Final Analysis | 1992
A sensitive study of ‘Pathological intoxication’, a rare and disturbing condition which... sorry, my mistake, it's a hokey-but-fun psycho-thriller, set in San Francisco but inevitably sneaking in a few Los Angeles locations.
In San Francisco, Dr Isaac Barr (Richard Gere) breaks every known rule of psychotherapy, taking Heather Evans (Kim Basinger) to Bix Restaurant, 56 Gold Street, a classy art deco eaterie between Sansome and Montgomery Streets in the Jackson Square historic area.
The tearoom is actually the chandeliered lobby of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, now the Westin St Francis, 335 Powell Street at Sutter Street, on the north side of of Union Square.
The two hospitals in the movie are both wings of the abandoned Presidio Hospital, built in 1950 but damaged in the 1989 earthquake. Other genuine San Francisco locations include the rococo rotunda of the San Francisco Courthouse and the Presidio Yacht Club over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
Much of the movie, though, is actually Los Angeles. The courtroom is the wood-panelled Ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel, 607 South Park View Street, overlooking MacArthur Park, midtown. The Park Plaza closed as a hotel in the Nineties, but it's been a frequent film location, seen in Barton Fink, Chaplin, New York, New York, Hook and many other productions.
The fabulously stylish restaurant, where Heather Evans throws an alcohol-induced wobbly after succumbing to “pathological intoxication”, is the art deco Cicada (previously Rex II Ristorante) in the Oviatt Building, 617 South Olive Street, downtown Los Angeles (seen also in Mr And Mrs Smith, Pretty Woman, Indecent Proposal and Bruce Almighty).
Other Los Angeles locations include the 1919 Royce Hall, one of the buildings of the original quadrangle of UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles), entrance at 405 Hilgard Avenue, Westside.
Despite what the filmmakers would have us believe, there’s no more a lighthouse alongside the Golden Gate Bridge than Richard Gere is a practising psychiatrist. The climax combines a set built in the studio in Los Angeles with the real light at Pigeon Point, on the coast 50 miles south of San Francisco where, of course, the graveyard was added just for the movie.