If you think the best place for an NYC breakfast is a certain 5th Avenue jewelry store, or you find yourself looking over your shoulder for Gordon Gekko on Wall Street, or dancing on a giant piano at FAO Schwartz, you just might have what it takes to ace this quiz on the greatest New York-based movies ever made.
New York City might not be very large in terms of area, but in terms of culture, history and economics it's larger than life. The city is so massive in its influence that it's the perfect setting for films about tough street life in the Bronx, crowded avenues in Manhattan, breezy days on Coney Island, working class families in Brooklyn and the cutthroat world of fashion, finance and the arts. Even better, the city's sights are so iconic that they are instantly recognizable, providing the perfect backdrop to set the tone for a movie, or perhaps influence the itinerary for your next vacation. Because after all, who can see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square or the Empire State Building on screen without longing to take a real-life tour of these landmarks?
Think you know every great NYC flick that's ever hit the big screen? Prove it with this quiz.
"When Harry Met Sally" came out in 1989, and chronicles 12 years in the will-they-or-won't-they friendship and the two title characters. Set against an NYC backdrop, it's perhaps best remembered for that unforgettable and almost X-rated scene at Katz's Deli — which is still open on the Lower East Side if you want to visit for yourself.
As socialite Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Audrey Hepburn knows that the best start to a good day is a morning meal at the iconic NYC jewelry store. Legendary actor Mickey Rooney co-stars as Hepburn's landlord ... in a Chinese caricature of questionable taste.
"Wall Street" tells the story of Bud Fox, a young stockbroker played by Charlie Sheen. When he runs up against Gordon Gekko, he finds himself ensnared in financial scandal. The film includes a fight scene set in Central park as well as plenty of time spent in the Financial District.
Who you gonna call? After losing their jobs at Columbia University, Ray, Peter and company form a professional ghost-hunting service with their main office at a NYC firehouse. You'll see the iconic Times Square in the film, as well as Central Park — which the Marshmallow Man brushes by as he smashes his way through Columbus Circle.
The 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy" stars Jon Voight as a sex worker and Dustin Hoffman as a sleazy con man. The pair forms an unlikely friendship set among the seedier side of midtown Manhattan.
The 1976 film "Taxi Driver" stars Al Pacino as Travis Bickle, a war vet-turned taxi driver who is slowly losing his sanity. Viewers get a good look at the darker side of NYC, including adult film theaters in Times Square, and brothels on the Lower East Side.
The 1988 film "Working Girl" features Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill, an assistant at an investment bank. The poster for this film, which co-stars Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver, features a poignant view of the twin towers.
Based on experiences Martin Scorsese had growing up in the Little Italy and NoLita neighborhoods of NYC, "Mean Streets" tells the story of a man torn between an illegal career and his own Catholic faith. The gritty drama stars Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
"Kids" is a coming of age film set against a New York background. It includes cliches like buying drugs in Washington Square Park, but also touches on serious issues like sexuality and even the AIDS epidemic.
"Annie Hall" is a 1977 romantic comedy that follows Woody Allen as Alvy Singer, a man desperate to find out where things went wrong in his relationship with the title character, played by Diane Keaton. The film includes scenes on Coney Island, where Singer grew up in the shadow of a roller coaster, as well as other New York sights like the Hamptons and Brooklyn.
In "The Devil Wears Prada," Meryl Streep stars as Miranda Priestly, a ruthless fashion editor who tortures her young assistant Andy, played by Anne Hathaway. Rumor has it that the Miranda Priestly role was inspired by legendary "Vogue" editor Anna Wintour.
"Serpico" is based on a true-story of a cop named Frank Serpico, who went undercover and put himself at great risk to expose corruption within the NYPD. The 1973 film includes 100 NYC locations in four of the five boroughs, including scenes in Queens, Brooklyn and Greenwich Village.
What to do if you're a bored housewife? If you're Rosanna Arquette's character in "Desperately Seeking Susan," you follow the crazy life of a woman you spot in the personal ads. The film shows the main characters together for the first time at Battery Park, and also includes scenes in Central Park and Lower East Side.
The first R-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture, the 1971 film "The French Connection" is a tense cop thriller. It tells the story of a pair of NYPD detectives named Cloudy and Popeye who are trying to bring down a major drug operation. While watching this film, keep an eye out for the partially-completed twin towers in the background of some scenes.
The 1985 film "After Hours" takes the audience on a one-night journey in the life of Paul Hackett. After leaving his job on Madison Avenue, Paul ends up stranded among the bars and clubs of Soho in this Martin Scorsese movie.
In "Do the Right Thing," Spike Lee not only serves as writer, director and producer, but also stars as a young man named Mookie trying to make his way in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. The tense film features brownstones, boom boxes, flowing hydrants and a startling display of police brutality.
The 1979 movie "The Warriors" follows gang members trying to survive as they fight their way through the Bronx and back to their home turf in Brooklyn. Watching this movie, you'll see such NYC sites as Union Square, Riverside Park and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
After wishing on a fortune telling machine, Tom Hanks' character in "Big" becomes a grown man in a kid's body. He takes a job with a toy company, rents an NYC apartment (complete with trampoline) and dances his way along a giant keyboard at FAO Schwarz. FYI ... while the 5th Avenue branch of this toy store closed in 2004, it reopened in Rockefeller Center in 2018 — and yes, the giant piano is back!
Based on the popular 1957 play, "West Side Story" is a tragic love story between Tony and Maria. Their ties to rival gangs threatens their love, forcing them to meet secretly on the rooftops and fire escapes of the Upper West Side.
The 1979 film "Manhattan" opens with a montage of city views, and is remembered for one iconic shot of the Queensboro Bridge. Woody Allen stars as Isaac, a man who falls for his buddy's mistress, played by Diane Keaton.
The 2010 psychological horror movie "Black Swan" follows a New York City Ballet Company production of "Swan Lake" at Lincoln Center. Natalie Portman stars as a dancer so obsessed with perfection that she begins to lose her grip on reality.
Inspired by a real NYC high school for the performing arts, the 1980 flick "Fame" told the story of aspiring dancers, singers, artists, actors and musicians. Filmed in a pair of abandoned New York schools, it features important scenes set on the local subway, in Times Square and at the iconic 8th Street Playhouse.
It may have been a film about disco, but "Saturday Night Fever" is also a movie about life in Brooklyn, where Tony Manero sees life in Staten Island as a step up from his dead-end job at the hardware store. The movie features a tough scene on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, as well as a long subway ride through Manhattan as Tony tries to deal with his troubles.
If you're going to hit it big in theater, Broadway is the place to do it — even if you're a puppet. "The Muppets Take Manhattan" shows Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang making their way through New York sites like Central Park, Bergdorf Goodman and the Grand Army Plaza.
Marlon Brando is head of the Corleone crime family in the movie "The Godfather." It was not only the highest grossing movie of 1972, but also picked up the Oscar for Best Picture. This acclaimed film opens at a wedding in Staten Island, and includes scenes of a fantastic Renaissance Revival building that serves as the setting for Genco Olive Oil, the front for the Corleone business.
"American Psycho" is a 2000 flick featuring Christian Bale as an investment banker by day, serial killer by night. Though some scenes were shot in Toronto, the film is set in New York, and audiences will see familiar sites in the Financial District, including the Rector Street Subway Station.
Despite its title, the 1993 movie "A Bronx Tale" was almost entirely shot along 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens. The movie tells the rise and fall of a young boy torn between the lure of life as a member of a powerful crime family and loyalty to his own law-abiding father.
Richard Roundhouse stars as the title character in "Shaft," a 1971 film about a Harlem gangster working to thwart a kidnapping. The movie opens with Shaft strolling along 7th Avenue and passing through Times Square, but much of the action takes place in Greenwich Village.
"Once Upon a Time in America" reveals how a tough childhood can lead to a life of crime. The poster for the film features an iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge as seen from Washington Street in Brooklyn, an area now known as DUMBO.
In the 1954 thriller "Rear Window," James Stewart plays a man who has been confined to a wheelchair. Bored and restless, he overhears a scuffle that makes him think his Greenwich Village neighbor might be a murderer. Grace Kelly co-stars in the film as Lisa, girlfriend to Stewart's character.
"Cruising" stars Al Pacino as a cop named Steve Burns who goes undercover to track down a killer who has been targeting gay men. The film features many iconic New York locations, namely Columbia University and Morningside Park, as well as some popular clubs in which real patrons were used as extras.
"Gangs of New York" stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diz and Daniel Day-Lewis. Set in the slums of the Five Points neighborhood during the 1850s, it ends with a timelapse of NYC, showing how structures like the Brooklyn Bridge and the World Trade Center rise to cover the buildings and lives of the past.
Hey, real estate is expensive in New York, so it helps to know friends who will let you couch surf ... or have an affair at their upper West Side pad. In "The Apartment," ad man Bud Baxter wins favor at work by loaning them his apartment for illicit activities.
Set over a period of two years between a pair of Thanksgiving celebrations, "Hannah and her Sisters" is a family drama starring Mia Farrow in the title role, with Michael Caine as her husband. The ensemble cast also includes Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Son of the devil ... really. The 1968 Roman Polanski film "Rosemary's Baby" features Mia Farrow as a woman who believes a cult is trying to steal her child. Turns out he's just the son of Satan ... because that's such a better scenario, right?
In a nod to the 1940 classic "The Shop Around the Corner," "You've Got Mail" tells the story of two online lovers who don't realize that their bookstores are in direct competition with one another. The movie features a scene at Zabar's Deli, which also makes an appearance in the Woody Allen movie "Manhattan."
Set in Harlem, "Juice" is the story of four young Black men played by Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Khalil Kan and Jermaine Hopkins. Throughout the film, the men experience the reality of poverty and the violence that results in their neighborhood. The film also features Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah.
Martin Scorsese had one of his biggest hits with the 1990 drama "Goodfellas." Considered one of the greatest mob movies ever made, the film is set in Astoria, Queens between the '50s and the '80s and features landmarks like JFK Airport.
After developing a difficult reputation, Dustin Hoffman's character Michael Dorsey can't land a gig to save his life in the 1982 comedy "Tootsie." To make ends meet, he dresses up as a female actress named Dorothy Michaels, and the offers start pouring in in this Sydney Pollack film.
"Kramer vs. Kramer" pits Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as two warring parents who both want what's best for their son Billy as they settle their divorce. The Mall in Central Park appears several times in the film, including a scene where Billy rides his bike, and the meeting between the two title characters takes place in a real Upper East Side restaurant called J.G. Melon.