New York Stories

March 10, 1989 0 By Fans
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A middle-aged artist obsessed with his pretty young assistant, a precocious 12 year old living in a hotel, and a neurotic lawyer with a possessive mother make up three stories.

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 6.2/10 (8,321 voted)

Woody Allen

Stars: Woody Allen, Nick Nolte, Rosanna Arquette

A middle-aged artist obsessed with his pretty young assistant, a precocious 12 year old living in a hotel, and a neurotic lawyer with a possessive mother make up three stories.

Writers: Richard Price, Woody Allen


Woody Allen

Sheldon (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Marvin Chatinover

Psychiatrist (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Mae Questel

Mother (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Mia Farrow

Lisa (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Molly Regan

Sheldon's Secretary (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Ira Wheeler

Mr. Bates (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Joan Bud

Board Member (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Jessie Keosian

Aunt Ceil (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Michael Rizzo

Waiter (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

George Schindler

Shandu, The Magician (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Bridgit Ryan

Rita (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Larry David

Theater Manager (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Paul Herman

Detective Flynn
Clifford the Doorman
Cop (segments "Life Lessons" – "Life without Zoe" – "Oedipus Wrecks")

Herschel Rosen

Store Clerk (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

Lola André

Citizen (segment "Oedipus Wrecks")

One City. Three Stories Tall.

Release Date: 10 March 1989

Filming Locations: 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000


Gross: $10,763,469

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


At 33 minutes, Francis Ford Coppola's segment is the shortest. Woody Allen's clocks in at 40 minutes, while Martin Scorsese's runs to 45 minutes.


[to her mother about her Joan Crawford-styled dress]
A woman shouldn't have bigger shoulders than a man.

User Review

New York, New York


The anthology that include three short films that take place in New
York City was made by three great American directors, Martin Scorsese,
Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola.

"Life Lessons" directed by Martin Scorsese, literally took my breath
away – it made me want to rewatch all Scorsese's films (with the one
exception, GONY, though). What a magnificent work – visually it is as
powerful as the painting Nolte's Lionel was painting. Combining in one
short film Procul Harum's "A whiter shade of pale" and Puccini's
"Nessun Dorma" from "Turandot" was a stroke of genius. This film is an
ode to the power of talent; it is about greatness and curse of the
gift, not about love to the woman. The best scene of the film and I'd
say one of the best ever made about the Artist's work is Nolte
triumphantly painting his masterpiece – his love, desire, lust, cries,
whispers, tears, and humiliations magically transform with every stroke
of his brush into the immortal, triumphant, brilliant work of art. By
the time the painting is finished, he would need a new source of
inspiration and self-torture, and the cycle will repeat over again.
Devilishly clever portrait of an Artist as Not a Young Man. 9.5/10

I loved Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks" and I think it is very funny and
touching. Looks like Allen has met mothers or grandmothers like Mrs.
Millstein in real life and his little gem is his love-hate letter to
them. In the end, mom always knows what is best for her little boy. Mae
Questel and Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) were wonderful. Woody's face
after his mom "disappears" and the scene when he practically makes love
to the chicken drumstick are pure delight; also the commentary that New
York is used to everything and readily accepts the crazy situation – it
is so true. One of the best Allen's films I've seen lately – I am very
glad that I finally saw it.

Larry David ("Seinfeld", "Curb Your Enthusiasm") plays the Theater
Manager. It made me think if Estelle Costanza created by David and Mrs.
Millstein (Woody's omnipresent mother) have a lot in common in making
the lives of their sons miserable and smothering them with their
merciless love? 9/10

Coppola's "Life Without Zoë" was much weaker than Scorsese's and
Allan's stories and paled in comparison – this episode "from the lives
of the reach and beautiful" was pretty and cute but you can skip it.