Hilton San Francisco Financial District, 750 Kearny Street, San Francsico, CA 94108, USA
Watch Film Montage (via YouTube) >>>> DIRTY HARRY ON LOCATION (2) ROOFTOP SWIMMING POOL
There is something magical about the rooftop swimming pool in Dirty Harry. Only in the United States in a city like San Francisco would architects have the penchant for such extravagance.
We see the swimming pool at the very beginning of the film. A caucasian male with longish hair lurks on the roof of a skyscraper aiming a rifle. Meet the Scorpio Killer. Through his telescopic gunsight we are treated to a girl in a yellow swimsuit about to take a dip in a nearby swimming pool. She rises from a lounger, heads to the edge of the pool, steadies herself and dives in.
As the camera pans away and we realize the pool is actually located on the roof a high-rise building (hotel).
Moments later the rooftop prowler delivers the shot. The slug fizzes into the girl’s back, we hear a popping sound as bone shatters, she gasps, splutters, then floats to the bottom in a mist of crimson.
The very next scene we are introduced to Harold Francis “Dirty Harry” Callahan as he heads up the pool’s steps on his way to inspect the girl’s body. From here he peers up at the Bank of America Center at 555 California, which towers over the pool some four blocks to the south – the only feasible location for the shooter.
STATE OF PLAY TODAY:
Completed in 1971, the same year of the film’s release, the hotel was originally named the Holiday Inn Chinatown San Francisco. In 2006 it became the Hilton San Francisco Financial District following a $55 million renovation. It is located at 750 Kearny Street, a few blocks north of the former Bank of America Center (555 California) where Scorpio lurked.
The rooftop pool still exists today, but is apparently no longer in use. I requested permission to go up and see it but was flatly denied by the hotel’s head of security.
Despite repeated appeals along the cheap lines that I’d “travelled thousands of miles especially to see it”, this dribbling, jumped-up goon, obviously ex-military and tooled up with earpiece CIA-style, was so highly strung he couldn’t even say “no” politely or impart any reason why. Perspiring and bong-eyed, he just kept barking out curt refusals, spraying spittle the way an excited neanderthal would at a primeval meat fest.