Most of the drama is played out in a single, map-lined room. The film was shot in the home of the author of the book from which it is adapted, and I assume these maps are his. They are used in the film as significant décor, often as a backdrop to the dramatic attitudes assumed by the German officer billeted in this French home:
The maps also set off poses adopted by the old man and young woman who live in the house:
To my shame I can identify none of the places represented on these maps, except for those on the globe and the planisphere of the heavens.
A few other maps feature in the film, such as this curious (hand-drawn?) map of the Red Sea area:
The map is in reverse because it is filmed from below and behind, as the old man folds it back into the book he is reading.
In the kitchen of the house we see a part of a map if Paris on the wall, and in his room the German officer examines a book about Paris with a map of the Ile de la Cité on the cover:
There is also a map of Europe on the banner of the Petit Parisien newspaper that he has in his room:
The only other maps are at the mairie of Villiers-sur-Morin, where the German officer works. One probably represents the area of jurisdiction, the other shows the outline of the British Isles on a propaganda poster:
Each of these, curiously, is reframed and reversed by being seen in a mirror:
A still of this last image is used in Jean-Louis Roy's 1967 film L'Inconnu de Shandigor, where it evokes the Nazi past of a character played by Howard Vernon:
In situating 'Pimlico Square', Dickinson's film takes great trouble to redraw the map of Pimlico, placing ithe fictional square between real streets and squares. On the map below, from 1939, Pimlico Square would be just above the 'GE' of Cambridge Street. The second map below shows a church where the redrawn map has a church, though in reality it is called Saint Gabriel's, not Saint Mary's.
'Thornton Square' in Cukor's film is equally fictional, though this less localised production is not so concerned with situating the locale on a real map. The corresponding map scene has the investigator making his deductions with a hand-drawn map:
Both map scenes have in the background a map on the wall:
A plot premise of House of Bamboo is the cooperation of Tokyo police and U.S. military in the investigation of a crime. The offices of each set of investigators are returned to regularly in the film, and each space has its own maps of the Tokyo area:
Parallels are drawn with the criminals responsible, who are shown planning a robbery with military meticulousness and maps (the gang is made up of former U.S. servicemen):
Later, the same criminals are ahown planning a further robbery in the Ginza district by means of this improvised map:
This plan is transcribed by an undercover police agent, and his hand-drawn map is passed to the U.S. military investigators:
The film's famous climax at a rooftop amusement park overlooking Tokyo features a turning globe as attraction, combining overt cartographic symbolism with intertextual echoes of The Third Man and White Heat ('Top of of the world, Ma'):
Another noir with a hand-drawn map. This time the whole plot turns around the map and the treasure to which it leads (see plot summary below).
Arthur Lyons, Death On the Cheap: the Lost B-Movies of Film Noir (Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press, 2000), pp. 87-88.
Investigating this late noir by an early French master of the mode, I came across not only the staircase and striptease artiste I had been looking for (in relation to other, ongoing, research projects) but also this fine moment to add to an earlier post (see here) of hand-drawn maps:
The film also satisfies the interests of the Cine-Tourist's fellow Autopsies Group members in such diverse objects as jukeboxes, radios, cameras, cars and typewriters:
Here, if you're interested, are the stripper and staircase I was looking for: