Vertigo film locations

Mike Matei / April 5th, 2010

As seen on my Top 30 Favorite Films list, Vertigo ranked pretty high. It’s a detective story, a ghost story, and a psychological tale of obsession. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s many masterpieces. My favorite of his. So while I was checking out San Francisco, I explored a lot of places where it was filmed.

When visiting movie locations, it’s neat to see how they’ve changed over time. (Vertigo was filmed in 1957.) You can also learn a lot how the director chose his or her shots. Besides, anywhere Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart stood is like holy ground to me.

Golden Gate Bridge

Wow. It’s no wonder why Hitchcock chose this shot. I thought it was enhanced to look as majestic as it does, but it’s just as amazing a view in real life. This is where Scottie saves Madeleine when she jumps into the bay. No one will be jumping anymore. There’s now a gate in the way. Other than that, it looks exactly the same. Well… the clouds have moved. That’s about it. This is also where the Tanner family drove across the bridge (Full House) and the giant octopus attacked it (It Came From Beneath the Sea). Imagine that all happening at the same time. Goodbye Tanners.


Scottie’s House

That says it all. If you pan to the right a bit, Coit tower is in the background, which Madeliene says she used as a landmark to finding his house. The house looks exactly the same, except for a big bush in the way, and a security camera. Have the owners got that many people knocking on their door for Scottie?


The Hotel

This is the hotel where Scottie literally stalks Judy to her room. And what do you know? They renamed it the Hotel Vertigo!


Palace of the Legion of Honor

This is the art museum where Scottie follows Madeliene. It looks bigger on the outside. Still there’s a lot of excellent work in there, and a well preserved mummy.

I didn’t expect to see the painting of Carlotta, since it was just a movie prop, but there was a very informative book in the gift shop called “Footsteps in the Fog” which retraces all of of Hitchock’s filming locations in the San Francisco area. Apparently no one knows the exact room where Carlotta’s painting was, but I’m pretty sure I found it. Judge for yourself.

Mission Dolores

The church where Scottie follows Madeliene.

Recreating this shot wasn’t easy, because there’s a tree in the way.

Carlotta’s Grave

Scottie follows Madeliene through the church to the cemetery where she gazes at the grave of Carlotta before wandering off. The gravestone was a movie prop, so there’s nothing there. In order to find the location, I had to match up the gravestones in the background. There’s a missing cross section on the tall one (green arrow), but I’d say that’s the spot.

I can see why Hitchock chose to put the grave here. It’s right in the middle of the cemetery. Here’s the opposite angle, when Scottie comes to look at the grave.

The cemetery has changed a lot! The walkways are newly paved and the foliage is different. Here’s the same shot again, but I moved closer so you can see the cross (green arrow). The damn tree was in the way.

Muir Woods

Scottie and Madeliene supposedly go to Muir Woods, but it was actually filmed in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. So technically, I’m not at the real filming location, but c’mon! That looks like the same sliced tree.


  • Neomatt

    April 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    wish i could see all this

  • Druidofdark

    April 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Love your new site’s look!
    Love the movie scenes. ; )

  • carlisledave79

    April 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Great new look to the site

  • bloodlockscc

    April 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Like the new layout. Eagerly awaiting your return.

  • April 8, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Goddamn. This guy always gets the short end of the dick. So this has gotta be at least the second time he’s been pegged as the gay sensei. haha… way to slowly raise the controller to your mouth. that isn’t hidin shit. lol.

  • April 8, 2010 at 6:09 am


  • StandingCow

    April 8, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Love the new layout!

  • Cydonos

    April 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I like the new layout, but I miss the box art from the AVGN listing

  • Thunderjohn

    April 8, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I love the new layout. Nice 😛

  • Jungle Man

    April 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Count me in as one of the guys who loves the new layout. Very easy to navigate your website and find the various reviews. Great job 😀

  • capitolg84

    April 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Awesome, I like the new improved Cinemassacre website. Nicely redesigned, good job.

  • ab0rnloser

    April 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I love the new website interface! It looks real professional.

  • Butch Bitch

    April 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Nice layout but as always,i’m initially weirded out by the change.But I will adjust.

  • Anton

    April 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Good job on the new layout, impressive.


    April 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I wish i could see that, and the site looks good

  • Umdrum

    April 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    A truly chilling noir classic, nice work recreating the shots

  • April 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Nice New Layout!!, I remember the days of dial-up internet.


  • Alex123

    April 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm


  • GoombaXx...

    April 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    It’s really cool to see how these locations have changed over time. Great pictures James 🙂

  • GunGrave

    April 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    … wow – nice work James … you love movies! ^_~

  • nerdyguy64

    April 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I have always want to know, your a nerd, right? well thats not the question, but some nerds like it some dont but do you like anime? I have always wondered, I know you wont answer this question but if you ever see it, just ask yourself it you do. And by the way great photos!

    Always nerdy,


  • bobsaget101

    April 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Iv been to almost all those locations….Sweet

  • faddiego83

    April 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Dude, you were in San Francisco? I go to school there! If I’d seen you, I could’ve… um… bugged you for your autograph or something. I guess. Well anyway, cool stuff.

  • Lord Moe

    July 13, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    aww man. If only you could have found the church and bell tower. I know it probably wasn’t in California, and may have actually been shot in the studio (Hitchcock didn’t like shooting on location, if I remember correctly).

  • kentkennedy

    September 2, 2010 at 6:05 am

    I’ve only seen one film location and it was filmed in my town lol. It’s called “The one that got away” I think. Don’t watch it, it sucks.

  • October 5, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  • Born in the wrong time.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I hope to someday visit the location of my favorite movies. Vertigo being one of them.

  • June 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Lucky guy ^^

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