I Confess, 1953
visit the film locations
Stay at: the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac,1 Rue des Carrières (tel: 418.692.3861)
Visit: Hôtel du Parlement (Parliament Building), 1045 Rue Des Parliamentaires Quebec, QC G1A 1A3 (guided tours; admission free) (tel: 418. 643.7239)
I Confess location: Chateau Frontenac, Quebec
Photograph: iStockphoto / Digital Apoptosis
When Alfred Hitchcock needed a deeply Catholic environment to make this story of a priest riddled with sexual guilt and bound by the rules of the confessional, he headed north to Canada, filming in French Québec, around the narrow streets of the old quarter.
The steep stairway, across the top of which Hitchcock walks in his trademark cameo appearance, is L'Escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps), built on the site of an original 17th-century stairway that linked the Upper and Lower Town in Vieux-Québec.
The politician husband of Ruth Grandfort (Anne Baxter) speechifies at Hôtel du Parlement à Québec, 1045 Rue Des Parliamentaire. There are guided tours of the building.
Ruth meets up with Father Logan on the Lévis Ferry, crossing the St Lawrence River from Lower Town (why do characters in films always meet furtively aboard ferries?).
After Logan’s inconclusive trial in the Halls of Justice, the real murderer hides out in the city’s magnificent landmark Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, 1 Rue des Carrières.
Father Logan’s church, ‘Sainte Marie’, is Église Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona 1400, avenue François 1, in Limoilou, a northern suburb of the city. Stadacona was the name of the native village which stood on the site Québec City now occupies.