Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 50 Greatest NYC Movies — #21

A Bronx Tale (dir. Robert De Niro, 1993)

07-28 A Bronx Tale

The worldwide social upheavals of the 1960’s are given a microcosmic treatment in this intimate coming of age story about two father figures battling over the soul of a young Italian boy in the Bronx. Based on Chazz Palminteri’s autobiographical one-man play, the story reminds us that, while you could get to any other borough in half an hour, the street corner was the whole world to an entire section of the population. And, in his directorial debut, De Niro casts himself as that beloved and ubiquitous blue-collar New York figure – the bus driver – in a role that goes head to head with the local mob boss. While much of the bus journey was actually filmed in Queens, there is some disagreement as to whether this was to more closely resemble the Bronx during a time 30 years before the making of the film, or because the local mob element (still very much in power in the neighborhood) didn’t like the script and didn’t want the film shooting there. Who knows?

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