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Film fanatics love visiting New York City since the city has been featured in so many memorable movies. In Manhattan, especially, you are never far from some area that was used as a backdrop for a movie that you have seen. This post looks at some of the best movies that have been filmed in New York and where their scenes were located.

The French Connection

The French Connection, starring Gene Hackman, is one of the best action movies of all time. It features one of the most exciting car chases in cinema history—one that was supposedly filmed without any permits. During the car chase sequence, Gene Hackman’s character chases after an elevated train in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It’s difficult to imagine such a scene being pulled off with no permits in today’s Brooklyn.


One of the most famous scenes in Big occurs when Tom Hanks’ character enters FAO Schwarz and plays “Chopsticks” on the floor piano with his boss. Unfortunately, FAO Schwarz closed its doors in 2015. While you won’t be able to visit the toy store anymore, you can always rewatch the film.


Watching Manhattan is the closest you can get to visiting the borough without actually stepping foot on the island. The entire film is shot in black and white which gives the city a refined look. Perhaps the most famous scene is the shot of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton sitting on a bench near the Queensboro Bridge. The location wasn’t particularly noteworthy before the movie was released, but now it’s a must-visit for fans of the movie.

Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing can’t be separated from the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. A lot of the film’s most important scenes were shot on Stuyvesant Avenue, including the race riot that occurs at the end of the film. Spike Lee grew up in Brooklyn, and his love for the neighborhood can be seen in many of his films.

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy, which was released in 1969, features many scenes in Times Square—not today’s tourist-friendly Times Square, but the gritty Times Square that sensible tourists tended to avoid. While the film doesn’t highlight a particular landmark, there is one scene that is near and dear to every New Yorker. Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight’s characters are crossing the street when a taxi cab almost hits them. Hoffman’s outburst of “I’m walkin’ here!” and subsequent cursing are familiar scenes for many New Yorkers.