Written by Colin Higgins and directed by Hal Ashby (who also directed Being There, another of my favorites), Harold and Maude was filmed in the Bay Area in 1971. I live in San Francisco, and after several years (and help from lots of people) I've learned the location of most of the locations where the movie was filmed.
Bay Area Location
Chasen Family Mansion
The Rose Court
Mansion in Hillsborough. The entrance to the house is on a small cul-de-sac
called Stacey Court, near the corner of Eucalyptus Road and Reddington Road
in Hillsborough. The house is the former George T. Cameron estate, and most
of the interior scenes were filmed in the music room and library of the house.
The butler in the film (Henry Dieckoff) was the actual butler
of the house -- the original script called for him to drop the
lemonade tray after "Sunshine" does her Juliet imitation, but the butler
thought it unbutler-like, and so Vivian Pickles had to do it!
(with the yellow umbrella, remember?)
Holy Cross Cemetery
on Old Mision Road in Colma. Click here
for rare photos of the actual filming of this scene in the movie that shows
Hal Ashby (in the first photo, the one in the center with the beard directing
the scene where the priest meets Maude for the second time (thanks to John
Clark, who owns the copyright on this one and spent lots of time on site
watching the filming of the movie). The scenes from the movie are located
to the left of the main drive as you enter through the front gate. Holy Cross
Cemetery is located at 1500 Old Mission Road in Colma. Many California notables
are buried here, including Joe Dimaggio!
St. Thomas Aquinas
Church at the corner of Waverly and Homer (745 Waverly) in Palo Alto. For
Palo Alto history buffs, this is also the oldest (1902) church in Palo Alto.
Bring some licorice for your visit. The marching band outside the church
was the Sunnyvale (CA) high school marching band. Directions: take Highway
101 south from San Francisco, and take the Willow Road exit in Menlo Park.
Merge onto Willow Road, and after about a mile, take a left onto Middlefield
Road, then right onto University, and finally left onto Waverly.
(railroad car) home
Boulevard near the intersection of Eccles in the City of South San Francisco,
CA. Walk approximately 75 - 100 feet from this corner towards the bay and
you'll be at the spot. This area has been developed significantly, and doesn't
much resemble the scene from the film.
Located in Brisbane,
CA on the site of the former Southern Pacific Railroad Bayshore Yard. The
site is on private property.
Probably the south side of Sneath Lane in San Bruno, CA -- which used to be
lined with commercial greenhouses. They were directly across
the street from the Golden Gate National Cemetery, where the white cross cemetery scene was filmed. (Thanks to David Gallagher for this tip.) It's definitely NOT the Conservatory
in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, as surmised in another web site.
San Carlos Auto
Wreckers lot (the site of which is now occupied by office buildings), located
south of the San Carlos Airport control tower
cemetery (picnic site among the white crosses)
National Cemetery in San Bruno -- can be seen from Highway 280 (take Sneath
Avenue exit off of Highway 280; go to 1300 Sneath Lane).
Sand Hill Road
in Menlo Park, CA. Head south on highway 280 from San Francisco, and take
the Sand Hill Road exit - head west approximately 1 mile. If you look to
the left as you're driving, you should be able to see Stanford University's
linear accelerator on the left.
scene (Maude rescues a street tree)
The San Mateo
County Hall of Justice on Marshall Street between Hamilton and Winslow, in
downtown Redwood City, CA. Directions: Take Highway 101 south from San Francisco,
and take the Whipple Ave/Redwood City exit. Merge onto Veterans Boulevard,
after about .7 miles, turn right onto Jefferson Ave, and then a left onto
with Motorcycle Cop
of the old Dumbarton Bridge (toll booth is since torn down). The Dumbarton
Bridge connects East Palo Alto to Union City. The bridge seen in the film
was entirely replaced with a new bridge in 1983.
by the Bay
of Highway 80 in Emeryville in the East Bay, near the Ashby Ave Exit, between
the Ashby exit and the Powell St. exit.
the limo with Uncle Victor
Sutro Park in
San Francisco -- above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. Directions: take Geary
Boulevard in San Francisco and follow it west until you can't go any further
(don't vear right onto Point Lobos Ave) -- you'll run right into Sutro Park.
for Peace! Uncle Victor is conned into abandoning Harold's military career.
Sutro Bath ruins
in San Francisco. If you look carefully, you can see where they've cemented
over the hole in the cement that Maude falls through. Directions: take
Geary Boulevard in San Francisco and follow it west, at 40th Avenue vear
slightly right onto Point Lobos Ave. You should see the ruins in front of
you before long, near the ocean.
throws Harold's gift into the water.
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
-- at 400 Beach Street in Santa Cruz. Thee machine Harold used to stamp out
the coin that read: "Harold Loves Maude" is still at the boardwalk at last
in Burlingame. (During the filming of the scene with the Motorcycle cop,
one of the stunt boys went over the railing near the old Dumbarton bridge,
and ended up there.)
Scene -- Harold drives to the ocean and demonstrates his understanding...
Highway 280, then is seen on Highway 92 (near The House of Doors), then to
Pescadero Road, where he swerves onto Highway 1 and heads north. The spot
where the car goes off the cliff is in Pacifica, near Mori Point. Go to
the Moose Lodge in Pacifica, and in back of the lodge, towards the ocean
you'll see a road/trail with a metal fence blocking the road. Walk around
the fence, follow the road almost to the end (about a half-mile walk) until
you see a dirt road/path heading up the hill to left (be sure to turn before
you get to the beige house set among the Cypress trees). Follow the dirt
path up to the top of the hill, where you'll emerge into a flat dirt clearing.
Follow the path hugs the coast, past a blockhouse with "Manuel" and Anna"
scrawled on the side. Eventually you'll come to a spot where the path suddenly
heads up a very steep hill, slightly to the left. Follow the path up the
hill, and then walk towards the water -- you're there! No, the car is no
Here's an email I received recently (12/06) from a reader who visited some of the sites: "Thanks for your site. Because of it, I was able to indulge two of my favorite interests on a vacation last week. I was in the Bay Area to see three shows by my favorite musician, Richard Thompson, and I took along the list of Harold and Maude filming locations with the aim of doing a mini-tour. Although I wasn't able to find time to look for most of them, I got to a couple of the sites. The Santa Cruz boardwalk was largely closed when I showed up there last Tuesday afternoon at about 3. I was able to get into one of the large buildings and immediately started prowling for the coin-stamp machine. Near the entrance marked "Neptune's Playground" I found a "Metal-Typer" machine that looks like the one in the film--certainly it's about the same vintage. The paint job might be different; I'm not sure. I have a photo I can send you if you want. My "Harold Loves Maude" coin cost me $1 (four tokens). I went to the Sutro Baths a couple days later, but I was unable to recognize any specific filming locations, and my photos didn't turn out too well. There's some construction going on there; it's kind of confusing. Furthermore, I interrupted a tryst, so my trip was hasty. But it's a beautiful place. I drove along 880 a few times on my way into San Francisco from Berkeley, and I saw vistas that reminded me a lot of the mudflats. I didn't have a good place to pull over near the aptly named Ashby Avenue exit, though. And when I drove to Santa Cruz, I was looking for a place to dip my foot in the Pacific, and I settled, for a variety of random reasons, on Pescadero Beach. Which amuses me now, because this site http://www.filminamerica.com/Movies/HaroldAndMaude/ says that near here is where Harold's car swerves on the way to the cliff. Next time, I'm definitely doing the Pacifica cliff and the cemeteries and church. And right now, I'm going to rewatch the film. I saw it first-run--I must have been 10--and it made quite an impact on me." Pam (from Maryland)
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