San Francisco in Cinema: Family Plot
Family Plot is Alfred Hitchock's underappreciated final film. In the 1976 comedy caper, cabbie Bruce Dern and phony psychic Barbara Harris are on the hunt for a missing heir, while William Devane and Karen Black pull off a series of kidnappings and jewel heists. The couples' fates are intertwined. Though the story is set in an unnamed, unidentifiable city, Hitchcock uses a pastiche of San Francisco and Los Angeles locations. (Ostensibly, Family Plot was made in L.A., except for a few scenes which were shot here presumably so Mr. Hitchcock could have lunch at Jack's and stay at the Fairmont Hotel.) Devane and Black drive through a flat L.A. commercial strip when, quicker than you can say "cut," they turn the corner of Clay and Buchanan, high on a hill in Lafayette Heights. The "Adamson Mansion" is the 2230 Sacramento Street apartment building, identified as "1001 Franklin St." in the film. The rising stairs and shadowy trees are visual cues that suggest the Psycho house. A garage on the Buchanan Street side of the building is a pivotal location and San Francisco's second notorious cinema garage. The other is in Experiment in Terror.

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Detail V: Grace Cathedral, "St. Anselm's Cathedral"
Detail VI: Fairmont Hotel, doorman encounter

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