New York Stories (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

New York Stories (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The omnibus film New York Stories is the product of three powerhouse filmmakers. The film is divided into three stories, each exploring a different aspect of life in the Big Apple. Life Lessons, directed by Martin Scorcese, is a Dostoevsky-like tale of the rarefied Art World, with Nick Nolte as a self-indulgent abstractionist who loves Rosanna Arquette, but can't bring himself to lie to her about her negligible artistic talents. Life Without Zoe, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is more than a little reminiscent of Kay Thompson's Eloise stories, with 12-year-old Zoe (Heather McComb) running amok at the Sherry-Netherland hotel while her parents are embarked upon a world-girdling vacation. The last and is Woody Allen's Oedipus Wrecks, wherein a schnooky lawyer (guess who?) inadvertently "creates" the Jewish Mother From Hell: thanks to a misguided magic trick, Allen's mama (the incomparable Mae Questel) becomes a huge spectral vision on the New York skyline, telling everyone within earshot about her son's inadequacies. The cinematographer lineup on New York Stories includes Nestor Almendros, Vittorio Storaro and Sven Nykvist. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Woody Allen
as Sheldon Mills
Nick Nolte
as Lionel Dobie
Patrick O'Neal
as Phillip Fowler
Jesse Borrego
as Reuben Toro
Steve Buscemi
as Gregory Stark
Illeana Douglas
as Paulette's Friend
Talia Shire
as Charlotte
Paul Herman
as Clifford, the Doorman
Carmine Coppola
as Street Musician
Carole Bouquet
as Princess Soroya
Marvin Chatinover
as Psychiatrist
Jessie Keosian
as Aunt Ceil
George Schindler
as Shandu, The Magician
Ed Koch
as Himself
Ira Wheeler
as Mr. Bates
Larry David
as Theater Manager
Helen Hanft
as Citizen
as Citizen
Jodi Long
as T.V. Interviewer
Nancy Giles
as T.V. Interviewer
Mike Starr
as Hardhat
Bill Moor
as Mr. Lilly
Paul Mougey
as Guy at Blind Alley
Deborah Harry
as Girl at Blind Alley
Brigitte Bako
as Young Woman
Richard Price
as Artist at Opening
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Critic Reviews for New York Stories

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6)

Whether it happened by chance or design, the sketches have more than just New York in common: all three have something to do with middle age, as well as with romantic relationships.

December 11, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

Only Woody Allen seems to have understood what is possible in a featurette.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

It's still too early to tell whether the cheering New York Stories will be a box-office hit, but one can hope.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

A novel and fascinating foray into highly stylized, highly personal filmmaking.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

New York Stories consists of three films, one good, one bad, one disappointing.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Allen's contribution is the only one that can be counted as a genuine success.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for New York Stories


New York Stories have two good tales: Life Lessons by Scorsese and Oedipus Wrecks by Allen. But Coppola's Life Without Zoe, it's terrible, boring and totally disappointing. The worse thing in the movie is Coppola being with others great directors. The 70's was a terrific time to Francis Ford and his classic pictures that gonna be unforgettable in cinema history, but all change in 80's and this status of master stay really weak. One of this disasters is the short film Life Without Zoe in New York Stories, and what make the movie be not very good. Scorsese and Allen save the picture... but not enough.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

None of these stories are really BAD per se; just really badly filmed and very nineties lighting. Woody Allen's segment was okay funny, Scorsese's thing was confusing but watchable, Coppola's...I don't even want to talk about it. I'll pretend it didn't happen. There is seriously something wrong with the technique with which these shorts were made. Did they hire worse people to do the camerawork because they weren't given enough money?

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


One again everything Sofia Coppola touches turns to shit. Tucked in between Scorsese's comment on art and Allen's delightful matriphobia comedy is Coppola's big floating turd of a short.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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