Hollywood loves to make movies set in New York City. It is the city that never sleeps, a place where an ingenue could get her big break or a sailor on leave for the day could fall in love. Many of the movies that make audiences fall in love with the Big Apple, though, were not even filmed in New York City. Read on for 13 big New York City movies that filmed somewhere else.
Gangs of New York – It took decades after director Martin Scorsese acquired the rights to Gangs of New York to make the film, and when he finally did make it, the movie was filmed at the Cinecitta Studio in Italy.
Escape from New York – John Carpenter’s gritty dystopian future was filmed in Atlanta and St. Louis. Carpenter wanted the look and feel of a city falling apart, and considering the film’s smaller budget, it was better to find a city with locations that fit the right look than take the time and money to make New York City look the way he wanted it to.
King Kong (2005) – Peter Jackson’s big-budget remake of King Kong did not film the iconic Empire State Building finale anywhere near New York City. Instead, Jackson built the New York City sets at Camperdown Studios in New Zealand.
The Great Gatsby (2013) – The Great Gatsby remake brought classic New York City to life, but it was filmed halfway around the world in Sydney, Australia at the Fox Studios Australia lot.
American Psycho – 1980s Wall Street in American Psycho was actually brought to life in the city of Toronto, most likely due to budget concerns after production was delayed numerous times over casting.
The Hudsucker Proxy – The Coen brothers’ highly-stylized New York City was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois.
Newsies – Disney’s cult classic musical was shot on backlots in Burbank, California, not the streets of New York City.
Harlem Nights – The infamous Eddie Murphy flop wasn’t filmed in Harlem over concerns that it would be too disruptive to the neighborhood. Instead, Harlem was recreated on studio backlots in Burbank, California.
Hello, Dolly! – The New York City scenes in Hello, Dolly! were filmed on a backlot at 20th Century-Fox in California. The closest that the production ever got to New York City was Garrison, New York for the Yonkers scenes and the train terminal in Poughkeepsie, New York for the opening number.
Guys and Dolls – The film was shot entirely on the Goldwyn lot in Hollywood, California, not on location in New York. It is probably for the best, considering that the film had enough problems with stars Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra not getting along.
42nd Street – This big-screen love letter to Broadway was filmed on a backlot at Warner Brothers Studios, not New York City.