The film New York, New York (1977) is Martin Scorsese’s attempt at a musical genre piece set in the 1940s starring Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli. The story tells the tale of two creative people falling in love as they face the ups and downs of the music industry. De Niro’s character is a pushy, hot-headed jazz saxophonist, while Minnelli’s character is a passionate pop singer. The two fall madly in love after stumbling upon a “boy-girl” act in a night club. However, De Niro’s most aggravating character continues to put a strain on their relationship. New York, New York is the New Yorker’s version of La La Land (2016) with more physical and mental abuse.
It should be a statement on its own that this film is nowhere to be found online (as of June 2020) making anyone interested actually purchase a DVD to view New York, New York. All around the film has style, but the direction is messy. With the initial cut being four-and-a-half hours, to the reduced commercial cut at 153 minutes, changing to 136 minutes for the European market, and finally a runtime at 163 minutes for the 1981 rerelease, you can tell Scorsese was all over the place with this one (Christie and Thompson 72). Unclear with a narrative path, this makes New York, New York sometimes hard to follow, especially with the dogpile of lengthy scenes.
Scorsese aims for a certain look, stating he wanted to design it “in the style of the forties films, with all their artifice and the idea of no reality. The sets would be completely fake, but the trick would be to approach the characters in the foreground like a documentary…” This film is worth the watch, but an absolute misfire following the widely appreciated Taxi Driver (1976). The venture to tackle this genre hybrid is respectable, but the best thing that comes out of this film is the New York, New York theme song that Frank Sinatra later does a rendition of that lives on outside of this movie.
Story/Plot – 15/20 Direction – 15/20 Acting - 15/20
Cinematography – 15/20 Score/Soundtrack – 15/20
The Founder of @HennionProductions,