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20 Movies That Truly Capture the Culture of New York City

New York City is home to about eight million people, and millions more commute to work there. When they watch a movie set in the city, it’s just an everyday setting to them. To the billions of us living in different circumstances, it seems like a fantasy land, and we’re almost surprised that fantasy is repeated in so many different movies. Then you visit and it all becomes real. In this list of movies, you’ll not only see contemporary New York, but historical views of the city as well. For example,   

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

With filming occurring in Vinegar Hill, the Bronx, East Village and Dumbo, Brooklyn, Once Upon a Time in America is one of the bravest directorial departures in the film industry. This 229-minute film is an attempt to move away from the old west politics and into an exploration of organized crime. Robert De Niro is subdued in his role thus making him an even more interesting character study than Vito Corleone. The amount of time and money that went into recreating historic Brooklyn, portrayed as an old-world villa, is unimaginable.

Some of the “historical” views come from movies that were contemporary when the movie was released, because New York is constantly evolving. You might find something new and wonderful to watch in this list at Housely.

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