New York Stories

Watch New York Stories

"One city. Three stories tall."
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 6.4  (19,588)

New York Stories is a unique comedy-drama anthology film consisting of three separate but loosely interconnected segments. The movie, which was released in 1989, is directed by the trio of renowned filmmakers, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Woody Allen. The film brings together the best of New York City's diverse and vibrant culture, while exploring the themes of love, life, and death.

The first segment titled "Life Lessons" is directed by Martin Scorsese, and stars Nick Nolte as Lionel Dobie, a successful, middle-aged artist struggling with creative blockage and a severe case of unrequited love for his assistant, Paulette. Lionel sessions with Paulette end up being more about his own obsession with her than about the work they are supposed to be doing, and it is only when he makes dramatic changes in his life that could potentially jeopardize what he holds dear that he finally finds the creative burst he's been seeking.

The second segment, "Life Without Zoe," is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and follows the daily life of a 12-year-old girl named Zoe, who lives in the luxurious Sherry-Netherland hotel in New York City. Zoe's parents are always away on business trips, leaving her in the care of the hotel staff. She's a precocious and imaginative child who takes it upon herself to help those around her who are most in need. When she discovers that her neighbor, an actress, is about to lose her home and her husband, Zoe decides to try to bring them back together.

The third segment, "Oedipus Wrecks," is directed by Woody Allen, who also stars in the lead role as Sheldon, a neurotic Jewish lawyer living in Manhattan. Sheldon is constantly making his mother miserable with his medical concerns, his pessimism, and his complaints that he never gets enough of her attention. One day when his mother becomes too annoying, Sheldon wishes her away, and to his surprise, she literally vanishes. Later, when she appears as a giant face in the sky, Sheldon must face the consequences of his wish, and life's farcical nature reaches its highest level.

New York Stories showcases the classic New York City setting with all its culture, diversity, and chaos, as well as the unique visions of three of the most awarded directors of the time. The comedic and dramatic elements of the anthology allow each director to use his artistic sensibilities to shape their respective stories in their own unique ways, offering a distinct perspective on what it means to be a New Yorker.

The cast of New York Stories is simply outstanding. Each actor brings an exuberance to the role, living up to the expectations of the iconic directors they are working with. Nick Nolte as Lionel Dobie delivers an impeccable performance as an aging artist grappling with his creative demons. Rosanna Arquette as Lionel Dobie's assistant and former lover balances the artist's neuroses with a playful seductiveness; Zoe played by Heather McComb, is dazzling, giving sparks of brilliance as a caring and imaginative girl trying to bring some peace to her world; and Woody Allen brilliantly plays the beloved neurotic persona for which he's become famous.

The film's greatest strength is its infusion of New York City in all its glory. The sequences shot in and around the city are stunning and memorable, from the luxurious hotel suites to the quaint cafes filled with artists and intellectuals. As with all of New York, it stands out as the backdrop for a collection of stories about people trying to find meaning and happiness in their lives.

In conclusion, New York Stories is a gem of a movie, a well-crafted anthology with powerful performances, exquisite direction, and masterful storytelling. The film combines individual stories that are each compelling in their way, yet ultimately connected through the shared themes of love, life, and death. Despite different tones and styles, the three segments of New York Stories blend together effortlessly, creating a fantastic film that is both timeless and unforgettable.

New York Stories is a 1989 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

New York Stories
Where to Watch New York Stories
New York Stories is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent New York Stories for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (19,588)