We all have a dream. And for those who dream big, New York City has always been the place where anything is possible. It’s no wonder, then, that it provides the setting for some of the greatest films ever produced. These ten quintessential films pay tribute to the Big Apple. They may span genres and generations, but there’s always one guarantee – there will be a shot of the Empire State Building.
1. King Kong
Speaking of the Empire State Building, we can never forget the giant gorilla who climbed it while holding a dazzling woman in white. King Kong is an essential story at the heart of New York that mixes the wilds of nature with the wild nature of the city.
No list concerning New York films is complete without a homage to this mesmerizing film starring Audrey Hepburn. At a glance, free-spirited Holly Golightly seems to have the glamor, sophistication, and wit that is associated with NYC. However, the film takes a deep look into fantasy vs. reality.
This crime film will keep you on the edge of your seat. With superb acting, legendary directing by Martin Scorsese, and some of the greatest dialogue ever written, this film set in NYC is necessary for every person to see in their lifetime.
Chances are, you’ve already come across this classic film from the 80s. Filled with action, comedy, and the supernatural, Ghostbusters is a must-see (and see again) NYC film.
The Godfather is simultaneously the story of a terrifying crime family and a tale of immigration and the American dream. It’s just that some people’s dreams end up with them being a mafia boss.
An African prince travels to Queens to find a bride and experiences New York with hilarious hijinks. Packed-full of great performances from its star-studded cast, the story is a fun, and at times self-deprecating, a depiction of NYC.
7. Taxi Driver
If you’re looking for a grimmer portrayal of New York, look no further than Taxi Driver. Another Scorsese classic set in the 70s, this film takes you on a ride through Travis Bickle’s life and the corruption of NYC.
Whether you watch it for the clothes, the catfighting, or the unsurprisingly magnificent performance of Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada showcases the world of fashion that is essential to the soul of New York City.
When Eilis Lacey leaves her small town in Ireland to find work, she finds love in the Brooklyn streets. This Academy Award-nominated film from 2015 portrays the romance and opportunity that is often associated with NYC.
This Woody Allen classic showcases some of the most beautiful shots of New York City. Like a lot of Woody Allen’s work, NYC is a living, complex thing that changes and grows with the characters, and leaves you in love with the city.