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Monday, November 25, 2013

Mrs. Doubtfire Turns 20: Remembering Our Favorite Nanny

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

click to enlarge doubtfire.jpg

That's right, America's favorite nanny (no disrespect, Mary Poppins) has been warming hearts for twenty years. Originally released on November 24, 1993, Mrs. Doubtfire is an iconic Robin Williams comedy about a divorced father dressing up in elderly drag to spend time with his kids. The film was set and shot in San Francisco -- our favorite star in the movie. And you thought the best part of this movie was Sally Field. Or Pierce Brosnan at the pool. Or a pubescent Matthew Lawrence.

To celebrate this movie milestone, here are a few fun facts about Mrs. Doubtfire:

• The Hillard house is located on Broadway and Steiner, in the center of Pacific Heights. Located on the east side of the 2600 block of Steiner, it's considered a Victorian Painted Lady although it's not colorful like those bordering Alamo Square Park. (It still looks very similar to when it was portrayed in the film.) The interior scenes were shot in a Bay Area warehouse-turned-soundstage. (Who could forget the scene where Miranda, played by Field, enunciates, "2640 Steiner Street," the first time she speaks to Mrs. Doubtfire?)

• Daniel Hillard, portrayed by Williams, lived at 516 Green Street in North Beach, right above Danilo Bakery -- which is now an Italian restaurant, Caffe Baonecci. Maybe that's where Daniel got the cake that substituted as Mrs. Doubtfire's face during the court liaison's visit? She was melting like a snow cone in Phoenix!

• Bridges Restaurant & Bar, where the identity of Mrs. Doubtfire is revealed during the film's climax, is actually in Danville. With so many great places to eat in S.F, we're disappointed that Miranda's favorite restaurant is a bridge away. Hey, now we get it!

• In fact, several scenes were shot in the East Bay. The KTVU television station where Daniel works is actually in Jack London Square, and the pool scene was shot at the Claremont Hotel and Resort. We'd definitely make the trek to see Pierce Brosnan dive off the high board in swim shorts.

• Mrs. Doubtfire takes the 22 Fillmore bus line. She's a champ for braving the Muni after work, and gets hit on by a creepy bus driver. Twice.

• The scene with Mrs. Doubtfire and Kovacs the monkey was meant to be an episode of Buster and Me, which ran for 25 years in S.F. on KRON-TV until 1987.

• The children went to school at 940 Filbert at Taylor, although it was not an elementary school; it was filmed at the City College of S.F.'s Chinatown campus.

•There are great views of our city throughout the movie, especially during the "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" montage. Highlights of our City include:

• The opening scene of Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower

• The children bike-riding in the Presidio, with the Golden Gate Bridge clearly visible

• The attempted mugging of Mrs. Doubtfire at Broadway and Columbus with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background

• Miranda's Embarcadero office view of the (old) Bay Bridge

• Christopher and Mrs. Doubtfire playing soccer at the Richmond Marina

• The panoramic view of the entire city from Daniel's brother's apartment in Chinatown

• Mrs. Doubtfire riding the Hyde Street cable car over a hill with the bay in the background

From the city of San Francisco, happy 20th birthday, Mrs. Doubtfire. It's a shame to have to wait another year till you can drink, when you've already got hot flashes, dentures and a vacuum cleaner that doubles as a cane.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, Alyssa at @alyssajaffer, and like us on Facebook.

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Alyssa Jaffer

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