The City That Never Sleeps: 10 Most Famous Movie Scenes Ever Shot in NYC

So many movies have been set in New York City. Too many to count, really. 

Obviously, since so many movies have been set here, some of the most beloved scenes in the history of American cinema have taken place amidst the city's skyscrapers and sidewalks.

There was Men In Black, there was The Warriors, Hitch, Big, Die Hard, and Good Fellas.

We told you: some of the most beloved movies in the American collective consciousness were filmed right alongside the streets we walk every day.

Want to know our picks for the best movie scenes set in this city? Great. We've listed them for you below. Check it out.

1. Breakfast at Tiffany's


It's the opening scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Audrey Hepburn, playing Holly Golightly, strolls down Fifth Avenue still wearing her evening gown from the night before after emerging from a zooming cab.

She's eating a danish and drinking a coffee, and she's gazing into the window of Tiffany's.


It's everything the movie represents: it's glam, it's fashion, and it's a yearning for the upper echelons of society embedded in the fabric of NYC.

2. Spider-Man

We mean, come on. How many people swooned when Spiderman hung upside down to make out with Kirsten Dunst's character MJ in the rain after he'd just saved her life?

Yeah, of course. Everyone swooned. For so many of us who were just dipping our toes in the dating pool, this was the kiss we aspired to for far too long.

It's even more lovely in context, knowing that Peter Parker is spiderman, and he's been in love with MJ his entire life. Spiderman will always be the master of hanging upside down kisses, and that means he'll always be the master of NYC romance, too.

3. Ghostbusters

At the very beginning of Ghostbusters, three ghost chasers head to the New York Public Library to investigate a haunting.

Yes, the same giant, majestic, gorgeous New York Public Library we know and love today.

On the first floor of the library, the three ghost busters discover a dead woman who, despite the fact that she isn't even alive, gets very incensed about them making noise in the library.

In a hilarious twist, in the very first encounter with ghosts in the movie, the ghost, reading a book, shushes the detectives. Everyone knows you're not supposed to talk in libraries, though, right?

4. Big

You know the scene we're talking about, right?

It's at the toy store on 5th Avenue, and Robert Loggie and Tom Hanks, the 13-year-old boy stuck in the body of a man, play the giant piano with their feet.


Of course, they played "Chopsticks". Even now that FAO Schwartz has been relocated, tourists and New Yorkers swarm the famous toy store to play "Chopsticks" on the giant piano, all thanks to the loveliness and aesthetic pleasure of that scene in Big.

Good work, Tom Hanks. You'll live on in the city's imagination for the rest of time.

5. Home Alone 2

The moment when Kevin McAllistor checks into the Plaza hotel using his dad's Visa is more than satisfying.

It's the fantasy of every small kid to have unrestrained access to the city of glitz and glam. He outsmarts the staff at one of the fanciest hotels in the city, and to our delight, fulfills the dearest wish of every child who wishes we could've freely roamed NYC during our childhoods.


6. When Harry Met Sally


We mean, this scene is great for plenty of reasons.

First of all, because it gives exposure to one of the most beloved, delicious, pastrami joints in the city. It takes place in Katz's Delicatessen.


The second reason? Well, Meg Ryan, playing Sally, and Billy Crystal, playing Harry, have a very interesting encounter. The encounter culminates with Sally faking an orgasm at the table.

This scene is infamous for a reason, and it's been woven into the collective consciousness associated with NYC movies, and especially with Katz's Deli.

7. Maid in Manhattan


This sweet romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes stole all the city's heart.

Our favorite scene? The night when Marisa (Lopez) and Christopher (Fiennes) spend an evening together in the Met.

The two spend the whole night dancing, chatting, and (spoiler alert) falling in love. Never mind the fact that Marisa is pretending to be someone she's not; that winds up not mattering in the end.

Still, the fantasy of it all, the glamour, and Marisa's ascension in society is all too charming to handle.

8. 13 Going on 30

We love this movie so much. It's got so many great lessons about life, and love (is a battlefield). The most enchanting moment in the movie?

Right after Jenna Rink (played by Jennifer Garner) has just been transformed into a 30-year-old woman, and she cruises the streets of Manhattan in a limo, with her head sticking out the top.

The car cruises past Times Square, and the bright lights are flashing and dazzling, and it's clear that the dizzying possibilities of NYC overwhelm Jenna with delight.

9. The Godfather Part II

The San Gennaro Feast. It's one of the most delightful culinary festivities in a city completely full of delicious food and food events.

Did we expect Robert De Niro's character Vito Corleone to pause his life as a gangster to celebrate the san Gennaro feast? No, we didn't, but the moment is so irresistibly NYC.


Of course, Vito doesn't abandon his gun. During the feast, Vito follows Dan Fanucci into his apartment, overlooking the feast.

The juxtaposition of religiosity, joy, and feasting with the bullets and death in Fanucci's apartment is simultaneously terrifying and cinematically delightful.

10. Trainwreck


Trainwreck is a recent movie, but it's filled with so many lovable, that-was-so-NYC moments. Like, the moment Amy Schumer's character wakes up on Staten Island and has to journey home on the ferry in her stilettos and club attire.

Like, the moment Schumer gets into Bill Hader's cab and tells the driver to make one stop instead of two; perhaps the sexiest moment in the movie.

Our favorite, so NYC scene, though? Schumer's relationship with the homeless guy who hangs out outside her apartment building.

Schumer's on her way back from that infamous one night stand on Long Island still wearing her club clothes, and her lovable homeless guy friend says, "Amy, what happened? Did church let out early?"

Check out Our 10 Best Films of 2015

[Feature Image Courtesy Mirror UK] 

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