• 1 2 3 4

    Great piece Dhalgren! I saw this one far too long ago. I really need to see more 70s movie not called Star Wars.

  • TheGreenMalice

    Make no mistake, at the end of the day, we are on the same page. What it is now, is definitely better for everyone. I just hate tourist traps and the over saturation that it turned into. I do really enjoy movies that are time capsules to what it was though. It’s technically still full of prostitution, drugs and crime… those acts just look slightly different.

  • DryButSoupy

    Great article. You’re absolutely on the money with your take. It’s a time capsule. I like the comparison with Escape From New York. Looking back on this, the New York in this film (and others of the era) could totally pass for a future dystopia. I love the low-res, almost grainy look of films and some tv of the late 60’s and 70’s. Slick and hi def has its place, but it doesn’t convey a vibe the way older film sometimes can.

  • William Dhalgren

    “It is definitely interesting to hear your viewpoints.”

    Haha, yeah, that’s one way of putting it, Poppity!

  • Poppity⛄

    I don’t doubt that Guiliani (I can never get those Italian names right …) wasn’t the only responsible for the clean-up. He actually got quite a bit of airtime on the Letterman show both during and after his tenure for that very reason. Personally, I agree with you and don’t quite care for politicians myself.

    I haven’t been to NYC since the late 90s and I can say that when I went, the pimps and the hookers were still lingering the streets pretty much right next to the cops. Being a young adult in those days, I was taken aback by this but I did not feel unsafe. At least in the more active parts of the city, never in alleyways or unfrequented streets.
    It is definitely interesting to hear your viewpoints. 🙂

  • William Dhalgren

    I seriously think movies from this era (Midnight Cowboy is a great one, too) are really interesting as a kind of historical artifact. I mean, some parts of NYC at this time were not far off at all from the NYC depicted in Escape from New York. The way the city is now, I think it’s easy to forget that.

  • William Dhalgren

    I have a list of movies that share several…markers (among them urban decay, crime, nihilism, and a slower pace) that I have been meaning to write an article on. On the Giuliani thing, researching this review I found out there’s a lot of contention on how NYC was cleaned up and who was responsible. Of course partisan politics are involved. I’m hesitant to give all the credit to Giuliani simply because I hate politicians and I think they’re really quick to take credit for shit they probably had nothing to do with. For the longest time, the theory of “broken windows” policing was credited with the change in crime rates, but other theories have been advanced recently. I’m sure it’s really complex and some combo of several factors including more aggressive policing and a dropping unemployment rate.

    Bloomberg has been quoted comparing Detroit to NYC and making claims about its ability to rise from the ashes as NYC did.

    I’m mixed on NYC as it is now. The old NYC is a curio, something I find very interesting despite how horrible it was. I’m glad it’s safer, but, as Malice pointed out below, it’s kind of hollow and shallow and filled with fucking Ritchie Riches and hipsters now.

  • William Dhalgren

    Both are on my list

  • William Dhalgren

    I like that. It’s “textured”. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a sort of morbid fascination I have with urban decay – I don’t really wish cities were still like this. I’m really interested in urban areas, movements of people, crime, and shit like that. It would have been cool to have seen it before it changed, but, at the same time, it’s interesting to be able to visit these spots and literally walk 20-30 blocks in areas where you would have been killed, mugged, propositioned, or beaten a little more than 20 years ago.

  • King Alvarez

    I haven’t seen this in years but I know I liked it. I should probably revisit this one soon.

  • Poppity⛄

    Great job, Will! I must say that I was not really interested in this film before reading your analysis but now I feel like I could most definitely watch this, even if only once.
    I remember Letterman making fun of Times Square on a nightly basis even into the mid-90s after he had moved to the Ed Sullivan theatre. Then-Mayor Guiliani had a hand in really cleaning up the place, I believe. You make some good points about a once decayed place turning into a family friendly venue. New York City was too important a place to go into ruins. If only the same could be said (and done) about places like Detroit.

  • Sailor Monsoon

    I’ll never understand why The Seven-ups wasn’t a sequel to this.
    It’s easily as good and there’s literally no reason why it’s not tied to this world.
    And i recommend the The French Connection 2.
    The plot isn’t as strong but i think Hackman might actually be better in the sequel.

  • TheGreenMalice

    Good write up. Say what you will about drugs and prostitution (and herpes), but at least it’s real and textured. The tourist trap is fake and almost seedier than the illicit behavior that came before,.