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Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco Paperback


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Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco + San Francisco Noir + The Dashiell Hammett Tour: Thirtieth Anniversary Guidebook (The Ace Performer Collection series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press; Later Printing edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891661272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891661273
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 10.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hitchcock fans Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal have assembled a meticulously researched work describing the trail the suspense master blazed through the greater San Francisco Bay area in many of his films. Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco is packed with pictures from both the filming time and now, and takes readers on a detailed journey through each step of filming for movies staged in San Francisco or elsewhere in Northern California (The Birds, for example, was filmed in Bodega Bay). The authors present the sites as they were for each scene and then describe those sites as they are today, if they still stand. For instance, the historic Mission Dolores Church, where a detective follows a troubled wife to a graveside in Vertigo, still lies at the heart of the city's Mission District. This book is an essential part of any Hitchcock fan's collection, and it would be a valuable read for Northern California residents who may not know the pop culture history behind many of their hometown's fixtures.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“A meticulously researched work describing the trail the suspense master blazed through the greater San Francisco Bay area. . . . An essential part of any Hitchcock fan's collection.” —Publishers Weekly


Footsteps in the Fog is must reading for all true obsessives of Hitchcock and the San Francisco Bay area, and what movie fan isn't? The chapter on Vertigo plunges us into the heart of the director's masterpiece. You don't just read this book, you live and breathe it. Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal make it great fun to play lost-and-found in Hitchcock's San Francisco. The book they've created is unique, haunting, and indispensable.” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


“Like many people, I'm hooked on the idea of finding famous movie locations in ‘real life.’ I can't think of a better subject for such a pursuit than Hitchcock and San Francisco.” —Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian

Footsteps in the Fog doesn't just retrace Hitchcock's footsteps entertainingly, and with an eye for details that bring back some of cinema's most classic chills, it's also an invaluable time capsule. The contrast between what was and what is made me want to book the next flight to California, so I could see Hitchcock's San Francisco for myself before any more of it disappears!” —Bob Mondello, NPR

“This is a meticulously researched book that expertly demonstrates how a location can shape a master artist's work. . . . A must addition for your next trip up to . . . Hitchcock country.” —Director's Guild of America (DGA) Magazine


“As haunting as its evocative title, Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco shows us exactly what locations the great director used to create what might be the most elegantly spooky vision of an American city ever put on film.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Footsteps in the Fog is a particular gem that not only makes Hitchcock alive with the breathing presence of San Francisco—but makes San Francisco alive with the ghost of Hitchcock movies. The book is a pleasure from start to finish.” —Mick LaSalle, author of Dangerous Men and Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood

“Beyond merely categorizing everything about their beloved city, Kraft and Leventhal let their love of the director's movies break through the mist.” —Premiere Magazine

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Customer Reviews

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Good evening (or good morninig!)
C. M Mills
Thank you, Mr. Kraft, for giving me a new appreciation of two of my favorite things: Alfred Hitchcock's films and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Michael K. Beusch
It is amazing to me how detailed the authors are with their photos of the filming locations and how they looked then and now.
Susan E. Gemmel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By James A. Edison on November 14, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides the intricate details of the filming of a number of Hitchcock classics in the SF Bay Area. The book covers the locations and filming of Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, The Birds, Suspicion, Psycho, and Family Plot, and explores the ways in which the Bay Area provided an inspiration for the movies as well as a wide variety of settings. It served as a reminder to me of the wonderful diversity of the Bay Area and the keen eye Hitchcock had for what could make a movie.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is awesome! I purchased it for my mom who is a huge Hitchcock fan and loves San Francisco. She read it from cover to cover and enjoyed every minute of it...The book is written in a way that conveys the brilliance of Hitchcock and how he used the city to enhance his plots and characters...I recommend this to anyone who is a film buff or just loves a good read on a dark stormy night..
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John P Bernat on October 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Hitchcock loved northern California. He shot some of his most memorable films there, and this book assembles the trail he walked through the greater San Francisco Bay area in many of his films.

In one film documentary, Hume Cronyn, who co-starred in one of Hitch's own favorite movies - "Shadow of a Doubt" - described how Hitch enthused on filming in and near California wine country. "We'll go to the vineyards and squeeze the grapes over our mouths, until the juice runs down onto our shirts."

Here you can see pictures from both the filming time and now, and go on a detailed journey through each step of filming for movies staged in San Francisco or elsewhere in Northern California (The Birds, for example, was filmed in Bodega Bay). The authors present the sites as they were for each scene and then describe those sites as they are today, if they still stand.

Perhaps the most haunting images are of the historic Mission Dolores Church, where James Stewart followed Kim Novak to a graveside in Vertigo. This still lies at the heart of the city's Mission District. You also get views of the Golden Gate bridge approach where Kim jumped into the bay, and find out that this plot of land only existed in moviedom...

A historical curiosity: as much as the Hitchcock's were charmed by this area, they sold their second home here in the early 1960s and spent the rest of their lives in their modest Bel Air house. Like so many older people, they liked the year-round heat, I guess.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elfinstone on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up and still live in San Francisco. In fact, I was in the 5th grade when Hitchcock filmed a Vertigo scene next door to my school. If you look closely during a brief long shot of the mansion where Carlotta suposedly lived you will see a bit of the chain link fence of my schoolyard. (We were kept in and the nuns wouldn't let us out while they were filming.) Both the mansion and the school are long gone, but they are preserved forever on video. This book discusses the various locations Hitchcock used and I was suprised to find out that a Pacific Heights apartment building that I pass by regularly and have often thought about living in, was once a hotel. There is a lot about Hitchcock's private life here. Including his visits to the Grant Market on Market Street. My family shopped there too and in the middle 60s I worked next door at an oldtime stationers where Hitchcock showed up one day to buy a new nib for his fountain pen. He arrived in a black limo and when the clerk asked for his autograph, he drew his profile on a piece of paper. A few years ago, I spent an afternoon trooping up and down the North Beach side of Russian Hill looking for Jimmie Stewart's Vertigo apartment and didn't find it. Thanks to this book I now know where to look. It's really the little details that make this book fascinating, both about the films and the director.
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Format: Paperback
For fans of the master of suspense who happen to be San Francisco-philes, this is a fun one to breeze through on a rainy day. Obvious Hitchcock aficionados as well as bay area residents, co-authors Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal decided to play detective and retrace the filmmaker's steps in identifying all the locations he used in several of his masterworks. Primarily three classics are spotlighted - 1942's "Shadow of a Doubt", 1958's "Vertigo" and 1963's "The Birds", though establishing and background scenes for several others were filmed around here in spite of the story locales, for example, Point Lobos near Monterey was used to recreate the coastline around Cornwall, England in 1940's "Rebecca". The mix of photos - taken at the time both of filming and in the present day - interspersed with the co-authors' anecdotal, sometimes fascinating findings makes for an enjoyable coffee table book.

Fortunately, the three films highlighted are among the master's best, most recognizable work, so scene references do not seem obscure to even the non-trivialist. The various San Francisco locations cited in "Vertigo" provide the book's high points since the other two films are obviously more focused on the less compelling north bay communities of Santa Rosa and Bodega Bay. What comes across most in the co-authors' discourse throughout is their confirmation of Hitchcock's well-known meticulous filmmaking techniques. He was obviously in love with the area, even having a home for a time in Scots Valley near Santa Cruz, but he went to great lengths to study various locations in detail and even recreate real interiors intact - such as the now-defunct Ernie's restaurant or the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel - on Hollywood soundstages with dead-eye accuracy.
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