Like every New Yorker, the attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin are proud to live in the greatest states in the country. New York has even become one of the most iconic places in the world. As such, it has been home to thousands of films across the decades, with New York City, in particular, playing a major role in movies of every genre. But while NY is the backdrop to countless tales, there are some movies that are defined by being in New York, and vice versa, define the state.
So, in honor of our state and the numerous great movies that take place here, we present to you quintessential New York movies.
King Kong – The ultimate story of a stranger coming to The Big Apple? Only this time, it’s a giant ape. Images of New York on film don’t get much more iconic than King Kong hanging off the Empire State Building and swatting biplanes out of the sky.
Manhattan – Director, writer, and star Woody Allen’s black-and-white film is as much about the search for love as it is about the city itself. Filled with shots of Manhattan, including the Queensboro Bridge and Central Park, many see it as his love letter to the city.
Rear Window – Despite being shot entirely on one giant soundstage, Alfred Hitchcock infuses the film with all the attitude and atmosphere that comes with a sweltering New York summer. The city is never seen outside the apartment complex, but it is definitely felt.
Big – When young Josh Bashkin wishes “to be big,” he grows up overnight and does what any sensible spontaneously adult would do – move to Manhattan and work for a toy company. A fairytale version of the wish fulfillment so many chase after in The Big Apple.
When Harry Met Sally … – Two long-time friends grow closer over the years, and finally find love in one another. New York is just as big of a part of their decades-long journey as stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, who keep the NY attitude alive in their characters.
The Muppets Take Manhattan – After their first movie, the Muppets go to NYC to pursue their dreams of success on Broadway. Few other movies have puppets interacting with New Yorkers in countless iconic Manhattan locales. This one is full of the ups and downs that come with the search for success in The City That Never Sleeps.
West Side Story – A modern day “Romeo and Juliet” set in an unabashedly musical New York City back when it was still rough. Culture clashes and New York imagery help balance out the reliance on soundstages instead of the real deal.
Goodfellas – While “The Godfather” is the tale of being the top dog in the mafia, “Goodfellas” is all about those at the bottom of the totem pole. Like most of Martin Scorsese’s films, the settings, ideas, and attitudes are all deeply engrained in New York.
The Warriors – A teenage gang known as The Warriors battles their way through New York City after being framed for the murder of the most powerful gang in the city in one hellish night. The ultimate B-movie riffing on NYC’s rough and tumble image in the ‘70s.
Ghostbusters – Four New York natives travel around The Big Apple, fighting ghosts and ghouls. All the while, the indomitable New York spirit pushes them forward while the entire city rallies around them to fight evil. Just like in real life, New Yorkers band together when times get tough.
Did we skip any essential NY films? Let us know your favorites.