THE MUSICAL POST – “New York, New York”

Today on Viddy Well our shoes are longing to stray… This week’s musical post is from Scorsese’s underestimated film New York, New York (1977), starring Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro.
The movie opens in 1945. Johnny (Robert De Niro), a charmingly annoying saxophone player meets Francine (Liza Minnelli) a singer, as the city celebrates the end of World War II. The story of their romance gets tangled with their competitive quest for success leading to an unusual ending for a musical.
The film lasted a very short time in the theaters when it was released – Star Wars was playing at the time.
In 1979, Frank Sinatra gave a new life to the theme song ‘New York, New York’, composed by John Kander, who also wrote the lyrics for Cabaret. The film was put back into the spotlight when it was released again in 1981 with additional scenes.
It remains one of my favourite musicals along with what I think to be one of the best couples on the screen.
Notice the bird’s eye view final movement of the camera, when it drifts away from the stage… quite recurrent in Scorsese’s films. It always makes me think of Taxi Driver and how the camera exits the scene of Travis Bickle’s killing. And even though it is not as dramatic here… it is still a beautifully visual way of saying ‘goodbye’.

Viddy Well,


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