Skip to main content

Live From New York: It's a LibGuide!

This guide provides related resources about films with New York City as its backdrop and helpful information about obtaining the proper information about NYC's film industry.

Essential Watching - Films that Define the City

New York is not only a popular location for filming, it is a popular subject as well. Here you can take a virtual tour of the 5 boroughs through cinema -- each film below is not only set in NYC, but filmed there as well. Click on the film's poster to watch!

The Bronx

Goodfellas posterGoodfellas (1990)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

One-line Synopsis: The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Landmarks/areas: Scenes were filmed in every borough, though the Sherwood Diner (now Goodfellas Diner) is in Maspeth, Queens, while Neir’s Tavern is in Woodhaven.






Do the Right Thing posterDo the Right Thing (1989)

Director: Spike Lee

Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee

One-line Synopsis: On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Landmarks/areas: Shot entirely on one block in BedStuy — on Stuyvesant Avenue between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.






Breakfast at Tiffany's posterBreakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Director: Blake Edwards

Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal

One-line Synopsis: A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.

Landmarks/areas: The eponymous Tiffany's is located at 727 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street. Holly Golightly's apartment building is located on the Upper East Side at 169 East 71st Street.






In Jackson Heights posterIn Jackson Heights (2015)

Director: Frederick Wiseman

One-line Synopsis: Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the US where 167 languages are spoken; this documentary explores the conflict between maintaining ties to old traditions and adapting to American values.

Landmarks/areas: This documentary was shot entirely in Jackson Heights, Queens, following residents of the neighborhood.





Staten Island

The Godfather posterThe Godfather (1972)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Stars: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

One-line Synopsis: The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.

Landmarks/areas: Though shot throughout the city, the Corleone family compound, seen in the film’s opening, is located in Staten Island's Emerson Hill neighborhood.