Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 50 Greatest NYC Movies — #34

The Fisher King (dir. Terry Gilliam, 1991)

07-03 The Fisher King

Many prosperous New Yorkers focus their concentration on their goals, often allowing the city’s problems to fade into the background. When visitors come to New York, they notice the homeless and the mentally ill in the streets and the subways, while many residents come to see them as wallpaper. The Fisher King takes a “crazy homeless guy” and puts him front and center in this madcap Don Quixote-meets-King Arthur urban fantasy. From this perspective, we are treated to a pre-Giuliani New York that has equal parts charm and sleaze, with a none too safe Central Park and Manhattan Bridge underbelly playing major parts in the plot, while an extraordinary hallucination at Grand Central Terminal made it look more magical than it had in years (this was half a decade before the landmark’s historic restoration).

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