29 Russell Street.
|Joan Crawford lives
in blissful ignorance with new love Jack Palance at 2800
Scott Street in the 1952 nail biting noir thriller Sudden Fear.
Joan is a playwright and heiress who meets actor Palance on a train from
New York to San Francisco. Everything seems to be going Joan's way until
she discovers Jack is trying to bump her off. High strung Joan decides to
outsmart him, if she doesn't freak out first. Directed by David Miller.
Crawford was observed by Jack Kerouac,
who was strolling on Russian Hill one night and came upon Crawford and a
film crew shooting scenes at the Tamalpais Building, 1201
Greenwich at Hyde. (Kerouac was living
in the attic study of Neal and Carolyn
Cassady's place at 29 Russell Street, an alley off Hyde, a few blocks from
the Sudden Fear location.) In "Visions of Cody," Kerouac writes of
"Joan Rawshanks in the Fog." Through Kerouac's lens, the actress is contemptible.
She can "muster up a falsehood for money" before a thousand eyes. The writer
also lays open his own role as willing spectator. Kerouac observes, "I had
never imagined [a camera crew] going through these great Alexandrian strategies
just for the sake of photographing Joan Rawshanks fumbling with her keys
at a goggyfoddy door while all traffic halts in real world life only half
a block away and everything waits on a whistle blown by a hysterical fool
in uniform who suddenly decided the importance of what's going on by some
convulsive phenomena in the lower regions of his twitching hips, all manifesting
itself in a sudden freezing grimace of idiotic wonder just exactly like
the look of the favorite ninny in every B-movie you and I and Cody ever
about Sudden Fear