Monday, February 28, 2011


David L. Goodis was born on March 2, 1917

David L. Goodis died on January 7th, 1967 after only 49 years.

David L. Goodis would have been 94 years old on March 2, 2011.

Happy XCIV Birthday, David Goodis!

Pocketful of Ginch and Scott Phillips presents FLAREGUN

POCKETFUL OF GINCH presents one of the most refreshing films in a long time.  Both music and subject matter will leave you wanting more and more!  See it now!  See it often!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

David Goodis and Elaine Astor - The Official Covenant of Marriage

Astor-Goodis Wedding Ketubah 

A Ketubah is a marriage contract that explains the basic material, conjugal and moral responsibilities of the husband to his wife.  It is signed by the groom ( David L. Goodis), as well as two witnesses, and given to the bride during the wedding ceremony.

That on the ---th day of the week, the 18th day of the month Tishor in the year 5704 corresponding to the 17th day of October 1943, the holy Covenant of Marriage was entered into, in Los Angeles, California between the Bridegroom  David Loeb Goodis and his Bride Elaine Astor

The said Bridegroom made the following Declaration to his Bride: "Be thou my wife according to the law of Moses and of Israel.  I faithfully promise that I will be a true husband unto thee.  I will honor and cherish thee; I will work for thee.  I will protect and support thee, and will provide all that is necessary for thy due sustenance, even as it becomes a Jewish husband to do.  I also take upon myself all such further obligations for thy maintenance as are prescribed by our religious statute."

And the said Bride has plighted her troth unto him, in affection and sincerity, and has thus taken upon herself the fulfillment of all the Duties incumbent upon a Jewish wife.

This Covenant of Marriage was duly executed and witnessed this day according to the usage of Israel.

Witnesses:  Leon Wayne Lore and Abraham L. Halpern
Rabbi: Jacob ----------------------, PhD

Elaine Astor, David Goodis and an unidentified friend, Los Angeles, California, Circa 1943

(Courtesy of Barbara L. Ginsburg)

(Photo courtesy of Lenny Kleinfeld)

The Harry L. Rubinfeld Friendly Family Neighborhood Shul

(photo courtesy of Lenny Kleinfeld)

The Harry L. Rubinfeld Friendly Family Neighborhood Shul
525 S. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, California
      He wondered why he needed to get married.  He looked around and saw everybody married and he thought perhaps there was something about it that he didn’t understand,  Although the fundamental reason was obvious enough, he did a lot of thinking about it and there were nights when he stayed awake disagreeing with it.  The custom of marriage was something to ponder over, to study from many scattered angles. 
pg. 3
“Slice me a banana.  Pour in a lot of cream.  A lot, I said.  And three poached eggs, some toast with a lot of butter, and melted, remember that, melted on the toast.  And a pot of coffee.  Before you do that, run out and get me a pack of cigarettes.  Get two packs.  And start lukewarm water running in the bathtub.  Throw in some of that Tiger Lily bath salts I have in the lower shelf of the cabinet.  Then take out those yellow towels.  The yellow ones, the new ones I bought.  Are you paying attention to what I’m saying?” 
pg. 36 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dark Passage - Then and Now

Courtesy of  REEL SF

The Movie 
    Dark Passage, released in the U.S. on September 5, 1947, was the third of four movies starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, the others being To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946) and Key Largo (1948).  The many location scenes in this Delmer Daves movie create an atmospheric record of mid-century San Francisco.  Made at the height of the film noir era, the movie is an excellent example of the genre and offers romance to boot.
Then ...
... and Now,  the prison dates from 1852 and has hardly changed from the outside for many decades, except for the added car park, below.

Dark Passage - Drive to Freedom

    The truck carrying Parry to freedom rumbles up a road with San Quentin prison visible across San Francisco Bay.  This is Paradise Drive, a 10 mile scenic road running alongside San Francisco Bay between Corte Madera and Tiburon.  Here, the truck is passing 5050 Paradise Drive.
Then ...

... and Now, the roof of 5050 is just visible but trees are blocking out the view
... but down the road the view opens up and the prison can still be seen ...

Dark Passage - Free At Last

    Hidden inside the oil drum Parry rocks it back and forth until it falls off the back of the truck and rolls down a hill.  He is free at last as the camera pans up to a view of San Quentin Prison across the bay, framed by foliage in the style of a 19th century California landscape painting.
Then ...
.. and Now,  this matching contemporary view was taken from Paradise Drive, 0.1 miles south of Taylor at the junction with Ranch Road

Dark Passage - Hitching a ride

    Parry flags down a passing car and the driver, who introduces himself as Baker (Clifton Young), gives him a ride.  As they drive south along Paradise Drive Baker hears a police alert on the radio and, startled, comes to a halt.  Once again San Quentin prison is seen in the distance.
Then ...
 ... and Now,  taken 0.3 miles south of the Trestle Glen Blvd junction in front of 4092 Paradise Drive.  The Paradise Cay Marina development, not there in 1947, is in the center of this view.

Dark Passage - Into the City

   Parry knocks Baker out with a swift punch to the jaw and while he considers what to do next an attractive young artist, Irene Jansen (Lauren Bacall) pulls up in her station wagon and asks him to come with her.  Puzzled, but short on options, he reluctantly agrees.

Then ...  Parry hides in the back of her wagon and they drive south down Highway 101 through the Waldo Tunnel to the Golden Gate bridge.
... and Now
  Then ...  They exit the tunnel, at that time it was single bore with 2-way traffic.
Irene talks her way through a police blockade at the bridge and as they drive into the city they are seen here turning from Lincoln Blvd into Long Avenue in the Presidio.  Crissy field is ahead, an Army airfield in the Marina district from 1921 to 1936 .
Then ...
... and Now,   the red-roofed building in the foreground is still there.

Dark Passage - Irene's Apartment

    They arrive at Irene's apartment house at 1360 Montgomery Street, Telegraph Hill.  The mid-1930s art deco Malloch house caused much controversy when it was built due to its (for those days) large size.  Irene's apartment is No. 10 on the 3rd floor.
Then ...  the house sits at the top of the lower section of the Filbert steps.  Union Street is at the top of the hill, past the narrow Alta Street on the left.
... and Now,  This sgrafitto ornamented Streamline Moderne building has hardly changed in over 70 years, in fact it looks even better now
The front of the Malloch house features etched windows and an unusual glass-bricked elevator.  Below is a night view of the elevator shown later in the movie compared to how it looks today.
   Then ...                                                      ... and Now
Then ...  The building has been meticulously maintained and still retains its original art deco accoutrements and design elements, such as in the entrance foyer (below).
  Then ...    And as Irene leads Parry from the elevator to her 3rd floor apartment, we see the etched glass windows and staircase railings were the same then as they are now.
... and Now ,  even the elevator call button is the original.  That's 70 + years! 
    Below, the current dweller in Irene's apartment has obviously seen Dark Passage - there's a Bogart cutout displayed in the window
  Here's a closer look at it.

Dark Passage - Irene's Patio

  Irene and Parry, bandaged from his facial surgery, have a cosy dinner in her apartment on a rainy night.  This view is taken from her patio (but it was filmed on a studio set).
Then ...
... and Now,  the real patio at the back of apartment 10, 1360 Mongomery.  Note the original art deco railing with it's integral plant-pot holders, and look here to see where this detail was recreated on the studio interior set.
Below, the camera swings out from the patio to reveal a view of some cottages, one of them with a distinctive scalloped gable, obviously a background photograph used in the studio to set the location.
Then ...
This is not the actual view from the apartment patio, which faces east.  So, where was this photo taken?  Finding it was fun and fell into place when I came across this undated archival photograph (below) of two cottages on the steep Filbert steps, No. 228 (on the left) and No. 226 Filbert.  These are the same cottages!
But wait a minute, the slope is wrong and doesn't match the movie view...  but, hang on, if the photo is reversed (below), we have a match!  Compare it to the movie view two pictures above.
  OK, we've figured that out, but where was the movie photograph taken from?  It turns out it was taken, facing north looking across the Filbert Steps, from a rear balcony of 40 Alta Street, a cul-de-sac close to 1360 Montgomery.  That photo was then reversed and used in the movie.  Below is a recent photo as close as I could get (a little higher up, on apartment 3's balcony) - and its reversed version.  Comparing with the movie view above, the scalloped gable is still there and the house behind with the green roof can also be seen.

... and Now,   from the balcony of Apt 3, 40 Alta St                The same image reversed

Dark Passage - Irene's Apartment Views

View From The Living Ro om -    In the movie, the exterior view across the patio is a photo background used on the studio soundstage to set the location.  In the real apartment at 1360 Montgomery  that view would look east across the Bay towards Yerba Buena Island but close examination of the movie view reveals that, although similar, it's different.  Finding the explanation was a challenge, and here it is ...
Then ...
  Below is a recent photo taken from the end of Alta Street, a cul-de-sac close to Irene's 1360 Montgomery Street apartment, looking not east, but north across the Bay to Angel Island.  This doesn't match the movie view above either but ...
... if this view is reversed (below), we have a match!  The comtours of Angel Island  match perfectly as does the multi-story white building, now with added new structures on either side.  So, the director had a photo taken from Alta and reversed it for use in the studio set.  Why not use the real view?  
View From The Bedroom  This view looks out across Montgomery to where the upper Filbert Steps begin.
Then ...
... and Now,  the building just visible on the left is a private residence now but in 1947 it housed the Shadows Restaurant, a favorite of Bogart and Bacall during filming.
View From The Front Door -  And finally, Irene's view through the apartment's front door peephole when she hears the doorbell shows, behind the visitor,  the 3rd floor hallway and the stairs leading up to the top floor.
Then ...
... and Now, exactly the same.

Dark Passage - George's House

  Parry takes a cab to the only friend he has in town - a musician, George Fellsinger (Rory Mallinson) - hoping to stay with him for a short while.  The cab drives through downtown and is seen in the composited capture below as it makes a turn at a bustling intersection bejewelled with neon signs.
Then ...  The cab is turning from Kearny Street into Geary where they meet at Market Street. Granvilles Jewellers is at 2 Geary on the corner and next to it is Pastine's Liquors at 15 Kearny and the Lighthouse Coffee Shop is next again at 17 Kearny.  The F. Corelli Grill is next to the Lighthouse.
 ... and Now,  the neon signs are gone.  it would seem that downtown was a far busier place back then.  To quote L.P. Hartley ...  "The past is a foreign place, they do things differently there".
 The cab drops him off at George's house at the end of a short cul-de-sac, Florence Street, off Vallejo on Russian Hill.
Then ...  the house is One Florence, the one story wooden structure at the end on the right.  Note the two highrise apartment  buildings on the horizon and the single tower to their left, part of the partially constructed Grace Cathedral.
... and Now,  below, a three story apartment building now sits at the One Florence site.  The highrise apartments are still there, 1250 Jones (the tallest) and 1360 Jones, now surrounded by others.
... and Now,  a better view, from a balcony of One Florence, which also shows the completed Grace Cathedral.
 George agrees to let Parry stay and gives him a spare key.  Parry leaves to have plastic surgery to change his facial features but when he returns he finds somebody has killed George by whacking the poor guy with, of all things, his trumpet.  The irony - he lived by it, he died by it.

Dark Passage - Plastic Surgeon

  Parry has decided to undergo plastic surgery to drastically alter his appearance.  That way he improves his chances of avoiding arrest while seeking out the real killer of his wife.  He befriends a cab driver who just happens to know an off-register surgeon.
  The surgeon's address is not precisely defined in the movie - the address mentioned, 21 Plum Alley, is fictitious.  However, it can be inferred from the street scene below where Parry is hanging around outside the surgeon's address waiting for the appointed time.  A passerby walks up a hill which is so steep that the sidewalk is a staircase.
Then ...  This is the corner of Kearny looking down from Vallejo to Broadway.  The first vertical neon sign down the road on the left corner at Broadway belongs to the popular Vanessi's Restaurant, at that site since 1936.
. and Now, there is remarkably little change, but Vanessi's moved to Nob Hill in 1986 and eventually closed down in 1997.

  The surgeon, Dr. Walter Coley (Houseley Stevenson, in a wonderful cameo) and the cabbie (Tom D'Andrea) are ready and waiting for him when he enters the house - cash changes hands and he goes under the knife.

Dark Passage - The Steps

  After Parry's plastic surgery he returned to stay at his friend George's house only to find him murdered.  Desperate and with no other option he goes to Irene's Telegraph Hill apartment,  taking a route that leads up a series of steep steps - the lower Filbert Steps that climb from Sansome to Montgomery.
Then ...  He is heckled as he climbs the steps
... and Now,  the wooden steps on this section have since been upgraded to concrete and metal.
Then ...  He continues the climb and is seen below passing two old cottages, 228 (on the right) and 230 Filbert.  No. 228 dates back to 1882 and is one of the surviving architectural gems of early Telegraph Hill.
... and Now
... on the set ...  Below on the left is an archival photo of 228 Filbert showing its ground floor level and balcony.  On the right is a photo taken while filming this scene outside the cottage.

 Another view of No. 228 was seen earlier in the movie from Irene's patio.

Then ...  Parry then stumbles up the final flight to Montgomery Street and Irene's apartment.

... and Now,  this flight of steps is still exactly as it was ...  OK, so there's a handrail and a little more moss now.

Dark Passage - Harry's Wagon

  After Parry recovers from his plastic surgery in Irene's apartment, she removes his bandages and gets to see his new (Bogart's) face.  But he doesn't want to put her at risk and decides it's best to get out of her life.  He calls for a cab and tells the driver "Post and Fillmore" - the cab drops him off at Harry's Wagon, a rail-car diner sandwiched between two buildings.
Then ...   These converted railway cars were popular at that time. 
... from the 1947 street directory ...  the entry below confirms that Harry's Wagon was indeed a real diner at 1921 Post Street.
.. and Now,  Sohn's French Cleaners occupies the setback building on the site of the old diner, re-addressed as 1919 Post Street.
A suspicious detective apprehends Parry in the diner but he gives him the slip and takes off (below).

Dark Passage - Kean Hotel

  In the Fillmore, Parry eludes the law and runs into an alley opposite Harry's Wagon (below) ... but when he emerges from the alley he has been transported to skid row on Mission Street, South of Market, miles across town!  Note the parking rate in 1947 - 25 cents!

Then ...  He turns right from the alley and checks into the Kean Hotel right next door.
... and Now,  the Kean is still there, now a residential hotel, at 1018 Mission between 6th and 7th Streets.  This part of town is still a throwback to mid-century days.
Then ...  Parry is shown below opening his hotel window (left window on second row, below the top row of windows), but the camera that took this shot was actually on the roof of the Kean Hotel filming the windows of the Mission Street building next to it.  Beyond the rooftops the view looks across 6th Street.
... and Now,  CitySleuth was able to get the same shot from the same spot.  None of the nearby buildings have changed, only the Financial District high-rises in the distance.

  Baker, the man who had given Parry a ride after his escape from prison, shows up at the hotel and pulls a gun on Parry, demanding they go to Irene's place to blackmail her.
Then ...  Parry is forced to drive Baker's car.  Below, they are leaving from the parking alley alongside the Kean hotel - the cross street at the end of the alley is Jessie.
... and Now,  exactly as it used to be.  The hotel wall is at near left and the unpainted brick wall down the alley on the right is the same wall pictured above.

Then ...  Continuing on, they are now a half block south of Mission turning from Natoma Street into Russ Street.  The skyscraper in the distance is the 1925 Pacific Telephone building at 140 New Montgomery Street.

... and Now,  the de Vera corner store occupies the site of 1947's La Esperanza.  The Pacific Telephone building, most recently the Pac Bell building but vacant since 2007, can still be seen down the street beyond the premier office building now sitting astride Natoma at 155 5th Street.

Dark Passage - Through the Presidio to the Bridge

  Baker forces Parry at gunpoint to drive to Irene's place on Telegraph Hill to confront her.  Instead, Parry drives through the Presidio and heads for an isolated spot under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Baker, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, doesn't seem to notice ...
Then ...  They pass under the Doyle Drive section of Highway 101 as they drive along Crissy Field Avenue.  Is that a chimney stack behind them?
... and Now
Then ...  Next they turn from Long Avenue into Marine Drive about to head up the hill to Lincoln Boulevard.
... and Now ,  the double-gabled building is still there.  
Then ...  Here they have turned onto Lincoln Boulevard and are approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.  This is the same spot where Irene drove by earlier on her way to her apartment.

... and Now
Then ...  Finally Parry turns onto a service road alongside the bridge.

... and Now ,  the recent bridge view shows the service road running alongside the bridge to a bluff overlooking Fort Point.

   They stop at that rocky bluff and Parry manages to grab the gun.  The classic shot, below, with the young Golden Gate Bridge (only 11 years old at that time) as backdrop anticipated by a decade Alfred Hitchcock's use of the same location in 'Vertigo'.

Then ...  A struggle ensues and Parry holds himself back as Baker falls over the edge to his demise.

... on location ...  Camera crew and onlookers posed for this impromptu snapshot atop the bluff where Parry and Baker had their climactic struggle.

Dark Passage - Madge's Apartment

  It's fascinating to see how the director filmed Madge's apartment house.  CitySleuth deduced that two different buildings on Russian Hill, several blocks apart, were used then seamlessly edited to appear as one.  Studio and location footage were intermixed and one of the scenes incorporated two concurrently running background projections.
  Based on a comment from Baker during their confrontation on the bluff, Parry suspects his jealous ex-girlfriend Madge Rapf (Agnes Morehead), who had testified against him in his wife's murder trial, was his friend George's killer.  He confronts her in her apartment where she flies into a rage and also admits she was the one who killed his wife for taking Parry away from her.  Parry was innocent after all.
Then ...  In her confused state she stumbles against the drape and falls to her death out of the apartment window.  As the stunned Parry watches her fall (below) we see the view from the window.  This was filmed from the penthouse suite of 1090 Chestnut Street, a 1927 co-op building on the corner of Chestnut and Larkin, and used as a backdrop during this studio scene.  The view is to the north - in the distance are Alcatraz and Angel Island and to Parry's right are the Cannery and Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf.
... and Now,  CitySleuth was able to gain entry to bring you the identical view from the same penthouse.
Then ...   This footage of the falling Madge was filmed from the roof of 1090 Chestnut.  Directorial artistic license prevails because the window she falls through (above) faces Bay Street to the north but here we see her falling down the west side of the building to Larkin Street.
... and Now,  the view today from the same rooftop vantage point.

  The juxtaposition below matches up the falling body to the west side of 1090 Chestnut.  The screaming witness was leaning out of the lobby window.
         Then ...                                                                  ... and Now

Then ...   Parry, fearful he will be accused of Madge's death, bolts to the roof of the same building, 1090 Chestnut, oblivious of the glorious view east to Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill

... and Now,  the view today, regrettably, is obscured by the ugly 1080 Chestnut, built directly against the side of this building in 1962.  No matter, it seems, that the architectural styles of the two buildings are as different as chalk and cheese.

Then ...  The next shot of Parry starting to climb down the fire escape is very cleverly done, filmed in the studio with a projected background to simulate the location.  The view looks north from the same roof down to Bay Street.  But check out the scene through the escape ladder opening - close inspection reveals that this street and these houses are the same ones as those above them on Bay Street!  In the movie the cars on these streets were moving out of sync, so two concurrently-running projected images from the same footage must have been used for the background.   That's a lot of work for just seconds of action but quite brilliant.

... and Now,  the same view of Bay Street.   Hyde Street crosses on the right.  Most of these houses are just as they were.
Then ...   He continues down the fire escape, but this is a different building, the Tamalpais Building at 1201 Greenwich Street, a few blocks away on the corner of Hyde!

... and Now,  This is the Hyde street side of the Tamalpais. 

Then ...   In this shot we fortuitously get to see both of the buildings used to represent Madge's apartment.  Filmed from across Hyde Street, Parry is climbing down 1201 Greenwich on the left and in the distance on the right is 1390 Chestnut.  What good fortune!  Sausalito and Mount Tamalpais are across the bay - note also that reservoir ...

... and Now,  see what I mean about ugly?  Just look (below) at the newer building glued like an unwanted appendage to the classy 1390 Chestnut.  The Alice Marble tennis courts at George Sterling Park have been built on top of the reservoir, still there and in use, just safely hidden.

Then ...    Finally, Parry jumps down to Hyde Street.  He pauses in the middle of the road before completing his escape on a passing cable car.  The quintessential San Francisco view behind him leads the eye east down Greenwich then up again to Telegraph Hill.

... and Now