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Wednesday May 22nd 2024

Raising Cain | 1992

Raising Cain location: Best Western Riviera Motel, El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Raising Cain location: the thunderous climax at the motel: Best Western Riviera Motel, El Camino Real, Menlo Park

Brian De Palma rehashes elements of Psycho once again, with a sadistic father plot borrowed from Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom. The resulting film stretches credulity rather too far to be involving, but John Lithgow is always good value for money, and a villain with multiple personalities provides plenty of fun.

Set in the fictitious California town of ‘Bay View’, the movie was shot in the area just south of San Francisco: Los Altos; Mountain View; Menlo Park; Palo Alto and Woodside, as well as in San Francisco itself.

The kids’ playground in ‘Camino Park’ where the movie opens and ends, is Shoup Park, off University Avenue south of Burke Road, just to the west of G5, the Foothill Expressway, in Los Altos. De Palma is notorious for quoting from other directors, mainly Hitchcock, of course, but the shock effect ending is – let's be generous – an homage to Dario Argento’s 1982 Tenebrae (aka Unsane).

The clock shop, where Jenny (Lolita Davidovitch) meets up with old flame Jack Dante (Steven Bauer), is in the vast sprawl of the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Also in Palo Alto is the hospital, where Dante’s wife expires on seeing him in a clinch with Jenny. It’s the Old Stanford’s Children’s Hospital, 520 Sand Hill Road, which is near to the Woodside home of Shirley Temple, that exhibits the ex-moppet’s Doll Collection in its lobby (admission free).

Raising Cain filming location: Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, San Francisco
Raising Cain location: Jenny's guilt-ridden dream: Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, San Francisco

Jenny’s guilt-ridden dream, where she is impaled on the sword of an equestrian statue, uses the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The art museum, based on the Palace of the Legion d’Honneur in Paris, can be found on Legion of Honor Drive in Lincoln Park. If you're a Hitchcock fan, you'll no doubt recognise the Palace from Vertigo.

Raising Cain location: Mountain View City Hall, Mountain View, California
Raising Cain location: ‘Bay View’ police station: Mountain View City Hall, Mountain View, California

The vast, post-modern ‘Bay View’ police station, where Dr Waldheim (Frances Sternhagen) gives a Psycho-esque explanation, and from which Lithgow escapes in drag, is the postmodern three-storey Mountain View City Hall, 500 Castro between Church and Mercy Streets.

The thunderous climax sees Lithgow-père hiding out with the stolen kiddies in the Best Western Riviera Motel, 15 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.