Film Studies

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Film critics Dana Stevens of Slate and Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman join us each week in October to talk about films. This week: movies set in New York, from Michael Clayton to American Gangster. What's your all-time favorite New York movie?


Owen Gleiberman and Dana Stevens

Comments [131]

Alexis from Fort Green, Brooklyn

Arthur - the wittiest debauchorous millionaire ever with most brilliant straight man sidekick , Sir John Gielgud. A highly amusing commentary about social class, romance and adulthood.

And with keeping in the same letters and same year:
"Author! Author!". Endearing comedy about a play write (Pacino) and his eclectic assortment of kids and step kids living a creative and chaotic life in the Village.

Oct. 27 2007 12:13 AM
Tony from Hartford, Ct

Bad Lieutenant
The Professional
The Warriors
King Of New York
The Godfather Parts I & II
The Driller Killer
French Connection
Taxi Driver
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
9 1/2 Weeks
Carlito's Way
Do The Right Thing
Dog Day Afternoon
Sweet Smell of Success
The Naked City
Saturday Night Fever
Pickup On South Street
Escape From New York
American Psycho
New Jack City
Year of the Dragon
Panic In Needle park
Mean Streets
Soylent Green
Style Wars
Wild Style
Downtown 81
Bad Brains: Live at CBGB 1982
Summer Of Sam
Midnight Cowboy

Oct. 26 2007 04:29 PM
chestine from NY

How could I forget! Cigarettes and Romance - John Turturros's wonderful movie - everybody should go see it!!! he can't get a distributor even though it's a hit all over teh world and we in NY know where he is filming! (outer boroughs)

Oct. 26 2007 12:37 PM
Kenneth from Bed-Stuy-Brooklyn, NY

One of the most overlooked of gritty-70's New York films is Gordon Parks "Shaft" starring Richard Roundtree. It has great shots of Harlem, Times Square, and the West Village.(Every time I pass Cafe Reggio in the Village not only do I think of the film, but also of Issac Hayes instrumental track titled "Cafe Reggio" on the album)In fact, Shaft won an Oscar for best movie music score for Issac Hayes for Godsakes!

Oct. 25 2007 08:40 PM
ECB from Chicago

A Bronx Tale

Oct. 25 2007 08:32 PM
Hans from Brooklyn

SHAFT (Richard Roundtree) for the opening sequence through Times Square '72, and the scene at the No Name Bar.

Oct. 25 2007 07:12 PM
Adam from NJ

Got to be After Hours. Griffin Dunne losing himself in the quirky mayhem that is late night Gotham

Oct. 25 2007 06:40 PM
Ben from Queens

Caught your piece on best NY movies. There was mention of Scorcese, but again, no mention of one of the best depictions of NYC in the late '40's, early '50's: RAGING BULL.
I can think of no other film that provides as viceral an impression of the city during this time than this.
The depictions of Bronx tenement and street life, the Italian social club and Parish dance, the Bronx rooftop wedding reception (the only scene filmed in color): unforgettable.
I've heard and read many pieces on 'best NY films' over the years, but am amazed that this movie is almost never mentioned.
Maybe people can't get past the boxing.

Oct. 25 2007 06:38 PM
Michelle from BROOKLYN

Well, Sex & The City isn't out yet-but if it's anything like the show it will definitely be my favorite!

Oct. 25 2007 05:20 PM
vindercity from Towaco, NJ

I agree...any Woody Allen and When Harry... :)
Great display of the city.

Oct. 25 2007 05:15 PM
Russ from San Francisco

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Oct. 25 2007 05:13 PM
k lam from brooklyn

my bodyguard..
riding motorcycles across the 59th st bridge.
getting into fights in centralpark ,ahhh youth..

Oct. 25 2007 05:08 PM
Kale from NYC

these are just a few off the top of my head:

beat street

wall street

midnight cowboy


coogan's bluff - I always think of the cloister chase scene when I go there.

Oct. 25 2007 04:24 PM
Willie Mays

And whoever said "The Conversation.." Sorry buddy, that was San Francisco.

And did I forget 12 Angry Men?

Oct. 25 2007 03:22 PM
Willie Mays

Taking of Pelham, New Jack City, Kids, Requiem for a Dream, Pi, and Fresh. Nuff said.

Oct. 25 2007 03:19 PM
Linda from nyc

After Hours

Oct. 25 2007 02:41 PM
Scott from Brooklyn

The Naked City - when New York was still ethnic and interesting
Taxi Driver - what movie better captures seedy New York
On the Bowery
On the Waterfront

Oct. 25 2007 01:02 PM
Gene from NYC

Planet of the Apes

(which not-so-gently reminds us of the old Indian name for Manhattan, "Island of Many Hills.")

And, of course, the phenomenal "Sweet Smell of Success."

"I love this dirty town."

Oct. 25 2007 12:44 PM
Ron from Upper Eastside

OF COURSE! How could I forget "DO THE RIGHT THING". One of the best movies of our time.

Oct. 25 2007 11:57 AM
chestine from NY

igby goes down - yes, that's the best!!!!

Oct. 25 2007 11:57 AM
Barbara Ross from Verona, NJ

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" - seeing it made me want to move from Ohio to New York. Also "Hannah and Her Sisters", a Woody Allen valentine to the city.

Oct. 25 2007 11:39 AM
Susannah from Manhattan

Correction--I meant The Royal Tenenbaums, not The Royal Hendersons (which is not even a movie, I don't think).

Oct. 25 2007 11:22 AM
Susannah from Manhattan

I like The Royal Hendersons and The Squid and the Whale for NYC movies with an authentic feel.

Nothing by Woody Allen--to this native New Yorker, he's completely off base.

I'd love to know the current guest's (George Carlin's) picks.

Oct. 25 2007 11:20 AM
Michael R Donohue from Staten Island NY

How about "On The Town" & "Saturday Night Fever" as a double bill.

"The Day of the Condor" & Godfather Part 1

Love Affair (with Irene Dunn), An Affair to Remember (D. Kerr) & When Harry Met Salley.

Any of the first ten films of Woody Allen or Spike Lee.

How about "Do the Right Thing" & "Manhattan"
or "She's Got to Have It" & "Annie Hall"

Oct. 25 2007 11:16 AM
Kate Falvey from Long Beach

How about "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "After Hours"?

Oct. 25 2007 11:16 AM
andrew from Manhattan

"Metropolitan" and "Radio Days" come to mind, as well as the original version of "The Producers".

Oct. 25 2007 11:09 AM
Inti Amaro

King Of New York, Christopher Walken at his best.

Oct. 25 2007 11:07 AM
Ryan from Manhattan

Basquiat and C.H.U.D. (chanabolistic human underground dwellars)

Two very different films that I love.

Oct. 25 2007 11:06 AM
Kate Falvey from Loong Beach

How about "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "After Hours"?

Oct. 25 2007 11:06 AM
david from Torontoformerly of nyC

Sweet smell of success

Oct. 25 2007 11:03 AM
mimi from manhattan

the sweet smell of success :favorite ny film

Oct. 25 2007 11:03 AM

Frankie and Johnny

Oct. 25 2007 11:03 AM
Inti Amaro


Oct. 25 2007 11:03 AM
paulo from u.e.s

too obvious?
manhattan: the opening credits alone.

Oct. 25 2007 11:03 AM
Inti Amaro

PAID IN FULL, the Harlem gangster film.

Oct. 25 2007 11:02 AM


Oct. 25 2007 11:01 AM
tammi from Brooklyn

Definitely, The Taking of Pelham 123

Oct. 25 2007 11:01 AM
Peter Hogness from Brooklyn

Favorite NYC movie-- La Ciudad. Beautiful neo-realist film made by David Riker in 1998, four black-&-white short stories of immmigrants living in the city. Fiction that's full of truth:

Oct. 25 2007 11:01 AM
Pete from Newark

"Do The Right Thing" juxtaposed with "You've Got Mail"

Oct. 25 2007 11:01 AM

Husbands, Serpico and more recently Do the Right Thing!!!!

Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
Evcan from Manhattan

The Taking Of Pelham 123, Hannah and Her Sisters

Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
david from Toronto- formerly of nyC

Sweet smell of success

Breakin- movie on break dancing

Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
Jens M. Krummel from Sunnyside


Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
Sue from North Salem, NY

By no means the greatest, but a nod to the "Raphsody in Blue" segment from Fantasia 2000

Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
Sanda from brooklyn

OOPS! not new york

Oct. 25 2007 11:00 AM
Andrea from NYC

The Warriors was a grsat intro to NYC. I saw it 20 years before I moved here. It is a take on the run from Marathon to the sea..a gang trying to make it to the beach. Yaphet Kotto was fabulous!

Oct. 25 2007 10:59 AM
Senait from Brooklyn

Do The Right Thing (and some other Spike Lee joints)

Oct. 25 2007 10:59 AM
eric fluger from jersey city

don't forget "wild style".

Oct. 25 2007 10:59 AM
Mike from Rockefeller Center

Mutual Appreciation by Andrew Bujalski

Oct. 25 2007 10:59 AM
ann hall every from Forest Hills, NY

How about "Moonstruck"

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Paul from ct


Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Sean from bk


Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Mary beth from NYC

Do The Right Thing
very new york, very real

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Dena from Highland Park, NJ

An Unmarried Woman with Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, and Michael Murphy

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Sanda from brooklyn

The Conversation

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Nat Meade from Brooklyn

Taxi Driver, Saturday Night Fever, Do the Right Thing

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM

Do the Right Thing
Coffee and Cigarettes
Desperately Seeking Susan
Downtown 81

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Justin from Williamsburg

Best Films:
Do The Right Thing - Spike Lee
I'm Not Rappaport

Last Ten Years:
Inside Man - Spike Lee for the details, architectural and Cultural such as the Albanian in the crowd and the Gargoil in the intro.

Roayl Tennenbaums - Wes Anderson
All NYC with out any direct connection to NYC.

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Ron from Upper Eastside

Oh yes, also, "WHEN HARRY MET SALLY"!!! One of my all time favorites!!!

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
George from Manhattan

The Naked City

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

midnight cowboy. dog day afternoon.

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
eddie brannan

seriously, don't sleep on "the siege." with its anti arab-american sentiment and jihadi terrorism, it's almost scary to watch it now

Oct. 25 2007 10:58 AM
mitch strand from westchester

How about: The sweet smell of success.

Oct. 25 2007 10:57 AM
asroma from westchester

Carlito's Way (1993)- when NYC is flimed correctly it becomes a character too.

Oct. 25 2007 10:57 AM
Jessica from Fort Greene

"Husbands" by Cassavetes

Oct. 25 2007 10:57 AM
e gilman from Westchester

My Cuusin New York even though set in the South

Oct. 25 2007 10:57 AM
Kathy from Glen Cove, NY

Moonstruck, all the Woody Allen movies set in New York and Kissing Jessica Stein.

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
saisha from UWS

Igby Goes Down

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
Davyd Pittman from Hackensack NJ

my favorite ny movie from the last ten years is "As Good As it Gets". A great study on the interactions between people from different social classes as they coexist in nyc (artist, waitress, rich writers).

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
AWM from UWS

Best NYC car chase... "The Seven Ups"

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
cs from New York City

Sweet Smell of Success

(I might have said Dog Day Afternoon, but it's being talked about now)

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
Grant from NY NY

I’d have to say my favorite cinematic depiction of NYC is in “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”. The scene where Snoopy iceskates by himself in a desolate Rockerfeller center makes me want to cry. The colors are washed out by the darkness. It’s sweet and romantic and desolate. It’s like the quiet of NYC in the very wee hours of the morning…

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
SRD from Brooklyn

Muppets Take Manhattan, When Harry Met Sally, Little Manhattan (shows the UWS i know and love)

Oct. 25 2007 10:56 AM
kashish from Astoria, NY

Squid & The Whale was a great non manhattan movie I think... and i used to live in Park Slope when I watched it.

Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
Shannon Copeland from Edgewater, NJ

oh, and Mean Streets... gosh, i'm getting too old.

Maybe "Pi"
as well

Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
Patti from Rockville Centre

Mean Streets.

Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
Steve from Brooklyn


Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
eddie brannan

"ghost" for the marcy ave section of the burg, back when it was holywood-ese for scary nyc

Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
Katherine from Manhattan


Oct. 25 2007 10:55 AM
Margaret from manhattan

best post 9/11 movie:

25th hour

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Shannon Copeland from Edgewater, NJ

Summer of Sam (sorry, it's more than 10 years ago) but captures the boroughs so well...

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Frits from Beacon, NY

Ghostbusters. Without falling into the trap of Echt grit, this fantasy sci fi comedy manages to evoke an abiding sense of the city.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
RD from NYC

Also: "Kids", "As Good as it Gets", "Someone Like You" and "American Psycho"

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM

"requim for a dream" i'm a brighton beach boy.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Mike from Queens, NY

Favorite NYC movies: "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3," "Across 110th St."

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Ron from Upper Eastside

How about "Saturday Night Fever" - no really! Without all the hoopla, the story was very New York and very well done.

Also, "The Pope of Greewich Village".

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
ewg from NYC

Spike Lee's "25th Hour"

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Kasia from Manhattan

In America. Poignantly real side of immigrant families in New York.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Louisa from Manhattan

Big! Can't beat the FAO Schwartz scene, not to mention Coney Island.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
hjs from 11211

squid and the whale written and directed by a New Yorker

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Buzz Roddy from Bronx

The best, most accurate of NYC in the 70s is THE TAKING OF THE PELHAM 1-2-3

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Chris from NYC

Godspell has some great shots of New York in the early 70s, including a dance scene set atop the nearly finished WTC.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM

From the last 10 years

American Psycho (movie not book) is a comedy of manners for the new Manhattan era.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
josh from BK

summer of sam

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Henry Ehrlich from Brooklyn

Favorite--boring insofar as the critics have already called Scorcese the poet of the streets--Mean Streets.

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Claire from Long Island

Coming to America

Oct. 25 2007 10:54 AM
Margaret from manhattan

and as a nod to the outer boroughs:

the squid and the whale

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
amanda from brooklyn

The French Connection!

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Daniel from Brooklyn

A strange film, Addiction, by NYC's own Abel Ferrara, starring Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken -- dark and mysterious and, well, a bit pretensious, like NYC.

Also, Party Girl, with Parker Posey as the original hipster librarian.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM

For a NYC film of the last ten years, I'd have to say Spike Lee's "25th Hour." His portrayal of a wounded, raw post-9/11 city is a rich backdrop to a great film.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Christopher F from Brooklyn

Within the last 10 years? Well, how about a recent re-release: Cruising, the Friedkin/Pacino cop thriller. You want a 70's-era "gritty" New York? Here it is in spades. Well, 1980, I guess.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM

The Muppets Take Manhattan - After seeing the movie as a child I dreamed of moving to New York.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Matt from Northern NJ

Dog Day Afternoon, and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. I grew up in and around the city and I like these movies because Pelham 1-2-3, in particular, captures the undercurrent of dread that existed a while ago.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
keith from midtown (work)

though they never actually call it New York, I think that "the Royal Tenebaums" is certainly one of the best New York movies of the last decade.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
eddie brannan

i think the siege is a terrific, and extremely prescient, recent NYC movie

fyi i watched a scene of amrican gangster being filmed at the tombs in chinatown earlier this year, in the middle of a hectic saturday. amazing!

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Lewis Novod from nyc

my all time favorite NYC movie is "Naked City" because it is gritty, without pretense and shot in black and white. "French Connection" gives the best total NYC quality, you really feel as if you are there in the movie.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Che Ramone from Upper Saddle River, NJ

The Devil's Advocate. A great picture of that new corporate life New York has become. :-)

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
michael from Brooklyn

I'd have to say Martin Scorsese's After Hours.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Aaron Wolfe from Brooklyn

25th Hour was a perfect take on New York immediately following the WTC attacks. I loved seeing my New York that I remember so well portrayed in such a honest and difficult light.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM

The Squid and the Whale also.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Tim Duffy from Staten Island

The Royal Tennenbaums might be the best New York movie about the over privileged.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM

"Kids" is a modern classic.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
gabriel friedman from park slope

How about "Jacob's Ladder" with a young, paranoid Tim Robbins? Dirty subways, graffiti, small, crowded apartments that actually look affordable....

No NYC landmarks, just the feel of solitary, grungy New York.

Plus a great movie.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
RB from Manhattan

The Warriors. It's older than 10 years, but great NYC street scenes from Bronx to Riverside Park to Coney.

Oct. 25 2007 10:53 AM
Margaret from manhattan

the warriors (1979)

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
david brandt from NYC

After Hours

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
Regan from Brooklyn

25th Hour...i love how accurately it portrays post 9/11 NYC with all its' beauty and flaws. It's so clearly made by a New Yorker.

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
Gene from NYC

How to kill a movie: Title it something that means nothing to anybody.

You know, like, "Michael Clayton."

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
Tina from Astoria

Ok, not in the last ten years...but, The Fisher King...if only for the dancing scene in Grand Central Station. Beautiful!

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
Niles from Manhattan

"My Dinner With Andre" has some great NY moments

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
james from brooklyn

The Sweet Smell of Success - best NYC movie ever!

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
Hal from Crown Heights

The French Connection

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM

Muppets Take Manhattan!

Oct. 25 2007 10:52 AM
dave from ny

the wrong man-hitchcock

Oct. 25 2007 10:51 AM
Erin from Brooklyn

When Harry Met Sally

Oct. 25 2007 10:51 AM
RCTobin from New York City

King Kong.

Oct. 25 2007 10:51 AM

the wrong man - hitchcock

Oct. 25 2007 10:51 AM
RD from NYC

"Vanilla Sky" with Tom Cruise

Oct. 25 2007 10:51 AM
RCTobin from New York City

"Desk Set," Tracey & Hepburn, Walter Lang director, 1957. Loved her apartment and the scene on the roof of the Newsweek building.

Oct. 25 2007 10:47 AM
Be from New York

New York city is being turned into Stamford, CT. For shame.

Oct. 25 2007 10:45 AM
Robert from NYC

Pick any Woody Allen movie and that would be my favorite NYC movie. No one can do it better.

Oct. 25 2007 10:42 AM

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