New York City is a common backdrop in movies, but more specifically, the quaint and artistic features of Greenwich Village make this neighborhood an idyllic setting for films of all genres.
Recently, we published Part 1 of this blog article about the artistic inspiration Greenwich Village provides Hollywood directors, actors, and producers.
Learn more about movies and popular shows that called Greenwich Village home during production:
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Prime’s hit comedy series is about a devoted 1950s housewife who, after some marital strife, finds she has a knack for stand-up comedy. The cast and the storyline are strong, but what makes the show even better is its depiction of 1950-1960s Greenwich Village. From the start of the show, Greenwich Village is cast as an escape: a place where the Maisel’s, who reside in the upper west side, look forward to visiting for fun and express themselves at night.
There’s a strong underlying theme in the show where Greenwich Village serves as a plot device for the characters to truly be themselves and discover who they are, a stark contrast to their chaotic daily lives uptown. While The Gaslight Café is no longer operating, there are still establishments from the era still open to frequent and nearby the Washington Square Hotel.
A comedy show created by Pete Holmes, this is about a fictional version of Holmes as he cuts his teeth in NYC’s comedy scene. The series first aired on HBO in 2017 and it was picked up for its third season in 2018.
Much of the first season of the show as filmed in Greenwich Village, where Pete’s character performs at clubs such as the Boston Comedy Club, which has been transformed into the modern Comedy Village Club. Comedy Village Club is located right down MacDougal Street from our hotel, located at 107 MacDougal. Stand up performances are held throughout the week – stop by for a good laugh!
The Pope of Greenwich Village
A dark comedy from 1984, The Pope of Greenwich Village starred Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Geraldine Page, Kenneth McMillan, and Burt Young.
The plot of the movie is set in an Italian neighborhood within Greenwich Village and tells the story of two cousins with expensive taste but not much money. When they devise a plan to rob the safe of a local business and make the attempt, things go south and soon there is the murder of a police officer, the involvement of the mob, and more theft from each other within the ring of crime.
According to On the Set of New York.com, the Greenwich Village locations of the film include:
- Butcher’s Shop at 149 Sullivan Street and West Houston Street
- Cheese Shop at 156 Sullivan Street and West Houston Street
- Bakery Shop at 152 Sullivan Street and West Houston Street
- DeSalvio Playground at Mulberry Street and Spring Street
- Bar at 51 Spring Street and Mulberry Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
This 2013 dark comedy/tragedy was written, directed, produced, and edited by famous brothers in Hollywood, Joel and Ethan Coen. The film is set in 1961 and follows the story of an aspiring folk artist in Greenwich Village, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), as he struggles to achieve his dream simultaneously as managing the pressures of life.
The film is loosely based on the experiences of Dave Van Ronk, a real-life folk artist who roamed the streets of Greenwich Village and wrote the memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street.
One of the more notable Greenwich Village locations in this film includes the former Gaslight Café (also a backdrop in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). The Coen brothers largely had to recreate the iconic landmarks of the Village that have long vanished with the turn of time.
Barefoot in the Park
Based on Neil Simon’s 1963 play, Barefoot in the Park was made in 1967 and is a classic American comedy. The story is about newlyweds (played by Jane Fonda and Robert Redford), who are beginning their wedded bliss living in tiny, walk-up apartment in a Greenwich Village brownstone.
Opposites attract in this film, where the husband is a hard-working attorney attempting to get his own practice off the ground and the wife is a free spirit, determined to find romance in all settings. The juxtaposition of their personalities plays a tug of war throughout the film.
The park referenced in the film’s title is Washington Square Park, where the wife insists she and her husband run barefoot in the park to loosen up from societal constraints.
For decades, Greenwich Village has charmed its way into the hearts of viewers thanks to Hollywood shows and movies, and we’re sure our neighborhood will continue to be the quaint backdrop for many more productions to come. Interested in learning more about local celebrities? Download our Paparazzi Guide to Greenwich Village to learn how respectfully act when encountering a celebrity, names of locals, and places you’re likely to come across a star.
Photo Attribution: Alleyway by Seth Werkheiser, Licensed under ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).