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Thursday October 18th 2018

Mrs Doubtfire | 1993

Mrs Doubtfire filming location: Steiner Street, Pacific Heights, San Francisco
Mrs Doubtfire location: The family home: Steiner Street, Pacific Heights, San Francisco

When hard-working Miranda Hillard (Sally Field) is driven to file for divorce from her lovable but unpredictable husband Daniel (Robin Williams), the out-of-work actor comes up with an ingenious, if reckless, plan to be with his three kids. This broad and sentimental comedy which proved such a massive success is set and filmed around San Francisco.

The Hillard family home is, as the film says, 2640 Steiner Street at the junction with Broadway in the classy Pacific Heights area, with that wonderful view down Steiner to the Bay.

The court in which Daniel is devastated to hear that, without a full-time job or a permanent home, he’s to lose custody of his kids for three months, is Courtroom A of what is now San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway in Redwood City, about 20 miles south of San Francisco.

Daniel is obliged to take on a manual job boxing up cans of film for shipping at ‘KTVU Television Studios’, which really is KTVU California, 2 Jack London Square, across the Bay from San Francisco in Oakland.

Mrs Doubtfire filming location: Green Street, North Beach, San Francisco
Mrs Doubtfire location: Daniel's apartment: Green Street, North Beach, San Francisco

He gets himself a modest apartment at 520-522 Green Street above Baonecci Ristorante in the Telegraph Hill district and, with the make-up skills of his gay brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein) and Frank’s partner Jack (Scott Capurro), comes up with the alter ego of 60-year-old English nanny (albeit with an unexplained Scots accent) Mrs Doubtfire.

Euphegenia Doubtfire of course gets the nannying job and is soon playing football and riding bikes with ‘her’ charges at Crissy Field, the open green space on the bay front overlooked by the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.

They also fulfill the contractual obligation of all San Francisco comedies and ride the Powell-Hyde Cable car at the photogenic peak of Hyde Street.

Mrs Doubtfire location: Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
Mrs Doubtfire location: Mrs Doubtfire: Mrs Doubtfire fends of the mugger: Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

Mrs Doubtfire fends off a handbag snatcher on Columbus Avenue at Broadway. That elegant, pale green Flatiron Building in the background was the HQ of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie empire, and still houses Café Zoetrope.

Miranda meanwhile is being wooed by dashing old flame Stuart (pre-Bond Pierce Brosnan), who invites the whole family – plus nanny – for a day out at a swanky country club.

This is the 1915 Claremont Resort and Spa, 41 Tunnel Road in the Tilden Regional Park area north of Berkeley.

The climactic set-piece comes when both Daniel and Mrs Doubtfire are obliged to attend unmissable events at the same restaurant on the same night.

The crucial meeting with the TV studio boss and Miranda’s birthday party are both held in Bridges Restaurant, 44 Church Street, Danville, east of Oakland.