5 Must-See New York Movies Set in Grand Central Terminal

Check Out Grand Central Terminal in its Many Starring Roles

With its soaring ceiling and lovely Beaux Arts architecture, Grand Central Terminal makes for a very dramatic cinematic location. Many classic and not-so-classic movies feature scenes set in Grand Central (and often shot on location in the train station). Check out my top picks for 5 great movies that showcase New York's Grand Central Terminal.

  • 01 of 05

    North By Northwest

    In Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, a Madison Avenue adman played by the dashing Cary Grant is mistaken for a government agent and pursued across the country by a gang of spies. He makes his escape from New York City in an exciting sequence filmed at night inside the real station. This is one of Hitchcock's most masterful and entertaining films. It has everything – comedy, suspense, and Cary Grant (sigh).

  • 02 of 05

    The Cotton Club

    Francis Ford Coppola's Cotton Club is set in the legendary Harlem nightclub during the 1920s and 1930s. Released to negative reviews and bad publicity in 1984, the film is now considered one of Coppola's most underrated. It features a climactic ending (spoilers ahead!) with Richard Gere and Diane Lane (the gangster's moll) boarding the famous Twentieth Century Limited train in Grand Central, headed for a new life in L.A.

  • 03 of 05

    Midnight Run

    This 1988 film features Robert DeNiro as a bounty hunter who has to transport Charles Grodin from New York to L.A. before he can collect his fee. Grodin is afraid of flying, so DeNiro drags him through Grand Central to catch a train to Los Angeles. This is just the beginning of their long, strange journey; it's is one of the best road-trip/buddy movies ever made.

  • 04 of 05

    The Fisher King

    This underrated gem directed by Terry Gilliam features a spectacular scene in which Grand Central Terminal is transformed into a glittering ballroom filled with waltzing commuters. To film this scene, more than 400 extras waltzed around the terminal from 8pm until the first commuter trains arrived at 5:30am the next morning. This modern-day fairy tale also features great performances from Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams.

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  • 05 of 05


    1978's Superman features some very cool scenes set in villain Lex Luthor's fantastic subterranean lair under Grand Central Terminal. But Superman gets a few points off for cheating. They actually filmed these scenes on a soundstage in London. It gets an "A" for creativity, but a "C" for authenticity. Either way, Superman is a very entertaining movie featuring a gorgeous, young Christopher Reeve and a portly, campy Marlon Brando as Jor-El.