One of the biggest reasons that New York City is one of the most visited places on the planet lies in its consistent portrayal in film. A lot of movies have been shot in New York City, partly owing to its nature as a melting pot of different cultures and stories. In a sense, the City and its place in culture make it perfect as an actual character in a plot. Moviemakers can tap into the different characteristics of the City, from its picturesque skyline depicting love and hope to its gritty modern buildings showing the impersonality of the urban jungle. Movies that have been filmed in New York City can take on a variety of plots, feeding on the various facets of the City. One of the more distinguished movies to have been filmed in New York City is "The Lights of New York" – a crime movie hailed for defining the genre. This movie is also distinguished for being the first feature film where everyone talked. Prior to this film, all movies were either partially or completely silent. This film actually cost only about $23,000 dollars, but it managed to rake in over a million. It was because of this film that Hollywood started exclusively producing talking films.
Of course, we've come a long way from the movies of the past and there are a lot more familiar films today that have been filmed in New York City. Another iconic film shot in New York City is the 1947 classic "Miracle on 34th Street". This movie has become a classic, Christmas tradition and even inspired a 1994 remake. The movie tells the story of Kris Kringle, an old man who really believes he is Santa Claus and how he touches the lives of people living in New York and indeed, all over the world. This particular film contains a lot of scenes in the City and specifically concentrates on the shopping habits of New Yorkers during the holidays.
From the 1940’s let's jump to the '80's - to the film "Ghostbusters", which has since become a cult classic and one of the best-selling films of all time in the United States of America. What makes this movie distinctive is its use of the City's gothic architecture in order to create an environment where the paranormal occurs beside the bustling urban life. Its sequel, Ghostbusters II, makes even greater use of the City, feeding on its darker, grittier nature and then suddenly showing its human and hopeful core.
In 1992, "Home Alone 2 Lost in New York" came out in theaters. It was a sequel to the 1990 hit "Home Alone". In this movie, the cityscape is depicted mostly from the eyes of a child. The protagonist, Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin), is a child lost in the City, separated from his parents. Hence, we see the City in its potentials as a playground and in its dangers in terms of what scares a child. We see the various eccentric people who roam the City and how a child might look at them.
In 1998, "You've Got Mail" is a romantic comedy that takes a look at the lives of New Yorkers. We see how the small shops that one can find around the City struggle in their desire to remain alive despite the invasion of big institutions. We also see a part of the attitude of New York and indeed, the world today, where people would find it easier to meet an anonymous someone online and fall in love rather than approach someone personally.
"Finding Forrester" is another movie where New York City plays a prominent role. We see how a person living in seclusion in a New York apartment reacts to the gradual changes in the neighborhood. We see how that person manages to watch the whole world through a window and how people can quickly overwhelm themselves by the sheer number of people living in the City.
There are a lot more blockbuster Hollywood movies that have been filmed in New York City throughout history. Without a doubt, many more will come as the City keeps evolving and more people keep adding their stories to this vortex of contradictions.
New York City
-New York Culture
-New York Transport
-New York in Film
-Guide to New York
-New York Video
-Boston set Films
-Golden Gate Bridge