There are so many movies that have been filmed in New York City and it’s easy to feel like you know the place without traveling there. Here are 21 iconic movies filmed in NYC to help you travel to there from the comfort of your own home.
1. Coming to America (1988)
Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) is an African Price who comes to America to find a wife whom he can love and respect. Hiding his royalty, Akeem finds out what it is to live like an everyday person in New York. It also stars Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and John Amos.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
An paranormal comedy staring some of Saturday Night Live’s biggest stars of that time, including Bill Murry and Dan Aykroyd. They play parapsychology professors who start their own ghostbuster business to rid New York City of its spooky inhabitants.
3. Tootsie (1982)
When actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) can’t find a job in the industry, he dresses up and passes himself off as a woman. He ends up being cast as a female in a soap opera and America falls in love with him (her). Things get sticky when he falls in love with an actress on the set and a man who falls in love with him, both who believe he is a woman.
American Film Institute ranked Tootsie the second funniest film of all time.
4. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Possibly John Travolta’s most famous role. Tony Manero (Travolta) finds life to be hard, except when he’s on the dance floor.
5. Taxi Driver (1976)
Set at the end of the Vietnam war, Travis Bickle (Robert Di Nero) is an isolated, lonely, and depressed Vietnam veteran, ex-marine, and insomniac living in New York City. He takes a job as a taxi driver driving around NYC all night and spending his days drinking and watching adult films. He becomes obsessed with political campaign worker Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), which, much to his dismay, doesn’t work out.
In his disgust with the street crime and prostitution he sees on his shifts and Besty’s rejection of him, Travis’ thoughts and actions turn darker and he believes himself to be a vigilante.
Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is often sited as one of the best movies of all time by critics, audiences, and film directors.
6. Moonstruck (1987)
Cher won an Academy Award for her leading role performance in Moonstruck. Loretta Castorini (Cher) falls for the brother of the man she agrees to marry. Also stars Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis.
7. Citizen Kane (1941)
When Charles Foster Kane, one of the richest and most powerful men in America, dies, his last word is, “Rosebud.” A newspaper man searches to uncover what that word might have meant to Kane. The movie takes the viewer back through Kane’s life through the perspective of those who knew him, uncovering a man’s rise and fall from fame.
Citizen Kane was Orson Well’s first feature film. It was voted the greatest film of all times for five consecutive polls by by Sight and Sound.
8. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly is arguably Audrey Hepburn’s most memorable role. Holly is an amusingly eccentric society girl who is determined to marry a South American millionaire for his money even as she is being pursued by another man for love.
9. Superman (1978)
Based on the DC Comic’s character, Clark Kent (Christopher Reeves) is really an alien from another planet sent to earth by his father, who believes their planet will soon explode. Kent is found by a couple on earth and they raise him as their son when, at the age of 18, he feels ‘called’ to a crystal in the arctic where he receives 12 years of trailing from a hologram of his father. Kent then returns to Metropolis to become a newspaper reporter where he begins to fight crime and goes head to head with the evil Lex Luther.
Superman broke new ground with the special effects it used and the movie received numerous awards and accolades.
10. Do The Right Thing (1989)
Mookie (Spike Lee) is living in a Brooklyn neighborhood where there is tension between it’s African-American and Puerto Rican residents. He delivers pizza for a local Italian pizza shop and when tension rises one afternoon when the owner of the pizza shop (Danny Aiello) is confronted about why there are no photos of famous African-Americans on the shop’s Wall of Fame. A fight brakes out and is taken into the street resulting the death of an African-American by a police officer, resulting in the fight turning into a full blown riot.
Do The Right Thing is listed as one of the best movies of all time by the American Film Institute, Variety, National Society of Fimm Critics and the New York Times.
11. An Affair To Remember (1957)
An Affair to Remember is considered one the of the most romantic movies of all time. Nicky Ferrante (Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) meet and fall in love on a trans-Atlantic cruise, despite the fact that they are both in relationships. They agree to meet at the top of the Empire State building in six months to see if they still feel the same.
12. Working Girl (1988)
Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) is a hard working secretary who is trying to work her way up in the stockmarket world, no matter how hard her boss tries to keep her down. When her boss, played by Sigourney Weaver, breaks her leg while on vacation and asks Tess to look after things, Tess makes her move. Also stars Harrison Ford.
13. Annie Hall (1977)
A romantic comedy about a comedian (Woody Allen) trying to understand what went wrong in his failed relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). An American Film Institute poll ranked this movie number 2 in its top 10 list of 10 classic American films in the romantic comedy category.
14. Serpico (1973)
In the 1960s, honest man Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) joins the New York City police department. He quickly learns that his fellow officers are corrupt and no better than the criminals around them. Serpico goes all the way up to the highest authority with details of the corruption but nobody will do anything. The corruption runs deep. In 1971, he is betrayed for his actions in trying to take down the system of corruption and ends up being shot in the face at a drug bust. He then testifies at government investigation into the corruption and, in 1972, resigns from the force and moves to Switzerland.
This movie is based on the biography of New York City police officer Frank Serpico by Peter Maas. Al Pacino won his first Golden Globe award for best actor for his performance of Frank Serpico.
15. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When Harry Met Sally was Meg Ryan’s first lead female role. It follows the lives of two people, Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally, (Meg Ryan) who become friends and find out whether men and women really can be just friends.
16. Shaft (1971)
Private detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) gets cornered by a couple of thugs sent by gangleader Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn). One thug ends up being thrown out a window and Shaft is questioned by the police who hold a potential manslaughter arrest over his head. Shaft goes looking for Bumpy and finds out that Bumpy’s daughter has been kidnapped. Shaft makes plans to find her and deliver her home safely.
17. Big (1988)
12 year old Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) makes a wish to be big at a coin operated fortune teller machine. The next morning he wakes up with the body of an adult man but his mind is still a young boy’s. He decides to goes to New York City to find the fortune teller machine so it can turn him back into a boy. He ends up getting a job and discovers the adult world of work and relationship. He eventually find the machine and his turned back into his young self.
18. Wall Street (1987)
Junioe stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) will do anything to get to the top. He befriends ruthless Wall Street player Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and learns how to manipulate the market and live by the creed, ‘greed is good.’
19. Trading Places (1983)
Brothers and owners of a commodities brokerage house, Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) make a wager about nature vs nurture. They take their managing director Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and manipulate their lives to see what happens. Winthorpe is framed for crimes he didn’t commit and Valentine is hired and given access to riches. When Winthorpe and Valentine learn what the brothers have done, they come up with their own plan.
20. Arthur (1981)
Arthur Bach (Duddly Moore), drunken playboy and New York City millionaire, is threatened to lose his inheritance when he falls in love with a woman his family doesn’t approve of.
21. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
The Muppets graduate college and travel to New York City to put up their musical Manhattan Melodies. When it turns out to be more difficult than they thought, they split up and get jobs. Adventure ensues as they navigate their way through the Big Apple and find a producer for their musical.