TV Cream

Films: N is for...

New York, New York

So bad they re-edited it twice. Martin Scorsese manfully attempted to revive the golden age of the Hollywood musical with a knockabout tale of actress Liza Minnelli and sax player Robert De Niro’s torrid romance in the swing era. Big production numbers and bigger sets jarred somewhat with the prevailing economic thriftiness of the times. The cast’s improvised method acting jarred with the rigid musical structure. De Niro started turning into Travis Bickle. Minnelli, shooting on the same stages Judy Garland once hoofed over, started turning into her mum. The cast-of-thousands opening scene is brilliant, but it’s all downhill from there. Scorsese fudged the romantic ending. Audiences fancied it not. The film barely covered its $14 million costs.



  1. Matt Patton

    December 30, 2009 at 2:36 am

    The other thing that jarred was the fact that the movie went from fluffy nonsense to domestic-abuse movie-of-the-week in the blink of one of Minnelli’s huge, mascara’d eyelashes. At least Scorcese shot the musical numbers full-length, unlike Coppola, who seems to be a foot fetishist . . .

  2. Richardpd

    February 26, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    One of those genre mashups that didn’t really work, & was a sign that the “New Hollywood” was getting out of control, before the likes of Heaven’s Gate made the studio bosses put the brakes on the creative control.

    Supposedly Robert De Niro wound up Martin Scorsese so badly one day a few scenes had to be directed by someone else. At least they managed to make things up enough to work together a few more times.

    About the best thing to come out of it was the title song, which Frank Sinatra quickly made his signature song & made casual observers think he had been singing for decades.

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