AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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New York, New York
Director: Martin Scorsese (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Jun 1977
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 Jun 1977
Production Date:   began 15 Jun 1976 in Culver City, CA
Duration (in mins):   137-154
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Cast:   Liza Minnelli (Francine Evans)  
    Robert De Niro (Jimmy Doyle)  
    Lionel Stander (Tony Harwell)  
    Barry Primus (Paul Wilson)  
  Co-starring: Mary Kay Place (Bernice [Bennett])  
    Georgie Auld (Frankie Harte)  
    Clarence Clemons (Cecil Powell)  
    George Memmoli (Nicky)  
    Diahnne Abbott (Harlem club singer)  
  [and] Leonard Gaines (Artie Kirks)  
  Featuring: Bill Baldwin (Announcer in Moonlit Terrace)  
    Don Calfa (Gilbert)  
    Bernie Kuby (Justice of the peace)  
    Louie Guss (Fowler)  
    Gene Castle (Dancing sailor)  
    Dick Miller (Palm club owner)  
    Casey Kasem (D. J.)  
    Adam Winkler (Jimmy Doyle Jr.)  
    Frank Sivera (Eddie Di Muzio)  
    Kathi McGinnis (Ellen Flannery)  
    Selma Archerd (Wife of Justice of the peace)  
    Murray Moston (Horace Morris)  
    Margo Winkler (Argumentative woman)  
  [and] Dimitri Logothetis (Desk clerk)  
    Norman Palmer (Desk clerk)  
    Steven Prince (Record producer)  
    Mary Lindsay (Hat check girl in Meadows)  
    Jon Cutler (Musician in Frankie Harte band)  
    Nicky Blair (Cab driver)  
    Jay Salerno (Bus driver)  
    William Tole (Tommy Dorsey)  
    Sydney Guilaroff (Hairdresser)  
    Peter Savage (Horris Morris' assistant)  
    Shera Danese (Doyle's girl in Major Chord)  
    Bill McMillan (D. J.)  
    David Nichols (Arnold Trench)  
    Harry Northup (Alabama)  
    Marty Zagon (Manager of South Bend Ballroom)  
    Timothy Blake (Nurse)  
    Betty Cole (Charwoman)  
    De Forest Covan (Porter)  
    Phil Gray (Trombone player in Jimmy Doyle's band)  
    Roosevelt Smith (Bouncer in Major Chord)  
    Bruce L. Lucoff (Cab driver)  
    Bill Phillips Murry (Waiter in Harlem Club)  
    Clint Arnold (Trombone player in Palm Club)  
    Richard Alan Berk (Drummer in Palm Club)  
    Jack R. Clinton (Bartender in Palm Club)  
    Wilfred R. Middlebrooks (Bass player in Palm Club)  
    Jake Vernon Porter (Trumpet player in Palm Club)  
    Nat Pierce (Piano player in Palm Club)  
    Manuel Escobosa (Fighter in Moonlit Terrace)  
    Susan Kay Hunt (Moonlit Terrace girl)  
    Teryn Jenkins (Moonlit Terrace girl)  
    Mardik Martin (Well wisher in Moonlit Terrace)  
    Leslie Summers (Woman in black in Moonlit Terrace)  
    Brock Michaels (Man at table in Moonlit Terrace)  
    Washington Rucker (Musician at Hiring Hall)  
    Booty Reed (Musician at Hiring Hall)  
    David Armstrong (Reporter)  
    Robert Buckingham (Reporter)  
    Eddie Garrett (Reporter)  
    Nico Stevens (Reporter)  
    Peter Fain (Greeter in Up Club)  
    Angelo Lamonea (Waiter in Up Club)  
    Charles A. Tamburro (Bouncer in Up Club)  
    Wallace McCleskey (Bouncer in Up Club)  
    Ronald Prince (Dancer in Up Club)  
    Robert Petersen (Photographer)  
    Richard Raymond (Railroad conductor)  
    Hank Robinson (Francine's bodyguard)  
    Harold Ross (Cab driver)  
    Eddie Smith (Man in bathroom in Harlem Club)  
    Larry Kert (Donald Langley) in "Happy Endings" sequence
    Jack Haley Sr. (Toastmaster) in "Happy Endings" sequence

Summary: In 1945 New York City, on Victory over Japan or V-J Day, veteran Jimmy Doyle attends a show at the New York Theatre that features Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra. There, Jimmy unsuccessfully tries to seduce several women. Although Women’s Army Corps member Francine Evans rejects him, he persists anyway. An acquaintance of Francine’s named Arnold Trench informs her that her friend, Paul Wilson, is also at the show, and when they reunite Paul tells her he will telephone her the next day. Meanwhile, Jimmy’s friend, Eddie Di Muzio, asks for Jimmy's hotel room key because he met a girl. Eddie’s date, Ellen Flannery, turns out to be friends with Francine. Eddie and Ellen leave and Jimmy is left alone with Francine, but she brushes him aside and leaves. Four hours later, Jimmy calls his room, but Eddie has not yet finished his romantic interlude. In the morning, Jimmy finds Francine at the hotel’s front desk looking for Ellen. Jimmy, who has been jumping from hotel-to-hotel and writing bad checks, must make a quick escape to avoid the desk clerk. He asks Francine to get his suitcase and saxophone from the room and they meet outside in a taxicab. Jimmy is late for an audition in Brooklyn and insists Francine go with him. At the audition, the club owner tells Jimmy that he is playing too loud. Francine suggests Jimmy adjust his style and Jimmy becomes angry. While apologizing to Francine, Jimmy argues with the club owner. Francine interrupts by singing and encourages Jimmy to accompany her. The club owner loves the act and hires them as a duet. A romance ensues, but Francine soon learns from her agent, Tony Harwell, that she can return to her job singing with Frankie Harte’s band. Sometime later, Tony delivers a letter from Francine to Jimmy at the club, explaining her absence, and Jimmy asks Tony to represent him. Jimmy travels to Francine’s show in Roanoke, Virginia, and makes a scene. Paul Wilson, the piano player, steps in, and when Francine takes Jimmy outside, he professes his love for her. Francine arranges for Jimmy to audition for bandleader Frankie Harte, and he joins the band. Traveling by bus, the band crisscrosses the southern U.S. and Jimmy and Francine grow closer. When she allows him to read a love poem, Jimmy insists they leave the motel in the middle of the night to go to the justice of the peace. Francine is disappointed in Jimmy’s proposal and says she will not marry him. In response, Jimmy crawls under a taxicab and orders the driver to run him over. He professes his love once more and Francine agrees to the marriage. Later, one of the band members is caught with an underage girl and Frankie bails him out. Tired of losing money, Frankie tells Francine that he is canceling the rest of the tour. However, she suggests he let Jimmy take over the band. Frankie grudgingly agrees and the band lands a gig at a hotel in Chicago, Illinois, now called “Jimmy Doyle and his Orchestra.” The band is a hit and Francine is praised in a newspaper review. During rehearsals, Jimmy clashes with band members and loses his temper when Francine intervenes. She later leaves the stage in the middle of a show. Jimmy goes after her, and she announces that she is pregnant and wants to return to New York City. Upset, Jimmy insists she stay with the band, but finally agrees to let her go. Back in New York City, Tony finds Francine doing studio recording work, while Jimmy and the band tour with a new singer, Bernice Bennett. Eventually, Jimmy turns the band over to pianist Paul and returns to New York City three days later than planned. There, he tells Francine that the band did not work out and that he needed some time alone. Jimmy works on a tune and Francine adds lyrics, calling it “New York, New York.” Later, Jimmy tells jazz musician Cecil Powell that his former band members were not good enough, and he wants to play with the best. Cecil invites Jimmy to sit in with his quintet at the Harlem Club. The following day, Jimmy picks up Francine at the recording studio and explains where he was the night before. Francine, now six months pregnant, asks Jimmy to pay more attention to her. Jimmy takes Francine to see their former band, now billed as Bernice Conrad and the Paul Wilson Orchestra. Francine invites her old friend Ellen Flannery and Decca Records producer Artie Kirks, hoping they will hit if off. At the show, Jimmy is displeased, becomes intoxicated, and confronts Paul onstage. After being forcibly removed from the club, Jimmy plays his saxophone beside a billboard for Paradise Park. The next day, he picks up Francine from the studio with a car full of flowers and they make up. Francine brings Tony and Artie to the Harlem Club to discuss a recording deal that Artie recently offered her. Francine is concerned about the baby and Artie and Tony promise to get her a nurse for the road. Jimmy claims he approves, but leaves to make a telephone call. After Artie and Tony leave, Francine drinks and makes her way toward the stage. Jimmy notices, and starts wailing on his saxophone. Francine dances with a man and appears to leave with him. Jimmy rushes out, sees the man get in a taxicab, and follows it in his car. Francine, who is actually sitting in the back seat of Jimmy’s car, covers his eyes with her hands and the car runs up on the curb. Jimmy drives recklessly as they argue over the baby and the fights turns physical. Francine begins screaming in pain and Jimmy drives her to a hospital. Francine gives birth, and when she informs Jimmy that she named the child after him, he becomes angry. Jimmy claims he does not want to see the child because he does not plan to stay and raise him. Francine says she loves him, but Jimmy says that is not possible, and says goodbye. Several years later, Francine records a song as Artie and Paul look on and her son sleeps in the studio. Francine goes to Hollywood, California, to star in a movie musical called Happy Endings. In the movie, Francine’s character is an usherette named “Peggy Smith,” who imagines she is a Broadway star. Later, Jimmy watches the movie in a theater. Meanwhile, a radio disk jockey begins using Jimmy’s instrumental, “New York, New York,” as his theme and it becomes a hit on the jazz record charts. Jimmy goes to the Starlight Terrace to see Francine perform and she notices him in the audience. She then performs “New York, New York,” with her lyrics. Jimmy visits Francine in her dressing room amid a crowded after-party, but he is uncomfortable. On his way out, Jimmy says hello to Jimmy, Jr. Jimmy calls Francine from a phone booth outside the stage door and invites her to join him for Chinese food because there is something he wants to discuss. She agrees, but has second thoughts and leaves him waiting.  

Production Text: A Robert Chartoff - Irwin Winkler Production
A Martin Scorsese Film
Brand Name:

Distribution Company: United Artists Corp.  
Director: Martin Scorsese (Dir)
  Melvin D. Dellar (1st asst dir)
  Michael Grillo (2d asst dir)
  Dennis Capps (D.G.A. trainee)
  Michael Daves (1st asst dir)
Producer: Irwin Winkler (Prod)
  Robert Chartoff (Prod)
  Gene Kirkwood (Assoc prod)
Writer: Earl Mac Rauch (Scr)
  Mardik Martin (Scr)
  Earl Mac Rauch (Story)
Photography: Laszlo Kovacs (Dir of photog)
  Bobby Byrne (Cam op)
  Robert Stevens (Cam op)
  Joseph E. Thibo (1st asst cam)
  Bruce McBroom (Still photog)
  Richmond Aguilar (Gaffer)
  Len Lookabaugh (Key grip)
  Bill Hansard (Process coord)
  Ted Sugiura (2d asst cam)
  Tom Kessler (Lamp op)
  Mel Maxwell (Lamp op)
  Romeo De Santis (Best boy)
  Ernest R. Eells (Best boy)
  Don Schmitz (Best boy)
  Paul Borchardt (Dolly op)
  David Fay (Crane op)
Art Direction: Boris Leven (Prod des)
  Harry R. Kemm (Art dir)
Film Editor: Irving Lerner (Supv film ed)
  Marcia Lucas (Supv film ed)
  Tom Rolf (Film ed)
  B. Lovitt (Film ed)
  David Ramirez (Film ed)
  Michael Ripps (Asst film ed)
  Arthur W. Forney (Asst film ed)
  Phyllis Smith Altenhaus (Asst film ed)
  Scott Burrow (Asst film ed)
  Eric A. Sears (Asst film ed)
  Michael Sheridan (Asst film ed)
Set Decoration: Robert DeVestel (Set dec)
  Ruby R. Levitt (Set dec)
  Jerry Graham (Prop master)
  William Maldonado (Const coord)
  Victor Clay Johnson (Const foreman)
  Richard McKenzie (Set des)
  Michael R. Gannon (Prop lead man)
  Gary Kieldrup (Asst prop master)
Costumes: Theadora Van Runkle (Cost des)
  Richard Bruno (Men's costumer)
  Michael Chavez (Men's costumer)
  Margo Baxley (Women's costumer)
  Frances K. Harrison (Women's costumer)
  Kim Goldstein (Asst to Miss Van Runkle)
  Darryl Athons (Men's costumer)
Music: Ralph Burns (Mus supv and cond)
  John Kander (Orig songs)
  William Saracino (Mus ed)
  William Hughes (Mus contractor & copyist)
  Sonny Olivera (Sideline mus contractor)
  Georgie Auld (Saxophone solos)
  John Neal (Mus rec supv)
  Georgie Auld (Mus adv to Robert De Niro)
  Abe Most (Clarinet solo)
Sound: Kay Rose (Supv sd ed)
  Lawrence Jost (Prod sd mixer)
  Michael Colgan (Sd ed)
  James Fritch (Sd ed)
  David Holden (Sd ed)
  Harry Keramidas (Sd ed)
  Vickie Sampson (Sd ed)
  Richard Portman (Re-rec mixer)
  Curly Thirlwell (Re-rec mixer)
  Robert Glass, Jr. (Re-rec mixer)
  Clinton R. Althouse (Boom op)
  Chris Ramsey (Playback op)
Special Effects: Richard Albain (Spec eff)
  Dan Perri (Titles des)
Dance: Ron Field (Choreog)
  Charlene Painter (Asst choreog)
Make Up: Sydney Guilaroff (Hair des for Liza Minnelli)
  Michael Westmore (Make-up artist)
  Christina Smith (Make-up for Miss Minnelli)
  Mary Keats (Hair stylist)
  June Miggins (Hair stylist)
  Hank Edds (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: Hal W. Polaire (Exec in charge of prod)
  David Nichols (Prod consultant)
  Georgie Auld (Tech consultant)
  Lynn Stalmaster (Casting)
  Janet Crosby (Asst to prods)
  Michelle Papier (Asst to prods)
  James Brubaker (Asst to prod exec)
  Lisbeth Plannette (Prod coord)
  Karen Kelly (Prod secy)
  Hannah Scheel (Scr supv)
  William P. Smith (Prod accountant)
  Richard McAvoy (Paymaster)
  Carol Rosenstein (Prod asst)
  Chris Soldo (Prod asst)
  Charles Winkler (Prod asst)
  Kevin Breslin (Prod asst)
  Dayle Michelle (Mr. Scorsese's asst)
  Steven Prince (Mr. Scorsese's asst)
  Lois Ann Polan (A.F.I. trainee)
  Deanna Wenble (Miss Minnellli's asst)
  Vic Heutschy (Pub)
  Earl Wingard (Pub)
  Russell McEntyre (Transportation coord)
  James Winter (Craft service)
  Lupe Amador (Prod coord)
  Ed Voelker (Transportation)
  James I. Wills (Craft service)
  Dona Williams (Asst accountant)
  Reggie Davies (Loc mgr)
  Toni Howard (Asst casting dir)
  Bob Kindelon (Extra casting)
Color Personnel: Technicolor® (Col by)
MPAA Rating: PG
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "Billets Doux," performed by The Hot Club of France Quintet, provided through the courtesy of The Decca Record Co., Ltd.
Songs: "Theme From New York, New York," written by John Kander and Fred Ebb; "There Goes The Ball Game," written by John Kander and Fred Ebb; "But The World Goes Round," written by John Kander and Fred Ebb; "Happy Endings," written by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
Composer: Fred Ebb
  John Kander
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. 17/6/1977 dd/mm/yyyy LP48204

PCA NO: 24960
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col:
  Lenses/Prints: Lenses and Panaflex camera by Panavision®; Prints by Deluxe®

 
Genre: Musical
 
Subjects (Major): Marriage
  Musicians
  New York City
  Romance
  Singers
 
Subjects (Minor): Band leaders
  Family relationships
  Hollywood (CA)
  Hotels
  Jazz music
  Justices of the peace
  Military discharge
  Motion pictures
  New York City--Broadway
  New York City--Harlem
  Orchestras
  Pianists
  Postwar life
  Pregnancy
  Record producers
  Recording industry
  Saxophones
  Songwriters
  Talent agents
  Temper

Note: End credits contain "Special Thanks" to Julia Cameron. Also, actor Leonard Gaines is credited as "Leonard" in the opening credits and as "Lenny" in the end credits; while actor Adam Winkler is credited as "Adam" in the opening credits, but as "Adam David" in the end credits. Then, end credits conclude with the statement "Our gratitude and respect to Irving Lerner 1909 - 1976."
       A 7 Aug 1974 DV news item reported that producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff had contracted with United Artists Corp. to produce New York, New York from an original screenplay by Earl Mac Rauch.
       News briefs in the 10 Jun 1976, 6 Jul 1976, 14 Jul 1976, 27 Jul 1976, and 29 Jul 1976 DV mentioned the casting of Larry Kert, Ralph Serpe, Joey Forman, Julia Phillips, and Jack Haley, Jr., but none are credited onscreen. A 5 Sep 1976 LAT article reported that musician-actor Georgie Auld began working with Robert De Niro in Jun 1975, teaching him to play the saxophone. Auld also dubbed the saxophone playing of De Niro’s character, “Jimmy Doyle,” on the soundtrack. Later, Auld was cast as bandleader and clarinetist “Frankie Harte.” The clarinet parts were performed by Abe Most. Saxophonist Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band was cast as trumpeter “Cecil Powell.”
       A 19 Jul 1976 Box new item stated principal photography began 15 Jun 1976 and an 8 Aug 1976 NYT article reported the film was produced at M-G-M studios in Culver City, CA, with a budget of $6 million. A 6 Jul 1976 DV column stated that 300 couples danced in a scene shot at M-G-M’s Stage 29.
       According to a 21 Jun 1977 HR story, the eleven-minute “Happy Endings” musical sequence was substantially cut at a cost of $350,000. An 18 Nov 1976 Casting News feature stated the sequence involved five sound stages, seven sets, and weeks of rehearsal.
       A 23 Jun 1977 HR news item, stated the film had its world premiere 21 Jun 1977 at Alice Tully Hall in New York City to benefit the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The film received a mixed reception from critics. A 10 Aug 1977 Var article reported that United Artists had trimmed an additional sixteen minutes for subrun engagements. The cuts included a nightclub sequence and a scene in which Liza Minelli’s character, “Francine Evans,” listened to a jazz guitar record.
       A 1 May 1979 DV column announced that the “Happy Endings” sequence would screen at the Cleveland International Film Festival on 14 May 1979. A 19 Jun 1981 NYT article reported that the “Happy Endings” sequence, including Kert’s performance as a Broadway producer, was restored for a re-release. The addition also included Haley, who appears as a toastmaster in the film within the film. This version was included on subsequent home video releases. In a 16 Aug 1981 NYT round-up of summer movies, critic Janet Maslin called the last thirty minutes of the film “sensational.” 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   19 Jul 1976.   
Box Office   4 Jul 1977.   
Casting News   18 Nov 1976.   
Daily Variety   7 Aug 1974.   
Daily Variety   10 Jun 1976.   
Daily Variety   6 Jul 1976.   
Daily Variety   13 Jul 1976.   
Daily Variety   14 Jul 1976.   
Daily Variety   27 Jul 1976.   
Daily Variety   29 Jul 1976.   
Daily Variety   1 May 1979.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jun 1977   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Jun 1977.   
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jun 1977.   
Los Angeles Times   5 Sep 1976.   
Los Angeles Times   19 Jun 1977   Calendar, p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   6 Jul 1977   p. 10.
The New Republic   23 Jul 1977   pp. 18-19.
New York Times   8 Aug 1976.   
New York Times   23 Jun 1977   p. 21.
New York Times   10 Jul 1977   Section II, p. 11.
New York Times   19 Jun 1981.   
New York Times   16 Aug 1981.   
New Yorker   4 Jul 1977   p. 82.
Newsweek   15 May 1977   pp. 80-84.
Newsweek   27 Jun 1977   p. 61.
Saturday Review   23 Jul 1977   p. 47.
Time   27 Jun 1977   p. 61.
Variety   22 Jun 1977   p. 16.
Variety   10 Aug 1977.   
The Village Voice   27 Jun 1977   pp. 37-38.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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