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'The Lady from Shanghai'
Quintessentially, 'The Lady from Shanghai' (1947) is a San Francisco film, but there's a wonderful scene in Sausalito where Rita Hayworth arrives in town on a boat and is met by Orson Welles on the pier. The cove is Whaler's Cove, right in front of the old Valhalla bar and restaurant, owned by the infamous madam Sally Stanford (in the film, the building says "Walhalla"). The building is still there, at 201 Bridgeway on the end of Main Street, though it's been built out to extend into the bay a bit. The long wooden boardwalk where Welles and Hayworth meet is still there, as is a noticeably towering house with a corner turret in the background; Jack London is rumored to have written Sea Wolf while staying there. A bus drives along a road in the background—that's Bridgeway—and views of the Sausalito hillside evince a small town over 60 years ago.—Gabe Meline
'Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom'
One of the many trademark George Lucas Films, 'Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom' (1984) is one of those Harrison Ford classics that will not be forgotten. What many aren't aware of is how close some of the filming locations actually were in comparison to how far around the globe Indy traveled in his adventures. For example, the beginning scene of the film takes place in China, where a simple exchange between Indy and some Chinese gangsters turns into gunplay and a chase scene. When they end up at the Shanghai Airport, however, it's actually the old Hamilton Air Force Base in Novato.
The base is long gone now, replaced by new development. If you're feeling up for the quest to see if there is any resemblance left there, feel free to take a look. After that, head north on 101 and take the Lucas Valley Road exit. Go east to 5858 Lucas Valley Road, and there you will see parts of the Nicasio location of Skywalker ranch. Around here is also where things start to look familiar from the end of Indiana Jones, when Indy comes back to the Mayapor Village. The exact location isn't known, and since Skywalker Ranch is private enough itself, you probably don't want to sit around outside long enough to be asked by authorities to beat it. However, we do know that this particular ending scene was shot on a hill above the ranch, while the upper half was a matte painting.—Jennifer Cuddy
'I Know What You Did Last Summer'
Originally set to be completely filmed in North Carolina, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (1997) opens with shots from Sonoma coastlines. Back in the '90s prime "horror-thriller" films, this movie showed that you just don't hit someone with your car and dump them into the ocean, because they probably will come back to stalk and kill you.
In the beginning of the movie we see a beautiful ocean scene with four naive college-bound students driving along the coast. This is Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway north of Fort Ross. The teens are also shown having a typical bonfire on the beach at Schoolhouse Beach, south of Jenner. As they continue their careless joyride along the coast, we also see shots of Campbell Cove in Bodega Bay and Fort Ross. Rumor has it that the filmmakers wanted to build a bridge at Fort Ross, but the waves were too choppy so they had to move to Kolmer Cove instead. Either way, the drive from Bodega up to Fort Ross should look familiar in an eerie way. Watch out for limping fishermen on the road at night, and try not to hang out of the moon roof of your car—that's just not smart to do.—Jennifer Cuddy
Filmed mostly in San Francisco, 1971's 'Dirty Harry' tells the story of one notorious cop that doesn't take crap from anyone, even his superiors at the SFPD.
The infamous ending scene takes place in Larkspur, near the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard exit. These days, when heading out in this direction there's a shopping mall, parking lots and a Marriott hotel in place of the quarry where it used to be a less developed area. The Corte Madera Creek railway bridge that Harry jumps off of and onto the school bus has now been mostly demolished in order to widen the roads. Fortunately, there is still a part of the bridge left located at 12 East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
When following down the road, the scenery of Mount Tam in the background still stands boldly just like in 1971. The location of the final showdown between Harry, Scorpio and the .44 Magnum doesn't exist anymore, but there's a convenient ferry station to take you back to the city to explore more Dirty Harry locations downtown.—Jennifer Cuddy