San Francisco in Cinema: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Transamerica Pyramid
Is it me? Is it you? Who's snatched? That's the question in this remake of the 1950s sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Philip Kaufman directs Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy in a story of paranoia and alien abduction. This is one of the best San Francisco movies to watch on a rainy afternoon. The City is present throughout. The opening sequence includes quick cuts of Sutro Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, and Golden Gate Bridge, as tendrils of alien matter float through space until finally landing on rain soaked San Francisco fauna. When the matter quickly takes root and blooms into pretty red flowers, Adams plucks one from a bush at Alamo Square and takes it home to her house at 720 Steiner Street on Postcard Row. Adams and Sutherland are co-workers at the Department of Public Health. When Adams' husband and others start acting strangely, the nightmare begins for Adams and Sutherland. Director Kaufman creates a geographically realistic escape sequence from Sutherland's place at 1227 Montgomery Street, down Telegraph Hill via the Filbert Steps to Pier 33. The 1956 original ended with a character played by Kevin McCarthy frantically running down a city street trying to warn people of the alien invasion. More than 20 years later, in Kaufman's version, McCarthy briefly continues his mad dash before being hit by a car in front of the Hamlin Hotel, 385 Eddy Street. Also keep an eye out for shots of Powell Street between Ellis and Market that include Woolworth's, which was on the street level of the Flood Building for many years. You can see the same storefront thirty years earlier as the Owl Drug Co. in Dark Passage

Additional Locations:
Alamo Square swing set (Robert Duvall cameo)
City Hall (Lincoln statue)
City Hall lawn (homeless man's sleeping place)
City Hall south entrance (roundup of the snatched)
Bookplace bookstore (Leonard Nimoy author event)
Clement & 2nd Street neighborhood (Leonard Nimoy confrontation)
Market Street near the former Hotel Whitcomb (1912), 1213 Market
Downtown view from Union and Montgomery Streets
Castle Street
Broadway and Columbus Avenue
Broadway Tunnel
U.N. Plaza
Civic Center Plaza

More about Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

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