New York, New York (film)

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New York, New York
New York New York poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced by Robert Chartoff
Irwin Winkler
Screenplay by Earl Mac Rauch
Mardik Martin
Story by Earl MacRauch
Starring Liza Minnelli
Robert De Niro
Music by John Kander
Fred Ebb
Cinematography László Kovács
Editing by Bert Lovitt
David Ramirez
Tom Rolf
Studio Chartoff-Winkler Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • June 21, 1977 (1977-06-21)
Running time 155 minutes
136 minutes (Edited re-release)
163 minutes (Re-release)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $14 million
Box office $13,800,000

New York, New York is a 1977 American musical-drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a musical tribute, featuring new songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb as well as standards, to Scorsese's home town of New York City, and stars Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a pair of musicians and lovers. The film marked the final screen appearance of actor Jack Haley.

Plot[edit]

The story opens on V-J Day in 1945. A massive celebration in a New York City nightclub is underway, music provided by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. While there Jimmy Doyle (Robert De Niro), a selfish and smooth-talking saxophone player, meets Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli), a small-time singer. Francine is lonely but still, she wants nothing to do with Jimmy, who keeps pestering her for her phone number.

The next morning, they end up sharing a cab, and, against her will, Francine accompanies Jimmy to an audition. There he gets into an argument with the club owner. Francine, to get the audition back on track, begins to sing the old standard, "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me"; Jimmy joins in on his sax. The club owner is impressed and, to Francine's astonishment, they are both offered a job—a boy-girl act. From that moment on, Jimmy and Francine's relationship deepens into love. But there are problems—mainly, Jimmy's tendency to fight with everyone, and his increasingly violent arguments with Francine, who becomes pregnant with his child. An especially bad shouting match between them results in Francine going into labor. Jimmy rushes her to the hospital, but he is not ready to be a father, or a good husband, and he abandons his wife.

Several years later, in a recording studio, Francine records "But the World Goes Round", a powerful anthem which makes the charts and turns her into a popular entertainment figure. In the following years, Jimmy and Francine both find success in the music industry. Doyle becomes a renowned jazz musician and club owner, while Francine becomes a successful singer and motion picture actress.

Jimmy records a song of his on his saxophone which tops the charts, and Francine cements her stardom after singing Jimmy's song, "New York, New York". Her performance, received by a wildly appreciative audience, takes place in the same nightclub where, years earlier, she and Jimmy had met. After the show, Jimmy telephones his ex-wife, suggesting they get together for dinner. Francine is tempted, heads toward the stage door exit, but at the last moment changes her mind. Jimmy, waiting on the sidewalk, realizes he has been stood up and heads off down the street, accompanied by the song he has written—the "Theme from New York, New York".

An alternate ending sees the pair reunite and walk off to dinner, sharing conversation about their son.

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

  1. "Main Title" (Theme / You Are My Lucky Star / Just You, Just Me / The Man I Love - Medley) - Ralph Burns (1:53)
  2. "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" - Liza Minnelli (1:47)
  3. "Flip the Dip" - orchestra (2:13)
  4. "V.J. Stomp" - orchestra (1:08)
  5. "Opus Number One" - orchestra (8:49)
  6. "Once in a While" - Liza Minnelli (2:17)
  7. "You Are My Lucky Star" - Liza Minnelli (1:18)
  8. "Game Over" - orchestra (2:25)
  9. "It's a Wonderful World" - orchestra (2:08)
  10. "The Man I Love" - Liza Minnelli (3:20)
  11. "Hazoy" - orchestra (2:38)
  12. "Just You, Just Me" - Liza Minnelli (2:29)
  13. "There Goes the Ball Game" - Liza Minnelli (1:27)
  14. "Blue Moon" - Robert De Niro / Mary Kay Place (3:28)
  15. "Don't Be That Way" - orchestra (0:44)
  16. "Happy Endings" - Liza Minnelli / Larry Kert (11:39)
  17. "But the World Goes 'Round" - Liza Minnelli (3:58)
  18. "Theme from New York, New York" - orchestra (2:49)
  19. "Honeysuckle Rose" - Diahnne Abbott (2:16)
  20. "Once Again Right Away" - orchestra (2:04)
  21. "Bobby's Dream" - orchestra (3:58)
  22. "Theme from New York, New York" - Liza Minnelli (3:16)
  23. "Theme from New York, New York (Reprise)" - orchestra (1:13)

Style and responses[edit]

Made after Scorsese's successful Taxi Driver, the film was a box-office failure. Its budget was $14 million, a large figure at the time, but it grossed only $13.8 million at the box-office and the disappointing reception drove Scorsese into depression and drugs.[1] However, it is reported in Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls that Scorsese's addiction to cocaine and complete lack of control over the improvisation of dialogues in the set were major factors that contributed to the failure of the film. United Artists ultimately recouped its loss on the film as a result of an agreement wherein they would share the profits with Rocky, which the executives had expected to be a flop.[2]

In his introduction to the DVD edition of the film, released in 2005, Scorsese explains that he intended the film as a break from the gritty realism for which he had become famous, and sees it as an homage to the musical films of Classical Hollywood.

For this reason, he designed the film's sets and storyline to be deliberately artificial-looking. He acknowledges that it is an experiment that did not please everyone.

The film currently holds a 67% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

Re-releases[edit]

When the film was originally released, it had a running time of 155 minutes. The box-office failure of the film prompted United Artists to cut the film down to 136 minutes. It was then re-released in 1981 with the deleted scenes restored, including the lengthy musical number "Happy Endings", only a small portion of which had appeared in the original release. The total running time of the DVD edition is 163 minutes.

The theme song of the film, "Theme from New York, New York", found its own success when Frank Sinatra recorded a cover version of it in 1980. The song became a hit, and both Sinatra's and Minnelli's versions have become closely associated with Manhattan in New York City. Minnelli continues to perform the number at nearly all of her concerts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Behind the screen: Minnelli on New York New York
  2. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (2002-02-19). "EW: The Right Hook: How Rocky Nabbed Best Picture". Entertainment Weekly. 
  3. ^ New York, New York at Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]