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Thread: New York in movies and books.

  1. #1

    Default New York in movies and books.

    Hi all !!! Im from Poland and im completely in love with NYC. I’ve never been there but it’s definitely my biggest hobby in life. I sit almost everyday on google earth and watch it street by street. I downloaded houndreds of pictures and read houndreds of articles about this city.

    And here is my question to you: Do you know some cool movies from 70s and 80s that are set in NYC with frequent views of the city ? I mean something like “Shaft” or “Fort Apache the Bronx”.

    The same about books. Do you know some interesting books set in NYC with many descriptions of the city (no matter when written) ? I don’t mean some guides for tourist but novels. I read “The New York Trilogy” by Paul Auster and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer (this second one is fantastic) and now im looking for something else.

    I would be very grateful for some nice titles ! PS sorry for mistakes my english isn’t perfect

  2. #2


    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    Plot summary

    It starts as a normal day at the subway in New York, but the normality is interrupted by an unexpected hijacking of a subway train (on the number 6 line). The police force is confused by the hijacking because:

    • the subway is a closed system; there is no place to take the train to escape, and
    • all subway trains have a dead-man's switch which requires a live person at the controls to keep the train running, thus preventing a hijacker from escaping away from the running train.

    The police frantically pursue the train on the city streets to deliver the ransom of one million dollars as the police attempts to negotiate and distract their attention. Unknown to the police, the four hijackers led by a mercenary named Ryder and a disgruntled former motorman Walter Longman have disabled the dead-man's switch. Once the hijackers receive their ransom money, they send the train off at top speed toward the terminal station where it would crash and thus kill all the passengers. Previously, the hijackers have left the train and attempted to escape out of the subway tunnels with their ransom money.

  3. #3


    thx scumonkey i just started to download it. Any other propositions ?

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Check out "After Hours" directed by Martin Scorcese (SoHo in the 80s). And of course there's his "Mean Streets" which was filmed all around Little Italy in the early 70s. Do I even need to mention "Taxi Driver"?

    Pope of Greenwich Village

    Prince of the City

    State of Grace

    Desperately Seeking Susan

    Anything by Woody Allen.

    Some more obscure films:

    Panic in Needle Park

    Taking Off

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A GREAT NYC-based movie on PBS tonight @ 9PM:

    A Thousand Clowns (1965)
    "You've gotta own your own days and name 'em! Each one of 'em, every one of 'em!
    Or else the years go right by, and none of them belong to you."

    Jason Robards, Barry Gordon & NYC

    A Thousand Clowns is a great example of the slacker character as hero in American cinema. Based on Herb Gardner's play, it is the story of an unemployed television writer, Murray Burns (Jason Robards), who lives in New York in a one bedroom apartment with his twelve-year old nephew, Nick (Barry Gordon). Murray has been unemployed for five months by his own choice. His nephew, who was abandoned by Murray's sister, attends a school for gifted children. When Nick writes an essay on the benefits of the unemployment system, it causes his school to investigate his home environment.
    The incomparable Barbara Harris co-stars as the young psychologist assigned to Nick's case. A NYC love story ensues.

    Jason Robards & Barbara Harris

  6. #6

    Default NY in The Movies--A Book

    A few years ago I picked up a book at the Grand Central Station storefront run by the NY Museum of Transportation titled "Celluloid Skyline" by James Sanders. It was published in 2001, so contemporary NY is absent, but it traces NY themed movies from the early days of filmmaking (when most studios were based in The City) to the --almost-- present day.
    It explores the skyscraper as metaphor, the fanciful set designs that made NY appear bigger than life, the film noir period when NY was as much a star of the show as were the dark characters who populated it, the love affair Woody Allen has ALWAYS had with The City-- and more, a lot more.

    It is a well-written, in depth exploration of New York City as portrayed on film and it explores in depth a lot of the classic films made in ( or about) NY.

    Now, each time a movie set in NYC appears on TV I rush to my bookcase and pull the book out. I just saw the classic "Naked City" last week and spent the movie looking at what was written about it in "Celluloid Skyline", gaining a massive scene-by-scene insight and a fresh perspective into a movie that I have seen many times before.

    For New York buffs seeking additional nuggets of trivia about the City it is invaluable. There are entire chapters devoted to such gems as 'Serpico", "The French Conection", "Plaza Suite", "Dog Day Afternoon", "West Side Story", "Annie Hall", "Manhattan",etc. Name it--if it was shot in NY or situated in The City, it is in there. Even if the director pretended it was a NY-based Movie (ie:--Hitchcock's "Rear Window" ) there are several pages devoted to the movie. Plus, some of the photos of old and new New York -- mostly stills taken from the movies--are ones that I guarantee nobody at WNY has seen yet.

    You may have trouble finding the book in Poland, but I'm sure sites like Amazon or ebay have it for sale.
    Last edited by Hof; February 22nd, 2009 at 12:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Nice sequenece in "A Thousand Clowns" where Jason Robards is taking the young Barry Gordon out for a day around the City and they cross through Lincoln Center -- still under construction -- with the steel sub-structure of the Met Opera building in the background.

  8. #8


    Not a great movie, but Crocodile Dundee has some location shots in New York.

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Not a new article (ten + years gone by) but it's full of valuable info and a list of Only-In-NYC films:

    CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: On the Screen, Images of New York

    May 1, 1998

    Even New York's proudest citizens must feel it sometimes: the sneaking feeling that the city's real life is incomplete. So much of this city exists as fabulous celluloid figments of our imagination that the actual place is bound to pale by comparison.

    Doesn't that uptown skyline call for glasses clinked by Nick and Nora Charles? What downtown walk wouldn't be improved by a blank look and boom box playing ''I Put a Spell on You'' (a la ''Stranger Than Paradise'')? Doesn't the subway move faster accompanied by memories of ''The French Connection''? Look up at the Empire State Building: shouldn't Meg Ryan be meeting Tom Hanks, or King Kong be swinging? Will midtown ever be quite the same after Godzilla arrives in three weeks to step on Times Square?

    Because New York's multiple movie personalities are so amazingly varied (and thanks to New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Celebration), two hugely entertaining film series arrive this weekend to celebrate the city's long life on film. Think of these complementary series as uptown/downtown, a dichotomy of style and spirit if not of strict geography: The Film Forum's ''Madcap Manhattan'' presents a group of comedies alive with the glossiest daydreams of the city's promise, and the American Museum of the Moving Image's ''Indie New York'' catches the raffish energy of an urban demimonde, a more offbeat and disaffected place.

    Strictly on the level of glittering trivia, these series reveal a lot about New York life. Not least among the guilty pleasures of watching Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and the Plaza Hotel all looking ingenuously beautiful in ''Barefoot in the Park'' (1967) is hearing that their honeymoon hotel room costs $30, or watching Ms. Fonda move into a Greenwich Village apartment with only the essentials (flowers, firewood, a bottle of champagne).

    How quaint to watch Judy Holliday become a celebrity in the Film Forum's opening feature, ''It Should Happen to You'' (1954), by renting a billboard in Columbus Circle and merely advertising her name there. (Today it would take an underwear ad at the very least.)

    And look at Lincoln Center being built behind Jason Robards in a scene from ''A Thousand Clowns,'' a story so quintessentially New York ish that it could never have been imagined elsewhere. ''That's probably the movie that made me not become a doctor,'' says Bruce Goldstein of the Film Forum, who has once again programmed a series to make anyone smile.

    As ''A Thousand Clowns'' attests, with Mr. Robards flying his kite in Central Park while the drab multitudes trudge off to work, New York has long been the favorite cinematic refuge for kooks, dropouts, hipsters and holy fools. Images of white-collar conformity were meant to be shattered, as so many of the films in both series gleefully demonstrate. For sheer irreverence and hip, effortlessly inventive style, the most influential film on either program is John Cassavetes's 1960 ''Shadows,'' which itself has cast a shadow miles long.

    ''It is fitfully dynamic, endowed with a raw but vibrant strength, conveying an illusion of being a record of real people, and it is incontestably sincere,'' wrote Bosley Crowther of The New York Times when this gutsy experimental film arrived, in what still serves as a working definition of much independent cinema. Among those influenced by ''Shadows'' were Martin Scorsese, whose early work (''Who's That Knocking at My Door?'' is in the Indie series) reflects it strongly.

    Another of the Indie series's rarites, Michael Roemer's ''Plot Against Harry'' (which was shot in starkly beautiful black and white in 1969, but not released until 20 years later), shows the ''Shadows'' spirit with innate street vitality and a fondness for watching real people do actorish things.

    When it comes to unforgettable moments in either series, it would be hard to beat the mugs in ''Shadows'' assessing the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art. Or the sight of a mink coat falling from a Fifth Avenue palace and landing on Jean Arthur, working girl, as she rides a double-decker bus in the 1937 ''Easy Living,'' with its screwball Preston Sturges screenplay. Or even such improbably striking films as Larry Cohen's bizarre 1976 ''God Told Me To,'' a ''Dirty Harry'' knockoff with a religious twist, in which a sniper terrorizes Manhattan instead of San Francisco. Mr. Cohen caught a startling immediacy in scenes of passers-by picked off in front of Bloomingdale's, and of a policeman going haywire in the midst of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

    All but the giddiest New York travelogues tend to agree that the city can be a dangerous place, maybe not as sin-soaked as ''Bad Lieutenant'' (in the Indie series) suggests, but at least as nuttily perilous as the setting for ''Little Murders.'' Jules Pfeiffer is to appear at the Film Forum with that film, which he wrote, perhaps to explain why Elliott Gould's shell-shocked Manhattanite is such a perpetual victim, or why his story is punctuated by power outages.

    And as a place that bruises the soul more profoundly than it could ever hurt the body, the Manhattan of ''The Apartment'' is one of the most indelible New York visions of all. The cynicism and casual cruelty that set in motion Billy Wilder's tale of sexual and professional humiliation, and of love in the ashes, are as lacerating today as they were in 1960. The young man willing to do anything in his climb up the corporate ladder, or the female elevator operator sexually available to married men, may be creatures of their era, but the heart of this cautionary tale remains unchanged. Renee Zellweger in ''Jerry Maguire'' had some of the same wounded innocence captured so perfectly by the young Shirley MacLaine.

    If the Film Forum's series features some of the most polished and fanciful images of Manhattan, the Indie series has an especially wild variety. The harder-to-find films here -- from the rock-and-roll exoticism of ''Liquid Sky'' to the Queens Chinese restaurant ambiance of ''Combination Platter,'' from the wave-making ''Smithereens'' to the keen domesticity of Nancy Savoca's family stories -- head in all directions, yet they lead to the same conclusion.

    Real New York is rich, exciting and endlessly varied. New York on film is even more of the same.

    'Indie New York': Don't Even Think About 'King Kong'
    ''Indie New York,'' a series of screenings and discussions that is part of ''New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Celebration,'' will run through June 28 at the American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue, at 36th Street, in Astoria, Queens. Admission to the screenings is included in museum admission: $8; $5 for the elderly and students; $4 for ages 5 to 18. Information: (718) 784-4777. A schedule follows.

    ''LITTLE FUGITIVE'' (1953), written and directed by Ray Ashley, 2 P.M.; ''WEDDINGS AND BABIES'' (1960), by Morris Engel, 4:30 P.M.

    ''HOUSEHOLD SAINTS'' (1993), by Nancy Savoca, 2 P.M. (with a discussion with Ms. Savoca and Richard Guay, co-writer of the script); ''TRUE LOVE'' (1989), by Ms. Savoca, 5 P.M. (to be introduced by Ms. Savoca and Mr. Guay).

    May 9
    ''GOD TOLD ME TO'' (1976), by Larry Cohen, 2 P.M. (with a discussion with the director); ''WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?'' (1967) and ''IT'S NOT JUST YOU, MURRAY'' (1964), both by Martin Scorsese, 4:30 P.M.

    May 10
    ''KILLER'S KISS'' (1955), written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, 2 and 5 P.M.; ''SHADOWS'' (1960), by John Cassavetes, 3:30 P.M.

    May 16-17
    ''CHELSEA GIRLS'' (1966), by Andy Warhol, 2 P.M.

    May 23
    ''THE COOL WORLD'' (1963), by Shirley Clarke, 2 P.M.; ''ALL OVER ME'' (1997), by Alex Sichel, 4:30 P.M.

    May 24
    ''GREETINGS'' (1968), by Brian De Palma, 2 P.M.; ''YOU'RE A BIG BOY NOW'' (1966), by Francis Ford Coppola, 4 P.M.

    May 30
    ''DAVID HOLZMAN'S DIARY'' (1968), by Jim McBride, 2 and 5 P.M.; ''ECHOES OF SILENCE'' (1965), by Peter Goldman, 3:30 P.M.

    May 31
    ''SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT'' (1986), by Spike Lee, 2 P.M.; ''THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET'' (1984), by John Sayles, 4 P.M.

    June 6
    ''PARTING GLANCES'' (1986), by Bill Sherwood, 2 P.M.: ''IN THE SOUP'' (1992), by Alexandre Rockwell.

    June 7
    ''GIRLFRIENDS'' (1978), by Claudia Weill, 2 P.M.; ''SMITHEREENS'' (1982), by Susan Seidelman, 4 P.M

    June 13
    ''LIQUID SKY'' (1982), by Slava Tsukerman, 2 P.M.; ''NADJA'' (1994), by Michael Almereyda, 4:30 P.M.

    June 14
    ''AMATEUR'' (1995), and ''THEORY OF ACHIEVEMENT'' (1991), both by Hal Hartley, 2 P.M.; ''METROPOLITAN'' (1990), by Whit Stillman, 4:30 P.M.

    June 20
    ''BAD LIEUTENANT'' (1992), by Abel Ferrara, 2 P.M.; ''LAWS OF GRAVITY'' (1992), by Nick Gomez, 4 P.M.

    June 21
    ''A BRONX TALE'' (1993), by Robert De Niro, 2 P.M.; ''MAC'' (1993), by John Turturro, 4:30 P.M.

    June 27
    ''ALL THE VERMEERS IN NEW YORK'' (1992), by Jon Jost, 2 P.M.; ''I SHOT ANDY WARHOL'' (1996), by Mary Harron, 4 P.M.

    June 28
    ''COMBINATION PLATTER (1993), by Tony Chan, 2 P.M.; ''THE WEDDING BANQUET'' (1993), by Ang Lee. 4:30 P.M.

    Who Says New York's Not Funny? Madcaps and More
    ''Madcap Manhattan,'' a seven-week festival featuring 60 years of comedies about life in the borough, is part of ''New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Celebration.'' The film series will run through June 11 at Film Forum 2, 209 Varick Street, South Village. Admission is $8.50; $4.50 for Film Forum members. Screening times and other information: (212) 727-8110. A schedule follows.

    ''IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU'' (1954), directed by George Cukor; and ''THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC'' (1956), by Richard Quine.

    ''SPEEDY'' (1928), by Ted Wilde; and ''THE BOWERY'' (1933), by Raoul Walsh.

    ''MY SISTER EILEEN'' (1942), by Alexander Hall; and ''A NIGHT TO REMEMBER'' (1943), by Richard Wallace.

    ''YOU'RE A BIG BOY NOW'' (1967), by Francis Ford Coppola; and ''LITTLE MURDERS'' (1971), by Alan Arkin.

    May 8-9
    ''THE APARTMENT'' (1960) and ''THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH'' (1955), both by Billy Wilder.

    ''DESIGNING WOMAN'' (1957), by Vincente Minnelli; and ''DESK SET'' (1957), by Walter Lang.

    May 12-13
    ''THE TENDER TRAP'' (1955), by Charles Walters; and ''COME BLOW YOUR HORN'' (1963), by Bud Yorkin.

    May 14
    ''NOTHING SACRED'' (1937), by William Wellman; and ''MY MAN GODFREY'' (1936), by Gregory LaCava.

    May 15-16
    ''THE KING OF COMEDY'' (1982), and ''AFTER HOURS'' (1985), both by Martin Scorsese.

    May 17
    ''THE AWFUL TRUTH'' (1937), by Leo McCarey; and ''HOLIDAY'' (1938), by George Cukor.

    May 18
    ''THE CAMERAMAN'' (1928) by Edward Sedgwick Jr.; and ''SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK'' (1931) by Jules White and Zion Myers.

    May 19
    ''THE ODD COUPLE'' (1968), by Gene Saks; and ''THE OUT OF TOWNERS'' (1970), by Arthur Hiller.

    May 20-21
    ''HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE'' (1953), by Jean Negulesco; and ''HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING'' (1967), by David Swift.

    May 22-23
    ''THE PRODUCERS'' (1968), by Mel Brooks; and ''MY FAVORITE YEAR'' (1982), by Richard Benjamin.

    May 24-25
    ''BAREFOOT IN THE PARK'' (1967), by Mr. Saks; and ''SUNDAY IN NEW YORK'' (1963), by Peter Tewkesbury.

    May 26-27
    ''MANHATTAN ANIMANIA,'' a compilation of cartoons produced by Max Fleischer; and ''TALES OF THE ALGONQUIN ROUND TABLE,'' with shorts featuring Robert Benchley.

    May 28-30

    May 31-June 1
    ''THEODORA GOES WILD'' (1936), by Richard Boleslawski; and ''THE MAD MISS MANTON'' (1938), by Leigh Jason.

    June 1
    ''BLESSED EVENT'' (1932), by Roy Del Ruth; and ''CLASSIFIED'' (1925), by Alfred Santell.

    June 2
    ''BYE BYE BRAVERMAN'' (1968), by Sidney Lumet; and ''THE PLOT AGAINST HARRY'' (1969), by Michael Roemer.

    June 3-4
    ''THE BOYS IN THE BAND'' (1970), by William Friedkin; and ''THE RITZ'' (1976), by Richard Lester.

    June 5-7
    ''BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S'' (1961), by Blake Edwards; and ''THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT'' (1964), by George Roy Hill.

    June 8
    ''EASY LIVING'' (1937), by Mitchell Leisen; and ''IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK'' (1935), by William A. Seiter.

    June 9
    ''ONE NEW YORK NIGHT'' (1935), by Jack Conway; and ''ADVENTURE IN MANHATTAN'' (1936), by Edward Ludwig.

    June 10-11
    ''NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE'' (1976), by Paul Mazursky; ''A FINE MADNESS'' (1966), by Irvin Kershner.

    Scary to Sweet
    Also celebrating films made in or about New York is the yearlong series ''New York City 100: Films at MOMA,'' which continues this month with films by Roman Polanski, William Wyler, Theodore J. Flicker and Martin Scorsese at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53d Street, Manhattan. The next screening is ''Rosemary's Baby,'' on May 14 at 2:30 P.M. Screenings are included in museum admission: $9.50 for adults, $6.50 for students and people 65 or older; free for those under 16. Pay what you wish on Fridays from 4:30 to 8:30 P.M. Screening information: (212) 708-9400; or at

    Children have their own series celebrating New York City in film with ''Happy Birthday New York! 100 Years of City Stories'' to run from June 27 through Nov. 1 at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center. Films to be included are ''On the Town,'' ''A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,'' ''The Pride of the Yankees,'' ''Muppets Take Manhattan,'' ''Tarzan's New York Adventure'' and ''Searching for Bobby Fischer.'' Tickets are $3. Information: (212) 875-5600.

    Both series are part of ''New York City 100: Greater New York Centennial Celebration.''

    Correction: May 2, 1998, Saturday A listing in Weekend yesterday with a Critic's Notebook article about showings of films set in New York City misstated the address of Film Forum. It is at 209 West Houston Street in the South Village, not at 209 Varick Street.

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  10. #10

    Default where in NY this house? Have somebady seen?

    where in NY is this house? Has anyone seen it?
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  11. #11

    Default New York in movies and books.

    I have Frommer New York City 2005,Fodor's New York City 2009,Call the Yankees My Daddy & The Life You Imagine Derek Jeter With Jack Curry. I have Maid In Manhattan on DVD,I also have Money Train on DVD. I saw Saturday Night Fever,Fever Pitch,I rentedEdie,I checked out Pride of the Yankees Pride at Los Angeles Public Library location and too many other movies to mention.

  12. #12


    9 1/2 weeks is an awesome film paying in New York

    But it is crazy when you watch series on TV today you could think that New York is the whole world - just everything plays there ...

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Way back when, one early morning on my way to work, I saw Kim Basinger as she walked from her make-up trailer to a little sub-surface staircase tucked between two buildings on Spring Street (near Sullivan). She looked gorgeous at 7AM, but a bit on edge. Understandable, as it seems she was about to be ravished by Mickey Rourke in a scene for "9-1/2 Weeks."

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Hof View Post
    A few years ago I picked up a book at the Grand Central Station storefront run by the NY Museum of Transportation titled "Celluloid Skyline" by James Sanders. It was published in 2001, so contemporary NY is absent, but it traces NY themed movies from the early days of filmmaking (when most studios were based in The City) to the --almost-- present day.
    Thanks for the info Hof. My copy arrived today from Amazon UK.

    I don't know if you have come across it but there is a web site dedicated to the book (link below) which also has some good links to some historical video clips.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    That book looks interesting... and the website answered a couple questions I had about vanished New York.

    I also just watched The Hudsucker Proxy. Visually, it is a great, stylized take on modernist New York. And a funny and entertaining film.

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