When Opening Credits Star the NYC Skyline

This week's episode originally aired April 13, 2013

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lower Manhattan skyline, New York City (acmace/flickr)

One of the most beautiful of movie stars, whose glamour has graced thousands of films, is the New York City skyline.

There it is, again and again, in opening credit sequences, establishing shots, and as backdrop to stories of romance, careers, crime, heartbreak, and more—the full gamut of stories movies can tell. And often those skyline scenes are accompanied by music that evokes the cosmopolitan hubbub of our fair city.

David Garland has gathered music composed for city scenes from several films, ranging from the razzle-dazzle zestiness of Alfred Newman's score for "How to Marry a Millionaire," to Andre Previn's lonely-in-the-big-city music for "Two for the Seesaw," David Carbonara's moody sounds for "Mad Men," and others.

Here are three examples. Tell us your favorite, or leave your own suggestions in the comments box below.

Two for the Seesaw (1962) opening credits (music by Andre Previn)

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) trailer (with Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" and "New York") (Skip to 1:40 in)

The Naked City (1948) opening credits



Comments [4]

Steve L. from NYC

Well, I am not sure if the skyline is featured, but I have memories of the introduction to the Million Dollar Movie on channel 9 in NYC. It was a black and white film of about a minute with scenes of everyday New York City - taxi cabs, people rushing by and, most memorable, a man's hand filling a coffee cup from an urn at a diner. I would love to find that film clip again. YouTube has a more recent version with the Roosevelt Island Tram, but it's not the original.

Feb. 15 2014 09:20 PM
Amie from New York from New York City

My favorite WQXR person is David Garland. He could talk to me all night, with that wonderful, soothing voice. My favorite New York song is, "New York, New York, It's a Wonderful Town." Yesss, to David Garland! Yesss, to New York!

Feb. 15 2014 09:20 PM
Cathy from Minot, ND

The opening of "Working Girl," coming to Lower Manhattan on the ferry with the towers standing tall; all to Carly Simon's "Let the Rivers Run!"

Feb. 15 2014 02:19 PM

Woody Allen's "Manhattan" to Gershwin's opening to "Rhapsody in Blue"

Feb. 15 2014 11:43 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.