The iconic skyline, the yellow cabs, the glamour and the grime; New York has been immortalised in celluloid for decades. From rom-coms and thrillers to comedies and gangster flicks this cinematic city is showcased in an enormous number of films. If you’re planning to hit the Big Apple, here are ten movies you must watch before you visit New York.
All About Eve (1950)
The film stars Bette Davies as veteran actress Margot Channing. This Academy Award winning movie depicts the drama and tension of backstage life on Broadway. Hilariously cynical and fabulously bitchy, All About Eve’s script pokes endless fun at show business and remains a New York classic.
Rear Window (1954)
One of Hitchcock’s most-revered works, Rear Window is a nail-biting study of voyeurism. House-bound with a broken leg, a newspaper photographer (James Stewart) begins to spy on his neighbours in Greenwich Village until one day he witnesses something a bit too sinister…
West Side Story (1961)
American gang, the Jets come to blows with Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks resulting in a rather messy turf war. A musical tale of love and gang rivalry, West Side Story takes inspiration from Romeo and Juliet, remaining Shakespeare’s classic on the streets of Manhattan.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
The look that launched a thousand trends, Audrey Hepburn’s chic turn as a sweet but naive socialite, Holly Golightly made her an enduring style icon. Taking its name from the Fifth Avenue jeweller, Breakfast at Tiffany’s follows Golightly’s exploits as she falls for a writer who moves into her Upper East Side building.
Taxi Driver (1976)
“You talkin’ to me?! You talkin’ to me!?” NYC cabbie, Travis Bickle’s oft-quoted line cemented Robert De Niro’s status as a bona fide superstar. This dark Scorsese movie reveals New York’s seedy underbelly before its 1980s clean-up as Vietnam veteran Bickle loses the plot, going on a rampage across town.
New York, New York (1977)
Another Scorsese-De Niro partnership, New York, New York sees De Niro as an aspiring saxophonist falling in love with a singer played by Liza Minelli in 1940s New York. A break from his gritty realism, the movie pays homage to classic Hollywood musicals.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Paint store worker Tony Manero lives for the weekends where he gets to strut his stuff in the local discotheque. The movie that shows the world John Travolta can disco-boogie, Saturday Night Fever was shot at authentic locations across Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Wall Street (1987)
“Greed is good” was Gordon Gekko’s mantra in this tale of 1980s banking excess. Set on the infamous (and eponymous) banking centre of Wall Street, the movie follows unscrupulous stockbrokers who’ll do anything it takes to stay at the top.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Famous for that deli scene (“I’ll have what she’s having”) When Harry Met Sally is a feel-good flick about male and female platonic friendship. It captures plenty of iconic New York landmarks like Washington Square, JFK Airport, and Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Revealing the inner workings of a Times Square-based glossy fashion magazine, The Devil Wears Prada stars Meryl Streep as fearsome editor, Miranda Priestly, and Anne Hathaway as her much put-upon assistant, Andy.
If these movies have inspired you to witness New York in its glory, click here to discover a fantastic Trafalgar tour.
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