Starring New York considers twenty-one films in detail, and more generally discusses many others, that were shot on location and released between 1968 and 1981. Corkin looks at their complex relationship to the fortunes of New York City during that era, probing the multiple connections among film, history, and geography. This period was a volatile moment in the history of the city as it went from the hopefulness of the Lindsay years (1966 to 1973) to financial default in 1975, under the leadership of Abe Beame to its reemergence as a center of international finance in the 1980s, under the leadership of Edward I. Koch (1978 to 1989). These changing regimes and fortunes form the backdrop for films that picture New York's racial and ethnic populations, its decaying districts, its violent street-life, and its emerging gentrification by the later years of the decade. The films, directed by an emerging generation of filmmakers influenced both by the Italian neo-realists and the French auteurs, sought a higher realism than that offered in conventional Hollywood productions. Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, Sidney Lumet, Paul Mazursky, Woody Allen, and John Schlesinger, all of whom became noted by a general audience during this period, capture the excitement and volatility of the period. More broadly, Starring New York proposes that this concentration of popular films that picture the city in transition provide viewers with a means to begin reorienting their view of New York's space, their significance, and their relation to other places of the globe.