Scene in SF

5 Films in Which Our City Shines

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If SF were a leading lady, she’d be as pretty as Olivia Wilde, melodramatic enough to cry on cue, and would most certainly demand a pimped-out trailer.

Here, we pick a few of our all-time favorite films starring the City by the Bay. Rent ’em to see why SF is always red-carpet ready.

This movie has a first name; it’s O-S-C-A-R. Or rather, that’s what Sean Penn earned when he portrayed gay activist Harvey Milk in the rally cry for equal rights. Follow the uber-talented supporting cast (Franco, Hirsch, Brolin) through the Castro in the ’70s, a.k.a. a pretty entertaining place to be.

The Sweetest Thing
Not your typical rom com, and that’s why we love it. Christina Walters (Cameron Diaz), Courtney Rockcliffe (Christina Applegate), and Jane Burns (Selma Blair) navigate the dating scene with no shortage of douchey innuendos, sexual mishaps, and elusive true love (it can happen here). The flick’s girly-plus-gross factor is truly its sweetest asset.

HPOA alert: Steve McQueen tears up the streets as wild-driving, Jacqueline Bisset-wooing, can’t-catch-a-break-with-the-boss detective Frank Bullitt. Hop in and prepare yourself for an epic, high-flying ride around town from the perspective of a ’68 Mustang that changed the course of car-chase scenes forever.

A psychological thriller about a detective plagued by a crippling case of (wait for it) vertigo has the incomparable Jimmy Stewart wrapped up in a mysterious case and a tenuous romance. The only thing more stunning than the scenery? Hitchcock’s typically gripping twists.

Harold and Maude
A cult classic, the dark comedy tells the story of an unlikely romance between suicidal Harold (Bud Cort) and 79-year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon). Their escapades throughout the Bay, the amazing ’70s wardrobe, and a sound track by Cat Stevens make this one a must-see.

Photo: Focus Features / Courtesy of Everett Collection