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Sunday June 16th 2024

Pacific Heights | 1990

Pacific Heights location: 19th Street, Potrero Hill, San Francisco
Pacific Heights location: the ‘Pacific Heights’ house: 19th Street, Potrero Hill, San Francisco

San Francisco yuppies Patty Palmer (Melanie Griffith) and Drake Goodman (Matthew Modine) let a room in their Pacific Heights dream home to the sinister, cockroach-breeding tenant from Hell, Carter Hayes (another star turn from Michael Keaton).

There's a decidedly Hitchcock feel to the movie, acknowledged by the casting of The Birds heroine Tippi Hedren (who also happens to be Melanie Griffith’s real-life mum) in a cameo role, and a sly director’s cameo from John Schlesinger himself.

Pacific Heights is one of San Francisco’s top-notch neighbourhoods, in the north of the city up towards the Marina district.

But that’s not where you’ll find the couple’s pleasant wood-frame house. Although the address is given as ‘275 Pacific Street’, the house seen in the movie isn’t on Pacific Heights at all, but way across the other side of the city.

It’s 1243 19th Street at Texas Street in the decidedly downmarket Potrero Hill District, south of the city.

When Hayes flees to Los Angeles, the determined Patty catches up with him at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City (which was then the JW Marriott Hotel), 2151 Avenue of the Stars in Century City, which happens to be built on the site of the old Fox lot (and yes, this is a Twentieth Century Fox movie).

And it’s here that John Schlesinger puts in a brief Hitchcock-like appearance.