New York Stories

New York Stories

23 Episodes

From the fiscal crisis of the 1970s to the September 11 attacks twenty years ago to a global pandemic that swept through America’s largest city, New York has seen its share of troubles over the years—but its resilience and vibrancy remain indomitable. Surveying a century of cinematic history, this panoramic celebration of films set in the five boroughs captures the mix of grime, glamour, and anything-can-happen energy that has made the Big Apple an unforgettable canvas for generations of filmmakers. Swoon-inducing romance (THE CLOCK), street-level desperation (THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK), subway snafus (THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE), creative cool (DOWNTOWN 81), racial tension (DO THE RIGHT THING), queer liberation (PARIS IS BURNING), criminal ambition (THE KING OF NEW YORK), immigrant struggle (MAN PUSH CART), and moral education (MARGARET)—these are just some of the eight million stories that make up life in the world’s most exciting city.

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New York Stories
  • The Immigrant

    Episode 1

    Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1917 • United States

    AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS features a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 film THE IMMIGRANT, which features Chaplin’s Little Tramp as an immigrant sailing for the United States. Director Louis Malle chose this film because “it was an evocation of fr...

  • Speedy

    Episode 2

    Directed by Ted Wilde • 1928 • United States
    Starring Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Bert Woodruff

    SPEEDY was the last silent feature to star Harold Lloyd—and one of his very best. The slapstick legend reprises his “Glasses Character,” this time as a good-natured but scatterbrained New Yorker who ca...

  • The Clock

    Episode 3

    Directed by Vincente Minnelli • 1945 • United States
    Starring Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason

    Judy Garland received her first serious, non-musical role in this swooning romance exquisitely directed by her soon-to-be husband Vincente Minnelli. While on forty-eight-hour-leave in New Yor...

  • The Naked City

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jules Dassin • 1948 • United States
    Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart

    “There are eight million stories in the Naked City,” as the narrator immortally states at the close of this breathtakingly vivid film and this is one of them. Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin a...

  • On the Bowery

    Episode 5

    Directed by Lionel Rogosin • 1956 • United States
    Starring Ray Salyer, Gorman Hendricks, Frank Matthews

    Lionel Rogosin’s landmark of American neorealism chronicles three days in the drinking life of Ray Salyer, a part-time railroad worker adrift on New York’s skid row, the Bowery. When the film ...

  • Shadows

    Episode 6

    Directed by John Cassavetes • 1959 • United States
    Starring Lelia Goldoni, Anthony Ray, Hugh Hurd

    John Cassavetes’s directorial debut revolves around a romance in New York City between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light- skinned black woman, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man. The relationship is p...

  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One

    Episode 7

    Directed by William Greaves • 1968 • United States
    Starring William Greaves, Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows

    In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM TAKE ONE, director William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them t...

  • Putney Swope

    Episode 8

    Directed by Robert Downey Sr. • 1969 • United States
    Starring Arnold Johnson, Laura Greene, Buddy Butler

    The most popular film by Robert Downey Sr. is this offbeat classic about the antics that ensue after Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson, his voice dubbed by a gravelly Downey), the token black man ...

  • Ciao! Manhattan

    Episode 9

    Directed by John Palmer and David Weisman • 1972 • United States
    Starring Edie Sedgwick, Wesley Hayes, Isabel Jewell

    Warhol superstar and icon of sixties bohemia Edie Sedgwick delivers her final performance in this semiautobiographical look at the price of fame. Fiction and documentary—including...

  • Sisters

    Episode 10

    Directed by Brian De Palma • 1973 • United States
    Starring Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning

    Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously...

  • News from Home

    Episode 11

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • 1976 • United States

    Letters from Chantal Akerman's mother are read over a series of elegantly composed shots of 1976 New York, where our (unseen) filmmaker and protagonist has relocated. Akerman's unforgettable time capsule of the city is also a gorgeous meditati...

  • Town Bloody Hall

    Episode 12

    Directed by Chris Hegedus • 1979 • United States
    Starring Norman Mailer, Germaine Greer, Jacqueline Ceballos

    On April 30, 1971, a standing-room-only crowd of New York’s intellectual elite packed the city’s Town Hall theater to see Norman Mailer—fresh from the controversy over his essay “The Pris...

  • Permanent Vacation

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1980 • United States
    Starring Chris Parker, Sara Driver, John Lurie

    Jim Jarmusch’s first feature displays the first hints of the deadpan, minimalist-cool style that he would refine in his breakthrough STRANGER THAN PARADISE. Young, alienated hipster Aloysius Christophe...

  • My Dinner with André

    Episode 14

    Directed by Louis Malle • 1981 • United States
    Starring Wallace Shawn, André Gregory

    In this captivating and philosophical film directed by Louis Malle, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with his friend the theater director André Gregory at a restaurant on New York’s Upper West Side, ...

  • Smithereens

    Episode 15

    Directed by Susan Seidelman • 1982 • United States

    Susan Seidelman established her distinctive vision of New York City with this debut feature, the lo-fi original for her vibrant portraits of women reinventing themselves. After escaping New Jersey, the quintessentially punk Wren (Susan Berman)...

  • Stranger Than Paradise

    Episode 16

    Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1984 • United States, Germany
    Starring John Lurie, Richard Edson, Eszter Balint

    With this breakout film, Jim Jarmusch established himself as one of the most exciting voices in the burgeoning independent-film scene, a road-movie poet with an affinity for Americana at it...

  • Five Corners

    Episode 17

    Directed by Tony Bill • 1987 • United States

    Tony Bill's ensemble piece, featuring an extraordinary cast (Jodie Foster, John Turturro, Tim Robbins), is an urban romance set against the youthful idealism and the matter-of-fact violence of a working-class Bronx neighborhood in the early '60s. With...

  • Metropolitan

    Episode 18

    Directed by Whit Stillman • 1990 • United States
    Starring Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols

    One of the great American independent films of the 1990s, the surprise hit METROPOLITAN, by writer-director Whit Stillman, is a sparkling comedic chronicle of a young man’s romantic misadven...

  • Paris Is Burning

    Episode 19

    Directed by Jennie Livingston • 1990 • United States
    Starring Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza

    Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African America...

  • The Daytrippers

    Episode 20

    Directed by Greg Mottola • 1996 • United States
    Starring Parker Posey, Hope Davis, Liev Schreiber

    With its droll humor and bittersweet emotional heft, the feature debut of writer-director Greg Mottola announced the arrival of an unassumingly sharp-witted new talent on the 1990s indie film scene....

  • Man Push Cart

    Episode 21

    Directed by Ramin Bahrani • 2005 • United States
    Starring Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval

    A modest miracle of twenty-first-century neorealism, the acclaimed debut feature by Ramin Bahrani speaks quietly but profoundly to the experiences of those living on the margins of the ...

  • Chop Shop

    Episode 22

    Directed by Ramin Bahrani • 2007 • United States
    Starring Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales, Rob Sowulski

    For his acclaimed follow-up to MAN PUSH CART, Ramin Bahrani once again turned his camera on a slice of New York City rarely seen on-screen: Willets Point, Queens, an industrial sliver of au...

  • Frances Ha

    Episode 23

    Directed by Noah Baumbach • 2013 • United States
    Starring Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner

    Greta Gerwig is radiant as Frances, a woman in her late twenties in contemporary New York trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances, and, above all, her intimate but shifting bond with her best friend, Sop...