Pre-Giuliani NYC

by happylooloo | created - 19 Sep 2016 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Movies shot in a grittier, sometimes more dangerous, but overall less costly, less rabidly-gentrified New York. Filthy, X-rated, pre-Disney Times Square. Old Yankee stadium, pre-Sex in the City tour buses and cupcake ATMs. Redbird subway cars, coffee in Anthora paper cups, rattling radiator pipes, peeling lead paint, roaches, and those elevators with the gates on them. (Oh, and the garbage barge.) For better or worse, take it or leave it. But if you miss it sometimes, here's what to watch. Suggestions appreciated.

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1. Something Wild (1986)

R | 114 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

73 Metascore

A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, George 'Red' Schwartz, Leib Lensky

Votes: 14,834 | Gross: $8.36M

(just in the beginning)

2. Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992)

R | 92 min | Drama

Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Harris | Stars: Ariyan A. Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Ebony Jerido, Chequita Jackson

Votes: 768 | Gross: $0.48M

3. Sudden Manhattan (1996)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy

Donna witnesses identical murders on the same street on different days. Is this a supernatural conspiracy or is she merely cracking up?

Director: Adrienne Shelly | Stars: Adrienne Shelly, Tim Guinee, Roger Rees, Louise Lasser

Votes: 267

(Yes, technically Giuliani had been in office almost 2 years by then, but I'm gonna say this is still old enough to count.)

4. Coming to America (1988)

R | 116 min | Comedy, Romance

47 Metascore

An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and will.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Paul Bates, Garcelle Beauvais, Feather

Votes: 149,717 | Gross: $128.15M

5. The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

PG | 110 min | Drama

74 Metascore

Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg | Stars: Al Pacino, Kitty Winn, Alan Vint, Richard Bright

Votes: 14,626

6. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 180,567 | Gross: $92.82M

In spirit: not exactly, but some good background shots. Definitely a yuppie UWS story.

7. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

R | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 174,890

8. Marathon Man (1976)

R | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, William Devane

Votes: 53,789 | Gross: $21.71M

9. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 329,895 | Gross: $238.63M

10. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

R | 113 min | Drama, Western

79 Metascore

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver

Votes: 92,742 | Gross: $44.79M

11. Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

The ups and downs of life as experienced by a group of aspiring young artists in the early Fifties New York.

Director: Paul Mazursky | Stars: Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene, Lois Smith

Votes: 1,804

12. The Warriors (1979)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

65 Metascore

In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler

Votes: 87,243 | Gross: $22.49M

13. Five Corners (1987)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A psychotic young man returns to his old neighborhood after release from prison. He seeks out the woman he previously tried to rape and the man who protected her, with twisted ideas of love for her and hate for him.

Director: Tony Bill | Stars: Jodie Foster, Tim Robbins, Todd Graff, John Turturro

Votes: 2,817 | Gross: $0.97M

14. Taxi Driver (1976)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks

Votes: 656,411 | Gross: $28.26M

15. The Search for One-eye Jimmy (1994)

R | 80 min | Comedy

While working on a documentary on his old neighborhood, a young film school graduate shifts the focus of his production onto the disappearance of a local resident and the strange characters... See full summary »

Director: Sam Henry Kass | Stars: Holt McCallany, Michael Badalucco, Nicholas Turturro, Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini

Votes: 1,342

16. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

92 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 77,186 | Gross: $27.55M

17. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver | Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, Spank

Votes: 2,484

18. Basquiat (1996)

R | 107 min | Biography, Drama

65 Metascore

The brief life of Jean Michel Basquiat, a world renowned New York street artist struggling with fame, drugs and his identity.

Director: Julian Schnabel | Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro, Claire Forlani

Votes: 18,465 | Gross: $2.96M

19. Beat Street (1984)

PG | 105 min | Drama, Music

68 Metascore

An aspiring DJ, from the South Bronx, and his best friend, a promoter, try to get into show business by exposing people to hip-hop music and culture.

Director: Stan Lathan | Stars: Rae Dawn Chong, Guy Davis, Jon Chardiet, Leon W. Grant

Votes: 3,217 | Gross: $16.60M

20. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it's paid, how could they get away?

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo

Votes: 24,223

21. Saturday Night Fever (1977)

R | 118 min | Drama, Music

77 Metascore

Anxious about his future after high school, a 19 year old Italian American from Brooklyn tries to escape the harsh reality of his bleak family life by dominating the dance floor at the local disco.

Director: John Badham | Stars: John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali

Votes: 65,431 | Gross: $94.21M

22. Speedy (1928)

Passed | 85 min | Action, Comedy, Family

Harold "Speedy" Swift, a fan of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees, saves from extinction the city's last horse-drawn trolley, operated by his girlfriend's grandfather.

Director: Ted Wilde | Stars: Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff, Babe Ruth

Votes: 2,961

23. The Incident (1967)

Approved | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Late one night, two young toughs hold hostage the passengers in one car of a New York subway train.

Director: Larry Peerce | Stars: Tony Musante, Martin Sheen, Beau Bridges, Brock Peters

Votes: 2,754

24. The French Connection (1971)

R | 104 min | Action, Crime, Drama

94 Metascore

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco

Votes: 101,318

25. *batteries not included (1987)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

54 Metascore

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition.

Director: Matthew Robbins | Stars: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña

Votes: 29,182 | Gross: $32.95M

26. Little Fugitive (1953)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Family

91 Metascore

A young boy fears that he shot his older brother, who is only faking. He then runs away to Coney Island, a crowded beach area, and gets money by returning soda bottles for their deposits.

Directors: Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin | Stars: Richard Brewster, Winifred Cushing, Jay Williams, Will Lee

Votes: 2,206 | Gross: $0.03M

27. Mean Streets (1973)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

96 Metascore

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson

Votes: 87,732 | Gross: $3.13M

28. Moonstruck (1987)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

Votes: 44,830 | Gross: $80.64M

29. The King of Comedy (1982)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard

Votes: 72,880 | Gross: $2.50M

30. Romancing the Stone (1984)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

63 Metascore

A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman

Votes: 77,014 | Gross: $76.57M

31. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 295,133 | Gross: $23.38M

32. Barefoot in the Park (1967)

G | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

55 Metascore

Paul, a conservative young lawyer, marries the vivacious Corie. Their highly passionate relationship descends into comical discord in a five-flight New York City walk-up apartment.

Director: Gene Saks | Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick

Votes: 15,177 | Gross: $19.99M

33. Butterflies Are Free (1972)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A blind man moves into his own apartment against the wishes of his overprotective mother and befriends the freethinking young woman next door.

Director: Milton Katselas | Stars: Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser

Votes: 4,286

34. The Apartment (1960)

Not Rated | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston

Votes: 148,188 | Gross: $18.60M

35. John and Mary (1969)

R | 92 min | Drama, Romance

John and Mary meet in a singles bar, sleep together, and spend the next day getting to know each other.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Mia Farrow, Michael Tolan, Sunny Griffin

Votes: 1,856

36. Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

92 Metascore

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane

Votes: 239,460 | Gross: $39.20M

37. Working Girl (1988)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin

Votes: 48,539 | Gross: $64.00M

38. Law & Order (1990–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Follows a crime (usually a murder), usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.

Stars: Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina, S. Epatha Merkerson

Votes: 29,759

Lots of street shots. Huge employer of NY actors back in the day. Jerry Orbach was the best. [ch-chung]

39. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York City stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York City friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 231,862

eh. a little bit of outdoor shots. definitely a sheen.

40. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 950,132 | Gross: $19.50M

41. Big (1988)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

73 Metascore

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard

Votes: 183,054 | Gross: $114.97M

42. Baby Boom (1987)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

53 Metascore

The life of super-yuppie J.C. is thrown into turmoil when she inherits a baby from a distant relative.

Director: Charles Shyer | Stars: Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Harold Ramis, Kristina Kennedy

Votes: 12,867 | Gross: $26.71M

only in the beginning.

43. Brewster's Millions (1985)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

37 Metascore

A minor league baseball player has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days, in order to inherit three hundred million dollars. However, he's not allowed to tell anyone about the deal.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Richard Pryor, John Candy, Lonette McKee, Stephen Collins

Votes: 33,367 | Gross: $38.80M

44. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 12,890 | Gross: $21.05M

45. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen

Votes: 153,959

46. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 25,644 | Gross: $17.55M

47. ABC Weekend Specials (1977–1995)
Episode: The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody (1978)

TV-Y | 29 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

Joanna Peabody is granted 7 wishes by "Aunt Thelma", a wise fairy-godmother who appears on Joanna's TV screen. Joanna squanders a few wishes before she learns the value of sharing.

Director: Stephen H. Foreman | Stars: Butterfly McQueen, Star-Shemah Bobatoon, Garrett Morris, Starletta DuPois

Votes: 31

48. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 284,573 | Gross: $5.32M