How A Martin Scorcese Movie Birthed Frank Sinatra's Iconic New York, New York
By | December 15, 2021
The 1977’s “New York, New York,” became the swan song smash hit for the incomparable Frank Sinatra but it actually wasn’t his song at all. Even though everyone thinks of The Rat Pack alpha dog when they hear, “If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere,” it all began with a Martin Scorcese movie of the same name.
The quintessentially New York song also required a Robert De Niro dismissal of two heavyweight songwriters, John Kander and Fred Ebb, to spark their creative juices. Liza Minnelli belted out what would become the city’s unofficial anthem but her connection to the song disappeared when the Chairman of the Board gave the world his rendition.
Martin Scorcese’s New York, New York
Today Scorcese stands as a titan of film but back then, he was still establishing himself as a headlining filmmaker. Coming off of his legendary “Taxi Driver”, Scorsese ran it back with De Niro, hoping to capitalize on their successful relationship. “New York, New York,” also featured Minnelli as two musicians trying to make it in the big city.
Unfortunately, the film flopped. On a budget of $14 million, it only brought in $16.4. Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader said, "Scorsese created a very handsome and dynamic film, but the spectacular set pieces don't add up to much." The disappointment drove the Hall of Fame filmmaker into a deep drug-fueled depression.