Mapping Hitchcock's Murder Mysteries in Northern California
Murder-mystery master Alfred Hitchcock bought a 200-acre estate known as Heart o' the Mountainsin Scotts Valley in 1940. The residence sparked a long-lasting love affair with the Bay Area and Northern California that's reflected (and re-reflected and re-reflected!) in his movies. Ηere now is a map of film locations from around these parts that brought us some of the spookiest and creepiest movies from Hitchcock's canon.
1 Rebecca (1940)
Point Lobos was filmed to look like the rugged cliffs of Monte Carlo. Crews reportedly did damage to some trees during filming, and locals thought they got what they deserved when they all got infected with poison oak.
62 California 1 Carmel, CA 93923
2 Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
The "all-American" Santa Rosa is a cozy setting for the dark Shadow of a Doubt. Charlie Newton’s uncle is actually the "Merry Widow" serial killer, and Newton's house and the Santa Rosa train station are featured in the movie.
904 McDonald Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95404
3 Vertigo (1958)
The granddaddy of all Hitchcock movies in SF is definitely Vertigo. As our previous map of Vertigoscenes shows, the movie is a veritable love letter to the city by the bay. The film's locations (and the tracking thereof) have nurtured a cult following among tourists.
San Francisco CA
4 Vertigo (1958) — "Muir Woods"
The scene where Madeleine gets the heebie-jeebies contemplating the past was supposed to be set in Muir Woods, but was actually filmed in Big Basin State Park.
21600 Big Basin Way Boulder Creek, CA 95006
5 Vertigo (1958) — San Juan Bautista
The climactic scene of Madeleine's death was filmed at the old Mission San Juan Bautista. Kim Novak's character claims to recall a ghostly memory of visiting the old stables on the plaza, and then plunges to her death from the church's bell tower. The real tower came down in 1949 after suffering damage in a storm, so Hitchcock collaged a fake version into the film.
406 2nd Street San Juan Bautista, CA 95045
6 Vertigo (1958) — Cemetery
The scene where Scottie visits Madeleine's grave was filmed at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, a cemetery located in Colma.
1370 El Camino Real Colma, CA 94014
7 The Birds (1963) — Opening Sequence
The movie starts with a short sequence shot in Union Square. Fun fact: to avoid attracting unwanted attention during filming, the camera was hidden in a studio truck disguised as a furniture van.
Union Square Park San Francisco, CA 94108
8 The Birds (1963) — Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay is famously remembered for its location in The Birds. The Tides Wharf & Restaurant sheltered characters during the attack, but has expanded into a hotel complex since the film was made.
835 Bay Highway Bodega Bay, CA 94923
9 Family Plot (1976)
In Hitchcock’s last movie, Bruce Dern climbs the old front steps of Grace Cathedral and asks to see the bishop of “Saint Anselm’s Cathedral” as a disguised couple drug and abduct the bishop. There are also scenes filmed at the Fairmont Hotel.