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50 Greatest New York Movies

Klute (1971)

Jane Fonda took a golden baldie home for her portrayal of the ultimate ‘70s feminist – a prostitute who helps a detective solve a missing person’s case. This would only ever be plausible in New York, and we’d like to think the setting helped Fonda nab that Oscar.

Kick-Ass (2010)

Ever wondered what it’d look like if somebody strapped on a jetpack and went on a little avian sightseeing through New York City? Well wonder no more – thanks to Matthew Vaughn and Aaron Johnson, we’ll forever equate jetpacks with the Big Apple. Now where can we buy our own?

Wall Street (1987)

Wealth, arrogance, corruption… A magnifying glass is held over all the bad stuff New York has to offer in Oliver Stone’s unforgiving ‘80s monolith, which surrendered one of the coolest fat cats ever in the shape of Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas).

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

New York positively sparkles in this tough-love musical number. John Travolta blazes his way through the NY disco scene (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) wearing some questionably baggy flares and a chest-exposing shirt. But that’s OK because in New York, this kind of thing makes sense. And that’s why we love it.

Working Girl (1988)

Notable for its power suits and mountainous hair, Working Girl is also all about the dog-eat-dog world of office life in NYC. Sure, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) has a head rammed full of canny ideas, but can she build up the courage to stand on a few shoulders to get them heard?

American Psycho (2000)

Decadence reigns supreme in Mary Harron’s scathing screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, with Wall Street ‘wolfs’ exposed as sneery, money-clutching toffs. And among them is Christian Bale’s murderous, delusional psycho, who lives for the city’s nightclubs and over-priced restaurants.

Superman (1978)

Yeah, yeah, it’s set in the fictional city of Metropolis, but for this classic superhero movie Richard Donner beautifully captured a ‘70s New York. Just watch Supes soar over Battery Park before swooping over numerous other gulp-inducing landmarks.

Scent Of A Woman (1992)

Al Pacino’s blind alcoholic may not be able to see the city, but we can, and look how she shimmers. As Pacino drags Chris O’Donnell’s student across the city, he discovers the finest luxury that NY has to offer – from dinner at the Oak Room to a stay at the swish Waldorf Hotel. Ah, bliss.

Requiem For A Dream (2000)

Darren Aronofsky shines a light on NYC’s seedier aspects, and what seed there is. Here, Brighton Beach and Coney Island are the focus as Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is subsumed by her drug addiction. Nightmarish stuff.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

It takes Bourne (Matt Damon) a while to get there, the former CIA assassin hop-skipping from Russia to Paris to Tangiers. It really hits the fan when he arrives in NYC, though, where he finally comes face-to-face (sort of) with Treadstone. As shot by Paul Greengrass, New York’s a bustling, shiny metropolis that sort of resembles a massive mouse trap.