I have decided to knock my weekly writing updates from Saturday over to Monday, because it just feels right.
Monday: 1,061 words. Tuesday: 822 words. I also finished the outline for my Big Project. Doing this gave me a sense of accomplishment and a creative high. The major story and character beats have been worked out. Next up, writing the first draft. So exciting!
The rest of the week was taken by revising my short story Play and finishing the books I am reviewing for the November issue of the Diablo Gazette.
On Friday, Tanya and I drove out to the lovely Cavallo Point (aka the Lodge at the Golden Gate). She had a work retreat, which gave me a picturesque location to read, write, and relax.
Saturday I finished my review for the Diablo Gazette: 399 words.
Sunday I wrote this post: 865 words.
Because we were only a five minute walk from the Golden Gate bridge, I thought this weekend would be an excellent time for me to start Touring the Movies.
What is this? (You might be asking.) Touring the Movies will be me blogging about going to various locations where memorable or iconic scenes were filmed for movies I have enjoyed over the course of my life.
Today's movie: Magnum Force.
Being a child in the seventies, a teenager in the eighties, and having grown up living in the San Francisco Bay Area; the city of San Francisco was synonymous (for me, at least) with the hyper-violent adventures of one Inspector 71, "Dirty" Harry Callahan.
Sure, Bullit, The Towering Inferno, High Anxiety, the (first) remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Time After Time, Escape from Alcatraz, and countless other movies. But the Dirty Harry movies were my favorites, and Magnum Force was my favorite Dirty Harry movie (until The Dead Pool).
Yes, the first Dirty Harry is a hard-hitting classic of lean, mean tough guy cinema. Yes, Magnum Force is a conventional and even pedestrian sequel. One that suffers when compared to the artistry and energy on display in the first film. But I still love the hell out of it. Why? Because it was the first Dirty Harry movie I ever saw. It had an impact (a sudden impact, if you will) on me that no other Dirty Harry movie can, or has, had.
Now, on to the scene.
Around the midpoint of the film, a member of the Magnum Force (a group of traffic cops acting as judge, jury, and executioner to the criminal element plaguing San Francisco) pulls over a killer pimp (wonderfully played by late character actor, and Dirty Harry series regular, Albert Popwell) and shoots him dead... repeatedly.
He's heading north, toward Sausalito, when his assassin pulls him over for supposed traffic violation.
Instead he drives past the Vista Point exit and takes the one for Alexander Avenue.
For some equally strange reason (Movie Logic, again) our soon to be dead pimp drives down past Fort Baker and underneath the bridge itself. Thus giving the assassin a visually isolated location to do his dirty work.
What's difficult to impossible to tell from the stills I have posted, is how, thanks to the miracle of movie editing, the pimp takes an exit off the eastern (northbound) side of the bridge, only to drive down the winding road that is only accessible from the western (southbound) side.
I approached this location from Fort Baker, where the high end Cavallo Point resort is housed. This should have been the direction the soon to be dead pimp would have driven. Walking underneath the bridge, I regretted my spur of the moment decision. It would have been helpful to watch the scene/movie before taking my hike.
Here are the two pictures I took of the location.
Because I did not watch the Pimp's Assassination prior to our arrival at Cavallo Point, I could only eyeball the location from memory. I would have much preferred an attempt at recreating the scene's establishing shot. This is something I will attempt to do in future Touring the Movies posts.
My second (and last) photo of the location was taken a little further up the hill. While it does not have the scope of the scene's establishing shot, it is still easy to see that, even with the seismic upgrading currently going on, the location has not changed all that much from how it looked in 1973.
The only clip of the Pimp's Assassination I could find, unfortunately, does not feature very much, if any, of the scenic lead in to the big moment.
However, if you look through the pimp mobile's windows, as the assassin starts back up the incline. You will see the road I walked and took my photos from.
Open to the public, obviously.