San Francisco in Cinema: Freebie and the Bean

Sydney Walton Square
If you can put this movie in its time (1974) and inoculate yourself against racist, misogynistic, homophobic dialogue and plot details, you might just enjoy Freebie and the Bean. James Caan and Alan Arkin are police detectives protecting a bad guy from worse guys. Wonderful San Francisco locations abound, though purists will note they're not represented realistically. A car goes into the Broadway Tunnel and comes out the Stockton Tunnel, for example. In some scenes, locations announced over the cops' radio are given made up, LA-ish names like "Wilshire Bowl," "North Orange," and "Broad Street and 53rd." All things considered, and because it predates "Beverly Hills Cop," as a testosterone comedy it's not bad. Remembered for its many, many car wrecks and for a scene near the end in which Caan riddles a transexual with bullets. Directed by Richard Rush, Freebie and the Bean also stars Valerie Harper, Loretta Swit, Alex Rocco, and Jack Kruschen.

525 Market Street (confrontation at rooftop construction site)
Broadway Tunnel
Candlestick Park
City Lights Bookstore
Embarcadero Freeway
Exchange Barbershop (shoot-out)
Hotel St. Moritz
Huntington Park
Hyatt Regency Elevator (shoot out)
Montgomery and Vallejo Streets (informant's 'hood)
Old Transamerica Building
Potrero Hill
Red Coach Motor Lodge (Valerie Harper trysting place) 
Stockton Tunnel
Sydney Walton Square (James Caan motorcycle mayhem) 
Transamerica Pyramid

More about Freebie and the Bean

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