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Academy Award winning films with New York locations

With the Academy Awards about to be handed out in sunny Hollywood, New York City is still a prime location for movie shoots. Teeming with famous landmarks and bustling streets, the city that never sleeps served as the backdrop for the following 4 classic films that won Best Picture and happen to be based on books with New York locations.

Hollywood may be the home of the Oscars, but New York locations often win the prize.
Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images

“The Lost Weekend” (1945): Based on Charles R. Jackson’s novel, this gritty film of one man’s struggle with alcoholism was groundbreaking in its day. Ray Milland won a Best Actor Oscar for his starring role. PJ Clarke’s Saloon, 915 Third Avenue in Manhattan, one of the locations used in the film, is still open today.

“The French Connection” (1971): Based on the nonfiction book by Robin Moore, the film was the first rated R movie to win Best Picture. The famous car chase scene was shot under the elevated train, the Stillwell Avenue line, in Brooklyn from Bay 50th Street to the 62nd Street Station. Several other New York locations are also featured in the film, including the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan, and 70 Park Avenue Hotel at 38th Street.

“The Godfather” (1972): Mario Puzo’s bestseller became director Francis Ford Coppola’s cinema classic. The wedding reception was filmed on Longfellow Road in Staten Island. Michael Corleone and Kay stay at the St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street in Manhattan.

“The Godfather Part 2” (1974): A prequel and a sequel, this film holds its own with the original, the first sequel to a Best Picture to also win Best Picture. Sixth Street between Avenue A and B in the East Village served as Little Italy circa 1917. Stroll through the Village and visit another filming location, Caffe Reggio at 119 MacDougal Street for an authentic cappuccino.

The films are available on Netflix, Amazon, and at your local library. The books are also available at your local library and at your favorite bookshops, like the Strand in New York City.

For the full list of this year’s nominees, check out the Academy Awards website and be sure to tune in on March 2 for the Oscars live on ABC.

What’s your favorite Academy Award winning film adaptation of a book?

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