March 27, 2014

A Cinematic Clip Tour Of Dirty Old New York

Over at The EV Grieve, they've posted the fifth in a series of cinematic clip tours of New York from back in its less glamorous period. These were created by cinephile Jonathan Hertzberg, who is obsessed with the dirty old NYC of the late 60s, 1970s and 1980s. His latest 25 minute tour de grit is put together with a number of notable films (TAKING OF PELHAM 123, SUPERMAN, TAXI DRIVER) and some lesser known films, some of which even I couldn't guess (what is Barbra Streisand doing with a bunch of thugs cruising down the East River?!).

Some of the clips are classics, others curiosities, but the real interest is often the background or the location itself. There's one remarkable shot of 1970s Times Square that shows not only the old HoJo's (one of my favorite spots) but also a still-operating Horn & Hardart automat. And there is a great sequence of shots around the 8:00 minute mark of Jessica Lange and King Kong at the old World Trade Center, ending with Kong dead on the wide beach that used to abut the site made from the excavation of the twin towers and later developed into Battery Park City and the World Financial Center.

Make sure you stay 'til the end for an Oscar-like tribute to actors associated with NYC who are no longer with us.
Dirty Old New York aka Fun City, Part V from Jonathan Hertzberg on Vimeo.

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