Alfred Hitchcock fanatics are revving up for the November 23 premiere of Hitchcock, a film about the making of the thriller Psycho, starring Anthony Hopkins. But besides buying an opening-night ticket, disciples can quench their thirst for the late, great film director’s art by checking out San Francisco’s and London’s Hitchcock film location tours:
Many of Hitchcock’s movies were filmed in the Bay Area and along the Northern California coast. Fans of the 1958 psychological mindbender Vertigo can book the “Locales from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ (The Movie) Tour” with guides at Friend in Town in San Fran. The 10-hour, Hitchcock-centric exploration of the area includes a scenic drive through Silicon Valley to San Juan Bautista (check out the church where characters died in the movie). You’ll also visit Bay Area spots featured in the paranoia classic, including Mission Dolores, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fort Point at Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts and Nob Hill.
On the more low-key side is San Francisco City Guide’s “Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco” walking tour, which begins at the fountain in Huntington Park and meanders from Nob Hill to Union Station. A guide educates you about the hotels, clubs and stores along the route that Hitchcock selected as backdrops for his famously dark films. The next scheduled tour is 11 a.m. November 25.
After touring the movie locations, check into San Fran’s boutique Hotel Vertigo near Union Square. Its 1950s/’60s-esque furnishings and bold color scheme are as eccentric as the man himself. Guest rooms feature a sheer tangerine window curtain that lends the space an orange glow, white horse head bedside lamps, crisp white bed linens and wall art with a swirl referencing the flick’s 1958 logo.
While San Francisco has more Hitchcock happenings this month, we’d be remiss not to mention the city in which the master of suspense was born. In London, sign up for film historian Sandra Shevey’s three-hour “Alfred Hitchcock London Locations Walk,” which runs 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The tour includes pit stops at Hitchcock’s filming locations, as well as sound bites from Shevey’s 1972 interview with the man himself and storyboards from the 1965 film The Man Who Knew Too Much. Consider any birds hovering above you during the walk as bonuses to the experience.
To continue the Hitchcock-themed trip, stay in Claridge’s in the tony Mayfair area. The filmmaker used to stay at the luxury Art Deco hotel.
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