Movies Made in NYC
An incredible number of movies have been shot in, around, and about New York City since motion pictures began. Here are some of the better, more popular ones through the decades.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio
"Scorsese's New York" is a visual love letter to NYC through the eyes and talents of its most enduring son, Martin Scorsese. This montage by production company House of Nod and editor Robert Kolodny is a pleasant cinematic tribute to the filmmaking veteran's unwavering love for his birthplace and draws on 14 of the director's films. In three short minutes, you get a feel for many of the myriad ways Scorsese has shot the city in his decades-long career.
When Harry Met Sally (1989): One of the most memorable location scenes in New York City's history was filmed at Katz's Delicatessen at 205 East Houston Street, featuring Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, and a customer played by the mother of the film's director Rob Reiner. The table at which the scene was filmed now has a plaque on it that reads, "Congratulations! You're sitting where Harry met Sally."
Big (1988): The toy store on 5th Avenue provided the setting for the fondly remembered scene in which Robert Loggia, a toy company executive making weekend rounds, joins Tom Hanks, a 13 year old boy inhabiting the body of a man, in a spirited duet on a giant electronic keyboard. Though most of the displays were those found in the actual store, the overscaled keyboard was added by the film's production designer as a way to subtly reinforce the movie's underlying confusion of big and small.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979): The transformation of Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman), from a career-obsessed ad man into a caring, attentive father after his wife of many years has abruptly left him is played out in this abiding ritual of family life in the city. The Mall in Central Park is the setting for this heart-rendering scene where Ted hands back his son, Billy, to his estranged wife Joanna (Meryl Streep). Unaware of the pain that his father feels, Billy runs happily into his mother's arms.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961): Among the most romantic of all sequences filmed in New York City are those in Blake Edwards’ screen adaptation of Truman Capote’s tale, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. The film’s opening sequence showed Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, still wearing a glamorous evening dress from the night before, staring dreamily into Tiffany’s gem-filled window as she consumes a breakfast of coffee and a Danish pastry. The scene took place at the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street.
Crocodile Dundee (1986) - Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee is an Australian crocodile hunter who visits New York City, and soon finds the culture and life a lot different than his home town of Walkabout Creek. One of best scenes: During an attempted mugging, Sue tells Mick to do as they have been told. Unfazed, Mick chuckles, “That’s not a knife,” then draws a large Bowie knife that is 10 times the size of the muggers and says, “That’s a Knife!”
Dog Day Afternoon (1975): Based on an actual bank robbery that took place in 1972, Sidney Lumet's film was shot almost in its entirety on a quiet stretch of shopfronts on Prospect Park West btw 17th and 18th Street, just south of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Al Pacino played the mastermind bank robber Sonny Wortzik, who would often leave the safety of the bank and stand in the street shouting abuse at the gun-pointing police.
Taxi Driver (1976) - When screenwriter Paul Schrader wrote this scene it simply said "Travis talks to himself in the mirror" - there was no specific dialog given. Everything that insomnia-plagued taxi driver Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) says during his faux-conversation was improvised by De Niro on the spot. To this day, whenever someone walks by a mirror they can't help but utter his now famous line "You talking to me?"
Midnight Cowboy (1969) - As want-to-be gigolo Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and crippled scam artist Ratso (Dustin Hoffman) crossed a street in New York City, a REAL NYC taxi cab driver who ignored all the "Street Closed for Filming" signs drove through the scene. Hoffman immediately responded in typical New York fashion by slamming his fist on the taxi's hood while yelling "I'm Walking Here!" This wasn't scripted and Hoffman's response and actions were all improvised, in character.