Classic Fort Point

November 2018

Normally when I think of classic movies set in San Francisco and featuring historic Fort Point, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo springs to mind. But this morning that all changed, when I turned on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and happened to catch the last half hour of a movie I’d never heard of before. It’s called The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950), and it stars Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, and John Dall (I’m most familiar with the latter thanks to yet another Hitchcock film, 1948’s Rope).

While Vertigo‘s color views of Fort Point’s exterior are wonderful, The Man Who Cheated Himself, filmed in black and white, actually goes inside the old fort — and shows quite a bit of detail as the characters spend several minutes hiding from each other and running around various nooks and crannies of the place, much to my delight.

If you’d like a fascinating look inside Fort Point (at least as it was in 1950) and can’t get to San Francisco on the weekends when it’s open to the public, check out this movie. I found it on YouTube (the sound quality isn’t the greatest in the Fort Point clip below), but you might be able to catch it on TCM or your classic movie channel.

Note: The video actually includes the whole movie, so if you’d rather just see Fort Point, start around the 1hr, 9 min mark.

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