New York Movies: The 100 Best Films Set in New York

New York Movies:  The 100 Best Films Set in New York's icon

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Paradise and prison, bustling metropolis and the loneliest place on earth: New York City has a cinematic identity that infuses all walks of life. Even as we write our own narratives in this most famous of locations, we walk alongside fictional characters (and sometimes real ones, too, if we’re lucky).

In selecting the 100 most essential New York movies, we kept the city’s boldness in mind. TONY Film staffers David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich teamed up with movie experts Stephen Garrett and Alison Willmore to gather titles from all genres and eras—the widely known and the obscure—in pursuit of a complete picture of NYC on film.

Our only parameter: The movie had to be set in New York City, not Metropolis (sorry, Superman fans), Oz (ditto, you Wiz diehards), nor anywhere else. Dive in, jostle politely, find your seat or ride standing: Please tell us what we’ve missed. It’s a big town.

—Joshua Rothkopf, senior Film writer at Time Out New York

List published on July 3rd 2012

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  1. 1 new

    Taxi Driver

    1976, in 32 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Sweet Smell of Success

    1957, in 20 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Dog Day Afternoon

    1975, in 20 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Rosemary's Baby

    1968, in 21 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Manhattan

    1979, in 18 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Do the Right Thing

    1989, in 21 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    King Kong

    1933, in 27 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Shadows

    1958, in 12 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Escape from New York

    1981, in 4 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    On the Town

    1949, in 10 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    The French Connection

    1971, in 20 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Saturday Night Fever

    1977, in 13 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    After Hours

    1985, in 5 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Ghostbusters

    1984, in 13 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Chelsea Girls

    1966, in 5 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    On the Waterfront

    1954, in 28 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Annie Hall

    1977, in 31 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Wall Street

    1987, in 3 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    The Warriors

    1979, in 5 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    1974, in 5 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Hannah and Her Sisters

    1986, in 8 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Serpico

    1973, in 7 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    42nd Street

    1933, in 11 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    1961, in 9 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Goodfellas

    1990, in 30 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    American Psycho

    2000, in 8 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Little Fugitive

    1953, in 3 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    All That Jazz

    1979, in 17 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    The Clock

    1945, in 3 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    25th Hour

    2002, in 5 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    The Naked City

    1948, in 8 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Mean Streets

    1973, in 20 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    Once Upon a Time in America

    1984, in 18 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    West Side Story

    1961, in 21 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Midnight Cowboy

    1969, in 23 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Shame

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Wild Style

    1983, in 0 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Shaft

    1971, in 8 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Metropolitan

    1990, in 5 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    King of New York

    1990, in 7 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    The Godfather

    1972, in 39 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    The Muppets Take Manhattan

    1984, in 0 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    My Dinner with Andre

    1981, in 4 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Six Degrees of Separation

    1993, in 0 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Kids

    1995, in 4 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Network

    1976, in 13 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Flaming Creatures

    1963, in 8 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Marty

    1955, in 11 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Man on Wire

    2008, in 4 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Desperately Seeking Susan

    1985, in 3 top lists Check
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Last updated on Mar 2, 2014; source