Sausalito has long been famous around the world for its stunning views, artistic community and a reputation for being “the other part” of the San Francisco Bay Area. This famed presence and picturesque views make it perfect for settings in some of the most famous movies, television series, and literary fictional pieces known in American art and entertainment and help Sausalito’s mystique and unique personality live on and grow.
Often the inspiration for visual art forms such as paintings, movie and photographic shots, Sausalito also has had a way of infecting those who have visited or lived in the bayside community and sometimes finds its way into their works of fiction as a setting, plot device, or even as a catalyst for the heroes’ stories or transformations.
Famous Fictional Representations of Sausalito
The Sea-Wolf, Jack London – A name heard frequently around Sausalito, the North Bay Area, and San Francisco in general, Jack London is thought to have stayed in Sausalito for a time while writing The Sea-Wolf. The novel depicts travels on a ferryboat heading between San Francisco and Sausalito during a bygone maritime era.
Mother, Albert Brooks – This 1996 film is set in the city of Sausalito and viewers can see shots that are clearly recognizable throughout the story.
The Wrecker, Robert Louis Stevenson – The 1892 novel written by the San Francisco Bay Area legend Stevenson (and Co-Written by Lloyd Osborn) is set against the backdrop of Sausalito.
Play it Again Sam – This 1972 movie featuring Hollywood legends Woody Allen and Tony Roberts used the city of Sausalito for many of its shots. Prominently featured in the movie are the iconic Sausalito locales of the Trident and Spinnaker as well as the ferryboat Berkeley.
Lady from Shanghai, Orson Welles – This 1947 classic film was shot on the waterfront in Sausalito and features many landmarks and views that will be instantly recognizable to locals and visitors alike.
On the Road, Jack Kerouac – Sausalito is mentioned in a slightly joking and derogatory way in Jack Kerouac’s seminal masterpiece.
Funny People, Judd Apatow – The 2009 comedy features Sausalito prominently during the last third of the movie and features stars Leslie Mann and Eric Bana’s characters returning to live there.
MASH, character from Sausalito – One of the most beloved characters on the long running war comedy/drama series, BJ Hunnicutt, supposedly completed his medical residency in Sausalito, and frequently mentioned the city and neighboring Mill Valley throughout the course of the show.
Note: The City of Sausalito maintains a firm commitment to the arts as a part of its culture and is one of the more encouraging and likely to partner with artists of varying types. If you are looking for special dispensation for filming or production, contact the city government offices and seek proper permissions and/or permits to help make your project simpler and ensure that you are following legal boundaries.