking. What were some of the not so popular films that we sometimes forgot were set in San Francisco. Here’s a list of a few select films that you may have forgot or never realized took place here.

40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

Josh “Heartthrob” Hartnett struggling to maintain a month and a half refraining from sexual activities or pleasures of any sort. He did this while shooting scenes downtown off market street and an office located by the Embarcadero with views of the Bay Bridge.

Plus, who could forget that rose scene with the seductive Shannyn Sossaman.
rose scene

The Bachelor (1999)

the bachelor

Chris O’Donnell took a break from battling next to Batman as Robin and became the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco after inheriting 100 million dollars. Being unsuccessful with proposing to his girlfriend played by Renee Zellweger, fans may remember him running up Broadway street by the tunnel in Russian Hill away from a stampede of brides chasing him through the city.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Ironically, this tale of Will Smith struggling to maintain a place to live and survive in a financially tough time in his life is highly relevant and unfortunately relatable to many current families in San Francisco. This film has scenes from all parts of the city, whether it’s the financial district or the inside of a Bart station bathroom.

The Game (1997)

Given that Sean Penn seems to have a strong affection for shooting films in San Francisco (after receiving an Oscar for his film, Milk), he acts as the antagonist to a confused Michael Douglas that runs throughout the financial district and pacific heights looking for answers to a deadly game he found himself involved in.

Interview With the Vampire (1994)


One of the first starts and introduction to the Kirstin Dunst as a child, this vampire movie held a star cast of actors such as Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas. Although much of the film is portrayed to take place in an old world New Orleans, the story itself is being told from an apartment in San Francisco. The beginning sequence zeros in on Brad Pitt telling the actual story from SF and ends with a drive across the Bay Bridge (we won’t spoil the ending for those just emerging from a rock who have not seen the film).

George of the Jungle (1997)

george_of_the_jungle_ver3

A celebration of how cheesy the films of the 90s were, Brendan Fraser swings around San Francisco and above the Bay Bridge (not recommended) as a real-life adaptation of the children’s animated series.

EDtv (1999)

After Matthew McConaughey was finished with his forever engrained role within Dazed and Confused, and before he went on to win an Oscar with Dallas Buyers Club, he was playing a real world character thrown into a Truman Show situation to have his life recorded and broadcasted to the world.

In terms of shooting various portions of the city, they hit almost every major SF neighborhood. This even included scenes shot in the Westwood Highlands, a neighborhood that many residents may have never even heard of.

So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993)

A cult classic comedy with Mike Myers that follows his suspicions to his latest girlfriends possible dark past. Like so many other movies shot in SF, you can expect stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and various staple SF townhouses.

 

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David Sikorski

David Sikorski

San Francisco-based writer covering culture, music and everything this beautiful world has to offer. And yes, I am the guy that got engaged to a burrito.