Birdman of alcatraz, 1962
visit the film locations
San Francisco: Flights: San Francisco International Airport
Tourist info: San Francisco tourism
Visit: Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Cruises: the official source for tickets to Alcatraz Island.
In The Area
Birdman Of Alcatraz location: the supposedly escape-proof prison: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California
Photograph: iStockphoto / Nickolay Stanev
The Federal Bureau of Prisons was not best pleased with the idea of filming the story of Robert Stroud, and offered no co-operation, so Leavenworth (where Stroud was originally imprisoned) and Alcatraz were constructed on studio backlot.
The real Alcatraz Island, which once housed ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly and Al Capone, is seen in a long shot from San Francisco Bay. Restrictions eased after the prison closed in 1963, and the real Alcatraz was used for Point Blank, Escape From Alcatraz and The Rock.
Alcatraz is now a national park and can be visited by boat from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Included in the fascinating tour, you can see the real Robert Stroud’s cell. Trips are popular so, if you want to avoid disappointment, best book ahead.