Named after the 17th century Duke of York, New York City is the most populous city of the United States having a population exceeding 8.1 million, and this constitutes 40% of the population of New York State. New York City is the financial, cultural, and diplomatic center of the world. On account of the numerous languages spoken here, New York is known as the linguistically most diverse city in the world. Many American cultural movements, like the Harlem Renaissance, American modern dance and music including, jazz, punk rock, hip hop emerged from this city. Originally, New York was the center of the American film industry. Currently, New York is the second most important center for the film industry in America. Currently, more than 275 independent film studios are in production in New York City. Many international festivals are held in New York, and they include: Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Acceptance of any new film in New York, regardless of where it had been produced, is a good auger, and its chances of being a hit film are bright.
1. King Kong
King Kong was produced and directed by Merian C.Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Its story was written by Cooper and Edgar Wallace. The film was starred in by Fay Wary, Bruce Cabot, and Willis O’Brien. It was opened in New York City on March 2, 1933. It is considered one of the all-time greatest films. Considered as ‘Culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant’ the Library of Congress selected King Kong for preservation in the National Film Registry. The story is about a gigantic ape called Kong who lives on an island and is killed in an effort to possess a beautiful, young woman Ann, whom, in the end, he carries to the top of the Empire state building and is shot to death by a squadron of military airplanes. The film has been reproduced twice, once in 1976 and again in 2005.
Metropolitan was shot on location in Manhattan and Long Island. Metropolitan was written, directed, and produced by Whit Stillman and was nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Original Screenplay. It was released on August 31, 1990. The film stars who performed in this film include: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Allison Parisi, and Dylan Hundley. The movie is about the upper-class, young, educated New Yorkers. Tom Townsend is a middle class student from Princeton. He attends a ball and meets Serena, but another girl, Audrey, has a crush on him while he is unaware of it. The film’s end is ambiguous as Audrey plans to return to France for studies, and in the final scene Tom, Audrey, and Charlie are shown walking back to New York City.
3. The Thieving Hand
The Thieving Hand was a short, silent film directed and produced by J. Stuart Balackson. The Thieving Hand was filmed at Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City. Its running time was only 5 minutes with 16 frames per minute, and it was released on February 1, 1908 and distributed by Vitagraph Studio. The film is preserved by George Eastman House. It is also on record of the National Film Preservation Foundation. It was shown in Leeds Film Festival in 2008. The story revolves around a one-armed beggar who gets a new limb from a store dealing in artificial human limbs. The new arm is not compatible with the existing one on account of having its own mind and works in a manner that simply adds to his troubles.
4. Romance in Manhattan
Romance in Manhattan is directed by Stephen Roberts starring Francis Lederer and Ginger Rogers. It was released on January 11, 1935. The story is about a naÃƒ¯ve Czech immigrant who arrives in New York with $58 but must have $200 to be sent back. He escapes from the ship, is rescued by the dock workers, and wanders the streets. He eats leftover food by chorus girls, and one of them, Sylvia, offers a place under a roof to sleep. In the end, he asks Sylvia to marry him but is arrested on account of being an illegal immigrant. However, with the help of police, they ultimately get married.
5. A King in New York
A King in New York was written, directed, and produced by Charlie Chaplain who starred in it with Dawn Addams, Maxine Audley, Jerry Desmonde, Oliver Johnston, and Michael Chaplin. It was released on September 12, 1957. After Charlie Chaplain’s exile in 1952, the film was produced in Europe and opened in America in 1967. The film is a satirical review of certain social and political aspects of America. King Igor Shahdov comes to New York when he is penniless after being deprived of all his money by his own minister. He tries to contact the Atomic Energy Commission and offers to build Utopia. At a dinner party, he expresses his interest in theatre but dislikes the offer to work. On account of suspicion, he faces Joseph McCarthy’s hearings but is cleared of all the charges. The film did well in Europe but was impacted commercially in the U.S. on account of improper distribution.
6. Cotton Comes to Harlem
Cotton Comes to Harlem is a 1970 film relating to African-Americans. The plot is taken from Chester Hime’s novel Cotton Comes to Harlem. It is directed by Ossie Davis, and its stars are Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques, and Redd Foxx. Its opening theme ‘Ain’t Now But It’s Gonna Be’ was performed by Melba Moore. NYPD, the New York Police Department, assigns two Harlem detectives, black cops Gravedigger Jones and Coffin, to recover $87,000 of poor, black families’ savings stolen in a fraud movement of ‘Back to Africa.’ The stolen money is traced in a truck of O’Mally. It was found in a cotton bale stuffed with money.
7. Sunday in New York
Sunday in New York starring Jane Fonda and Rod Taylor was a comedy film written by Norman Krasna, directed by Peter Tewksbury, and produced by Everett Freeman. Ellyn Tyler is a 22-year-old music critic and is suffering from a breakup with Russ belonging to a rich family. She comes to New York to see her brother who is a pilot. She tries to explore a perfect match for her in New York which she finds in Mike during a bus ride. Things do not fulfill expectations when Russ proposes to her.
8. New York, New York
New York, New York is a musical drama film written by Earl MacRauch, directed by Martin Scorseses, and produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler. It is a musical tribute to John Kander and Fred Ebb through featuring their new songs. It is also a tribute to Scorseses’ home town, New York City. It stars Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a pair of musicians and a loving couple. The story opens in a New York City night club during a celebration. Francine gets acquainted with Jimmy, and both go for an audition because both are offered a job.
9. Over the Brooklyn Bridge
The film story is about a Jew, Alby Sherman, whose father died when he was young. He runs a candy store along with his mother in Brooklyn but dreamed of running his own restaurant in New York City which was quite an expensive affair. He finds a perfect location in New York City where a restaurant owner is going to leave. He contacted his wealthy uncle Benjamin to lend him money, but he imposed upon him a condition which he was unable to either accept or reject. The condition was to disassociate from his Shiksee Catholic girlfriend. ‘Shiksee’ is a Yiddish and Polish word used for a non-Jewish woman who is gentle and attractive and who has the potential to tempt a Jewish boy for intermarriage.
10. Autumn in New York
Autumn in New York, written by Allison Burnett and directed by John Chen, starring Richard Gee, Winona Ryder, and Anthony LaPaglia is a romantic drama film. It was released on July 25, 2000. The film is about a successful, middle aged restaurant owner, Will, who is a womanizer and falls in love with a terminally ill, beautiful, young woman, Charlotte. They get acquainted at a birthday party. Will comes to know of her rare heart disease. On Christmas Day, while Will is decorating the house, she collapses and is rushed to the hospital for surgery. The specialist operates but cannot save her life. Will finds a gift from Charlotte kept in his house, a hat and a watch which he gave to her on her first meeting.
Next only to Hollywood, the City of New York is the most important center of the American film industry. It seems that the best films are produced in Hollywood, but their being best is practically subject to confirmation by the New Yorkers.