New York Movies and "The Fugitive"
I'm so behind in my reading of the New York Daily News that I just discovered that Elizabeth Weitzman referred to me in a recent column of hers, which continues a series of enlightening articles she's been writing on people's "favorite, [New York-] city-centric films." I've really enjoyed her series. Readers can check out that series of articles here, here, here, here, here, and here.
As for my all-time favorite films, which have used New York City as a backdrop, here's a brief list (in no particular order):
"King Kong" (the classic 1933 and also Peter Jackson's remake)
"North By Northwest" (a Cary Grant-Alfred Hitchcock tour de force)
"Angels with Dirty Faces" (James Cagney at his best)
"The Godfather" (I and II) (the greatest Mafia Movie Masterpieces of all time, in my view)
"Dog Day Afternoon" (dramatizing a bank robbery that took place in my neighborhood)
"Pride of the Yankees" (probably my favorite baseball movie of all time, about the great Lou Gehrig)
"West Side Story" (one of my favorite Movie Musicals of all time)
"Funny Girl" (another favorite musical, which takes us from vaudeville to the Ziegfeld Follies)
"An Affair to Remember" (Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in a romance atop the Empire State Building)
"Rear Window" (claustrophobic Jimmy Stewart-Hitchcock classic)
"Miracle on 34th Street" (among my favorite Christmas films of all time)
"Malcolm X" (from Harlem to Mecca, a sprawling epic)
"Independence Day" (great sci-fi special effects)
"The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" (great monster movie)
"Saturday Night Fever" (Travolta struttin' his stuff in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn)
Last week, Weitzman asked readers to send in their favorite New York-centric comedies, and I sent her a note that included the following list:
o "Barefoot in the Park"... hilarious ... and NY'ers recognize the reality of small apartments and long walk-ups.
o Two absolutely classic Cary Grant vehicles: "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and "Arsenic and Old Lace" ... the first, a perennial favorite contrasting the confines of that small apartment (again) and the confines of a different sort posed by an ever-growing nightmare in the suburbs! And the second: Well, Hallowe'en in Brooklyn, NY is just dark comedy at its best!
o Finally, "Pocketful of Miracles" and "Arthur" ... both featuring classic performances, great cast, and hilarious---and poignant---moments.
I'm sure you'll hear from those who like other ticklers, like "Ghostbusters" ... but wanted to make sure some of the above were mentioned too!
I discovered that Weitzman mentioned my note to her in her column on Friday, August 17, 2007. She writes:
"I'm sure you'll hear from those who like 'Ghostbusters,'" offers Chris Sciabarra, before putting in a word for "Barefoot in the Park."
Notablog readers who have other favorite New York-centric films... I'd love to hear from you.
Finally, as an aside, I should mention that in another column, Weitzman reports on "the most exciting news," which I've known about for a while, thanks to a good friend: David Janssen's immortal television role as Dr. Richard Kimble is finally brought to DVD with the release of Volume One, Season One of "The Fugitive." I've received the set as a gift and can't wait to see the newly restored existential drama. It is among my very favorite series of all time. I urge readers who have not seen this classic television show to see it!