While not exactly Hollywood, New York City can puff out its chest when it comes to iconic movie sites and proudly call itself the most filmed city in the world. As both a tribute and an education, Turner Classic Movies and On Location Tours is offering a 3-hour tour (yes, a 3-hour tour) exploring the movie locations and inspirations of Manhattan.
On a glorious New York September Saturday, our tour started at the aptly-named Ellen's Stardust Diner on Broadway and 51st street (home of the singing wait staff).
Some of the tour highlights:
Okay, folks, I admit it. I NEVER get much of a chance to visit Manhattan's upper west side, since all of my friends and acquaintances don't travel in those tony circles. So, the sites in this neighborhood were a real treat for me.
The Ansonia Hotel
This gorgeous, historic structure was the setting for "The Sunshine Boys" starring George Burns and Walter Matthau, as well as the creepy "Single White Female." Hey - I'd answer an add to share an apartment in that building!
I know it's a food store, but what a food store! Ever since I saw Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway shopping there, I was smitten.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
2 awesome iconic sites for this film: of course, Tiffany's
And, the outside of the glorious townhouse that was Holly's crash pad.
The Seven Year Itch
Who can forget Marilyn's famous subway grate pose? Sadly, there is no marker at the spot (although TCM is working on having a plaque made to mark the location).
This unforgettable image was actually shot in Los Angeles, since there were too many gawkers in Manhattan.
However, here is the actual subway grate and tour guide Jason and driver Harold did their best MM imitation. Thanks, guys!
The home of "Rosemary's Baby." Still looking creepy...
Cary Grant was here!!!
Just to be in the same spot where he stood, he breathed....ahh....
"An Affair to Remember"
I know the ape is famous for climbing this building, and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks shared a moment here, but I'm all starry-eyed because Cary Grant waited there... all night....
North by Northwest (Grand Central Station)
Yes, Cary was here, too, eluding his captors....
North by Northwest (The Plaza)
And here, having a drink at the Oak Bar and sneaking into rooms.
This unforgettable image was filmed at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge and officially as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge). The bench shared by Woody Allen and Diane Keaton was strategically placed for the film.
So nice to know that Robert Osborne and I share a love for this film. If you're ever invited to Sutton Place, please let me know. I'd give anything to take a peak into those beautiful homes.
And this is just a taste of this very tasty tour. Stops also included Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwartz, The Waldorf-Astoria, Central Park and sadly, some sites that no longer exist. The saddest for me was that Meg Ryan's beautiful Shop Around the Corner in "You've Got Mail, " once a charming antique store, is now a cleaners. Ah, progress (but it is organic!).
I leave you with the very first film made in Manhattan, an 1896 moving image of mounted policemen in Central Park. Movies and Manhattan - the start of a beautiful love affair.
For more about TCM tour's, click HERE.
Many, many thanks to the Lady Eve for passing this opportunity my way. If you haven't familiarized yourself with her superb site, The Lady Eve's Reel Life, well, you simply must!!
Oh, Chick, I'll take Manhattan, too. Holly's place looks even better than it looked in 1961 - I'm ready to move in right now.
Next time I'm in NYC let's go for a drink at the Oak Bar at the Plaza...and pretend that Cary Grant is somewhere in the room and dying to meet us.
Patty - you are on! But bring your credit card - you pay for the experience. But if we could find Cary.... ah.....
How great! New York has the advantage to be where films started, and I hope this tour or future tours show locations for silent films! Yet, I think it is more a commercial view, so the most famous films are the hook to attract visitors. Anyway, thanks for shring this experience! And Manhattan is my favorite Woody movie!
Great idea and great tour of some of the movie sites of NYC. I know you could do a whole series on New York City. As to Le's comment,and sorry to digress, but there is a great series of books on the sights of silent movies of LA, "Silent Echoes" by John Bengston. For New York that would most likely be areas like Astoria and Fort Lee, New Jersey. And you better hurry, I heard Cary is getting impatient waiting for you.
Hi Le - it is really difficult to navigate the streets and traffic of Manhattan in a bus and do a proper tour, but TCM did a good job (showing clips along the way). A walking tour of specific neighborhoods would probably be more informative (especially for silent film references).
Christian - I would highly recommend "silent Echoes" - it is a fascinating look at what is lost and what still remains. If I remember correctly, there are lots of street corners and building walls and such and much is in LA. As for Cary - have no fear - I would NEVER keep him waiting!!!
Sounds like such a lot of fun. Thanks for the tour.
Chick, you've gotten my Monday off to a great start with your delightful TCM tour of Manhattan! Having lived in both Manhattan and The Bronx (yes, there are many notable places in The Bronx, too! :-)), I loved your tour, and our family will be in and out of Manhattan over the next couple of months for both the New York Comic Con and my sister's upcoming wedding, so we'll definitely hop on the TCM bus in the near-future! :-) Thanks for a fabulous tour!
Thanks, Jackie - wish you were there!
Dorian - I was thinking the same thing. There should be an "outer boro" tour!
What a fun little tour you took and thanks for sharing it with us. Who doesn't love seeing these iconic film locations.
I've visited a few of these places and the Stardust Diner. You really do feel like you've stepped back in time like going to Mel's in SF.
Have a great weekend!
Coming to New York has always been a dream of mine, Chick. I've always wondered if I actually might be disappointed, since the dream started as a kid watching 1930's and 40's black and whites -- I might react like a vampire caught in the sun: "Ahhh! The colors! Modern architecture! Where's Cagney and Fred Astaire? My eyes! My eyes!"
You've really caught the wonderful fun of seeing the great city through so many favorite movies set there. What a tour! Thanks for taking me on it -- and no, my eyes did not explode...
WONDERFUL! Your post is the next best thing to taking the tour itself.
Question: Are you on Twitter? I've posted some of your articles on Twitter, but I don't know your handle & wasn't able to notify you.
Thanks, Page - it was a great tour.
Becky - any time you come to NY you let me know and I will take you on a personal tour!
SS - oh, thanks so much! However, I don't tweet - at least, not yet.
Chick, Becky, I second that, next time/when/if we should all happen to be in NYC at the same time! Our family takes day trips to NYC occasionally; it's a 2-hour drive each way! :-)
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