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Saturday May 18th 2024

I Confess| 1953

I Confess filming location: Chateau Frontenac, Quebec
I Confess location: Chateau Frontenac, Quebec | Photograph: iStockphoto / Digital Apoptosis

When Alfred Hitchcock needed a deeply Catholic environment to make this story of a priest riddled with sexual guilt and bound by the rules of the confessional, he headed north to Canada, filming in French Québec, around the narrow streets of the old quarter.

The steep stairway, across the top of which Hitchcock walks in his trademark cameo appearance, is L'Escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps), built on the site of an original 17th-century stairway that linked the Upper and Lower Town in Vieux-Québec.

The politician husband of Ruth Grandfort (Anne Baxter) speechifies at Hôtel du Parlement à Québec, 1045 Rue Des Parliamentaire, which houses the National Assembly of Quebec There are guided tours of the building.

Ruth meets up with the tormented Father Logan (Montgomery Clift) on the Lévis Ferry, crossing the St Lawrence River from Lower Town (why do characters in films always meet furtively aboard ferries?).

After Logan’s inconclusive trial in the Halls of Justice, the real murderer hides out in the city’s magnificent landmark Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, 1 Rue des Carrières.

I Confess filming location: Église Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona, avenue François 1, Limoilou, Québec
I Confess location: Father Logan's church: Église Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona, avenue François 1, Limoilou, Québec | Photograph: Wikimedia / Judicieux

Father Logan’s church, ‘Sainte Marie’, is Église Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona 1400, avenue François 1, in Limoilou, a northern suburb of the city. Stadacona was the name of the native village which stood on the site Québec City now occupies.