PCC Streetcar Makes a Cameo in Harvey Milk Movie
September 7, 2008
The much anticipated movie about Harvey Milk, shot on location in San Francisco, is coming up on its Thanksgiving Day release, and a long trailer is now available. F-line PCC No. 1051 appears as an extra. That's the car in the simplified Muni green and cream livery, appropriate for the 1978 period of the movie (though you would have been hard pressed to find any PCCs that shiny by that point). And if you pause the clip at the right spot, you'll see a flash frame of the car's roll sign: "F-Market/Castro". Oops! The current roll signs have the Twin Peaks lines on there. They could've made it a K, L, or M which would've been accurate. Unfortunate, because the clip makes it look to this observer -- who knew all the principals of that tragedy pretty well, and lived in the neighborhood at the time -- that the filmmaker tried hard to get the details right.
Oh, you'll also notice something else in the clip. The front pole of the car is up. But unlike one of the great streetcar goofs in movieland -- the operation of Pacific Electric sreetcars with both poles up in Who Framed Roger Rabbit -- the flash frame in the clip gives the impression that No. 1051 was actually backing up to let a crowd through.
Beyond the Hollywood hype is the reality that Harvey Milk was the strongest public transit advocate on the Board of Supervisors in his day, and rode Muni streetcars to work at City Hall every day. The next Museums in Motion in-car display we create is going to remind F-line riders of Harvey's transit advocacy. We've been looking hard for any photos of Harvey riding Muni or with streetcars in the picture. If you know where we can find one, please let us know. Thanks.