New York, New York (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

New York, New York (1977)

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Movie Info

Set primarily in post-WWII New York City, Martin Scorsese's extravagant romantic musical is about a jazz saxophonist and a pop singer who fall madly in love and marry. But the saxophonist's outrageously volatile personality places a continual strain on their relationship, and after they have a baby, their marriage crumbles.

Cast

Liza Minnelli
as Francine Evans
Robert De Niro
as Jimmy Doyle
Lionel Stander
as Tony Harwell
Barry Primus
as Paul Wilson
Murray Moston
as Horace Morris
Georgie Auld
as Frankie Harte
Dick Miller
as Palm Club Owner
Leonard Gaines
as Artie Kirks
Clarence Clemons
as Cecil Powell
Kathi McGinnis
as Ellen Flannery
Norman Palmer
as Desk Clerk
Adam David Winkler
as Jimmy Doyle Jr.
Frank Sivero
as Eddie di Muzio
Diahnne Abbott
as Harlem club singer
Margo Winkler
as Argumentative Woman
Steven Prince
as Record Producer
Don Calfa
as Gilbert
Bernie Kuby
as Justice of the Peace
Selma Archerd
as Wife of Justice of the Peace
Bill Baldwin
as Moonlit Terrace Announcer
Mary Lindsay Chapman
as Hat Check Girl in Meadows
Jon Cutler
as Musician in Frankie Harte Band
Nicky Blair
as Cab Driver
Casey Kasem
as Disk Jockey
Dave Nichols
as Arnold Trench
Bill McMillan
as Disk Jockey
Jay Salerno
as Bus Driver
William Tole
as Tommy Dorsey
Sydney Guilaroff
as Hairdresser
Peter Savage
as Horace Morris' Assistant
Gene Castle
as Dancing Sailor
Louis Guss
as Fowler
Shera Danese
as Doyle's Girl in Major Chord
David Nichols
as Arnold Trench
Marty Zagon
as South Bend Ballroom Manager
Betty Cole
as Charwoman
Phil Gray
as Trombone Player in Jimmy Doyle's Band
Roosevelt Smith
as Bouncer in Major Chord
Bruce L. Lucoff
as Cab Driver
Bill P. Murry
as Harlem Club Waiter
Clint Arnold
as Palm Club Trombone Player
Richard Alan Berk
as Palm Club Drummer
Jack R. Clinton
as Palm Club Bartender
Wilfred R. Middlebrooks
as Palm Club Bass Player
Jake Vernon Porter
as Palm Club Trumpet Player
Nat Pierce
as Palm Club Piano Player
Manuel Escobosa
as Fighter in Moonlit Terrace
Susan Kay Hunt
as Moonlit Terrace Girl
Teryn Jenkins
as Moonlit Terrace Girl
Mardik Martin
as Well-wisher in Moonlit Terrace
Leslie Summers
as Woman in Black in Moonlit Terrace
Brock Michaels
as Man at Table in Moonlit Terrace
Booty Reed
as Musicians at Hiring Hall
Washington Rucker
as Musicians at Hiring Hall
Eddie Garrett
as Reporter
Nico Stevens
as Reporter
Peter Fain
as Greeter in Up Club
Angelo Lamonea
as Waiter in Up Club
Charles Tamburro
as Bouncers in Up Club
Wallace McCleskey
as Bouncers in Up Club
Ronald Prince
as Dancer in Up Club
Robert Petersen
as Photographer
Richard Raymond
as Railroad Conductor
Hank Robinson
as Francine's Bodyguard
Harold Ross
as Cab Driver
Eddie Smith
as Man in Bathroom in Harlem Club
Joey Forman
as Argumentative Man
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News & Interviews for New York, New York

Critic Reviews for New York, New York

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (6)

If this movie were a big-band arrangement, it would be a duet for a sax man and a girl singer, but with the soloists in a different key from the band.

Full Review… | January 26, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

In a final burst from Old Hollywood, Minnelli tears into the title song and it's a wowser.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Scorsese's tribute/parody/critique of the MGM musical is a razor-sharp dissection of the conventions of both meeting-cute romances and rags-to-riches biopics.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Why should a man of Mr. Scorsese's talent be giving us what amounts to no more than a film buff's essay on a pop-film form that was never, at any point in film history, of the first freshness?

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Martin Scorsese's New York, New York never pulls itself together into a coherent whole, but if we forgive the movie its confusions we're left with a good time.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Martin Scorsese created a very handsome and dynamic film, but the spectacular set pieces don't add up to much.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for New York, New York

½

Did you know that the song "New York, New York," which Frank Sinatra made so famous, was originally written for the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name and first performed in that film? I can't believe it, but I didn't know that. I thought it was a song from the 1940s originally recorded by Sinatra. The song was written by the legendary Broadway team of John Kander and Fred Ebb specifically for Scorsese's film and first sung by Liza Minnelli, who starred in the film opposite Robert de Niro. It's good to get that history finally straight. Now for the movie. It's known as Scorsese's only bomb, with the famous theme song its only redeeming quality. I wouldn't go quite that far. There are things about the film that I find wonderful. But overall, it is a failure. I love what Scorsese tried to do. Fresh from his triumph with "Taxi Driver" (1975), Scorsese could easily have gone on auto-pilot, churning out another gritty, masculine, urban neo-noir. Instead he did the complete opposite. He follows "Taxi Driver" up with a musical! My God, that is gutsy. I admire the cojones but not the final product. Scorsese stumbled awkwardly through the whole film; almost every scene has a false tone. The editing is atrocious, with every scene twice as long as it should be. The sets are so cheap and fake that at one point Minnelli virtually rips a railing apart with her bare hands. And they didn't cut out that scene! Scorsese surely chose the cheesy sets intentionally. I think he was trying to pay homage to the movies of the 1940s, particularly the female-driven melodramas (so-called "women's pictures"), which were always filmed on cheap Hollywood backlots. I absolutely love this idea. But it just does not come off well. The only way this could have worked is if the melodrama had been so captivating that it transported you back to the first time you saw "Mildred Pierce." (I can still remember seeing it for the first time on television as a teenager. Unforgettable.) But Scorsese really fell down on the job when it comes to story development -- always a disaster when you're trying to do melodrama. I really never cared about either of the two main characters. So rather than getting swept up by emotion, I found myself limply watching actors pretend to have feelings. It's actually hard to get through this movie. Its running time is also particularly long. It was a courageously un-hip and un-masculine tribute to old movies, but it just doesn't come together. Save for the title song, which is an old-fashioned masterpiece, "New York, New York" is a misfire.

William Dunmyer
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

This is a Scorsese film that typically gets overlooked, and, while I can see why (to a degree), I think it's actually pretty good, and probably one of his most underrated- and that last little bit is something that needs to change. The film was a departure and an experiment for Marty. It was his follow-up to Taxi Driver, and needless to say, this didn't make the impression left by that one. For this, Scorsese decided to abandon the gritty realism of his previous works and craft a loveletter to his city, big band (and some jazz) music, and the lavishly produced movie musicals of Old Hollywood. It was a noble effort, and no one can deny the fact that this is made with tons of love, care, and respect. The film follows a go-getter sax player named Jimmy Doyle who's got talent, but can also be overwhelmingly obnoxious, stubborn, and hard to deal with. He meets a low level club singer with big hopes and the two form a perfonal and professional relationship with one another. Over time though, the pressure of show biz see the fall of their love as their careers rise. In order to bring his vision to life, Scorsese and his director of photography Laszlo Kovacs and production designer Boris Levin used intentionally artificial looking sets and specific lighting to recall the old days of studio musicals, with a touch of film noirish qualities thrown in for good measure. The result is gorgeous and one of the best made homages out there. (I'd say it's up there with Ed Wood and Black Dynamite in this regard). Like most Scorsese efforts, it's more of a character driven piece than a plot driven one, and that's fine, but even then, I really noticed just how light this film is on substance, and, for that matter, characters who truly come to life that you can care about. All other aspects of the film help to cover this up, but there's no denying that most of the film feels like it's on auto pilot. Still though, I can't hate this one too much. The performances are absolutely terrific, and this made me actually be interested in Liza Minnelli and the talent she has. De Niro of course not surprisingly delivers another solid performance. In fact, the first oh, 40 mins or so, were absolutely 100% brilliant. I was beginning to think that this was a great overlooked true masterpiece. Seeing De Niro slink around trying to pick up women is simultaneously hilarious, awkward, and annoying, but totally excellent. If only the rest of the movie maintained that same level of energy, fun, and focus throughout its 163 minute run time instead of gradually falling back and becoming a rambling drawn out procedure could it be called a great piece of work. I didn't quite get bored, but I started to get antsy and wonder what the point was. All in all, this is a pretty good movie. It is flawed yes, but in the context of when it came out and what the intentions were, it's wrong to ignore this. Come to it with an open mind, and give it a chance.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A Scorsese masterpiece that happens to be forgotten, unfortunately. If this film had been released in the '50s and hadn't that usual Scorsese brutality to it, it would have been considered among the greatest classics. But then again, I loved the gritty yet beautiful touch from master Martin Scorsese he brought to this classy musical and I don't mind the time this was released for I watched it more than thirty years later. So for me, this is a masterpiece.

Emile Tremblay
Emile Tremblay

Super Reviewer

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