New York, New York (1977)

PG   |    |  Drama, Music, Musical


New York, New York (1977) Poster

An egotistical saxophonist and a young lounge singer meet on VJ Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, uphill climb.


6.7/10
18,128


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  • Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli in New York, New York (1977)
  • Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli in New York, New York (1977)
  • Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in New York, New York (1977)
  • Liza Minnelli in New York, New York (1977)
  • Robert De Niro in New York, New York (1977)
  • Liza Minnelli in New York, New York (1977)

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1 November 2004 | movibuf1962
Does Marty love 'em or hate 'em?
There *are* things to love in NYNY. But over and over again I kept coming back to this thought: does director Martin Scorsese (a genius storyteller) really love musicals, or is he, in fact, satirizing them here? I can't find any other explanation for the creation of a leading character (DeNiro) so self-absorbed, rude, brutish, and jealous of his future wife's (Minnelli) growing fame, while at the same time trying so hard to establish his own fortune with a tenor sax. It's like there's a highly pitched voice of reason trying to remind the audience that in real life, people aren't so happy as they always seem to be in musicals. I know everyone doesn't love (some of you proudly hate) musicals, but usually one can find something redeeming in the characters who populate the stories. For 2 1/2 hours of film, we are presented with a love story which borders on spousal abuse, and somehow be expected to care about the husband. It doesn't work. And yet, Scorsese bends over backward to recreate the 1940's musical/big band atmosphere, from Hawaiian shirts and two-tone spectator shoes to sumptuous big band pieces, not to mention a charming pair of dancers (channeling Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen?) spotted on a subway ledge or a sultry torch singer in a Harlem nightclub (a cameoed Diahnne Abbott, whose 11th-hour performance of 'Honeysuckle Rose' tips a well-fitted hat to Billie Holiday). One critic seemed to personally resent the channeling of mother Garland through daughter Minnelli (particularly in the supper club where the title song is stunningly performed with all guns blazing), but I think that was very much on purpose. Even though she got much bigger acclaim for "Cabaret," I think Minnelli reached the peak of her musical talents in this film. I loved her. I just didn't love them, and unfortunately, that kept me from loving the whole project. Watch it on DVD, and skip to your favorite parts.

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