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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


New York's influence on top films cannot be ignored. (Landmark Sunshine Cinema via Rael Architecture) New York's influence on top films cannot be ignored. (Landmark Sunshine Cinema via Rael Architecture)
Los Angeles rightly holds the title of movie capital of the world, but New York's contributions to cinema cannot be ignored. Not only is the city an excellent incubator of talent onscreen and behind the scenes, but its buildings and neighborhoods offer the kind of settings that can't be replicated on a sound stage. As Oscar night approaches, we look back on the role New York has played as both setting and character in some of the American Film Institute's 100 greatest American movies.

Rear Window (1954)
According to the New York Post, the view of the courtyard at 125 Christopher Street inspired the setting of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most successful thrillers. Thanks to its location in the Greenwich Village Historic District, this stretch of New York still looks remarkably similar to the time the movie was filmed. And these days, Jimmy Stewart’s wheelchair-bound character would have more urgent concerns than a possible murder across the street—CityRealty listings report that West Village rents come to a median of $4,035/month, and the average price of a condo in the neighborhood is $4.748 million.

West Side Story (1961)
Lincoln Center, which would rise on the site of West Side Story's setting
The gang battles of the iconic musical weren’t far off the mark—before the construction of Lincoln Center, feuds between racial groups flared up on a regular basis in the area. President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ground on the Lincoln Center Urban Renewal Project in 1959, and the opening scenes of the movie were filmed among the ruins of Lincoln Square. The film would soon serve as a time capsule of sorts: A few short months after West Side Story collected ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the iconic Lincoln Center performance center opened. In the years that followed, it would serve as the centerpiece of a resurgent Upper West Side neighborhood.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
1-West-72nd-Street-2 The Dakota via Sotheby's
The Dakota’s looming structure and foreboding architectural details make it equal parts character and setting in this Academy Award-winning movie. And just as Rosemary's Baby is ranked among the top horror movies ever made, The Dakota is described by architecture critic Carter Horsley as “the city’s most legendary apartment building.” This co-op has long attracted celebrities of all stripes, and the movie does not seem to have hurt its reputation—John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Gilda Radner, and Harlan Coben all moved in after its release, and power couple Eric and Stacy Bendet Eisner recently bought a home in the building.

The Godfather (1972)
While some movies are indelibly linked to one building in particular, this Best Picture winner and its critically acclaimed sequel see many of their crucial scenes play out in the downtown Italian enclave. And in a similar path to Vito Corleone’s rise from a struggling immigrant to one of the most powerful men in the city, Little Italy has seen a similar ascent: The average price of a condo in the neighborhood and nearby Nolita is $1,976 per square foot, and its tenements have been transformed into beautiful condos.

Annie Hall (1977)
14-East-69th-Street-1 14 East 69th Street via Compass
It is widely understood that the title character of this Best Picture-winning comedy lived on the Upper East Side, but a dedicated detective at Pop Spots NYC identified her building as 36 East 68th Street. Annie’s apartment may have had "bad plumbing and bugs," but one of its biggest pluses is a location in one of New York’s most prestigious Upper East Side neighborhoods. And with a rent of $400/month, it's no wonder she didn't want to give up her apartment—it was a bargain at the time, and CityRealty listings show that the median rent on the Upper East Side Gold Coast is $7,000/month.

Honorable Mention

On the Waterfront (1954)
Hoboken waterfront via Bozzuto
While some scenes in the Academy Award-winning movie were shot in Red Hook, the title waterfront is across the river in Hoboken. Indeed, many locals served as extras and minor characters in the movie. In the 65 years since its release, Hoboken has gone from a gritty port town to an area so rich in luxury housing and convenient to Midtown Manhattan that it is considered by many to be New York's unofficial sixth borough.
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