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What do Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and even Ronald Reagan have in common? They’ve all appeared in movies set in Hell’s Kitchen. Sometimes the main event, sometimes a brief cameo, our neighborhood has made many, many appearances on the silver screen over nearly a century.

A gritty, evocative location for directors Sidney Poiter to Sidney Lumet (also a member of W44th Street’s famed Actors Studio), Hell’s Kitchen has long been a filmmaker favorite for portraying New York as “rough and tumble.” We’ve compiled a mega-list of HK-featured movies, shorts and TV shows, ranging from arthouse to action. And while we can’t vouch for the shelf life of every film — quite frankly, some of them do not age well —we can vouch that the neighborhood makes an appearance in each! 

Feature Films 

Street Scene (1931)

Set over the course of 24 hours on a Hell’s Kitchen tenement brownstone, Street Scene is the adaptation of Elmer Rice’s 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of love, violence and a hot summer day in the neighborhood. 

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

The first of many Hell’s Kitchen movies surrounding the Irish Mob, Angels stars James Cagney and Pat O’Brien as two Hell’s Kitchen boys who have taken very different paths in life and Humphrey Bogart as a corrupt lawyer. 

Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

The first of several movies with Hell’s Kitchen in the title, the film depicts a group of “tough city kids” who have graduated from reform school and are assigned to live at a semi-prisonesque New York city shelter. Special and uncharacteristic appearance by a young Ronald Reagan as a social worker!

You Can’t Get Away With Murder (1939)

Not to be confused with the Viola Davis star vehicle of a similar name, You Can’t Get Away With Murder  is another Humphrey Bogart-helmed mob flick set around Hell’s Kitchen. 

My Son Is Guilty (1939)

Starring Western film standout Harry Carey, My Son is Guilty depicts Carey as a Hell’s Kitchen cop whose son gets mixed up in organized crime. 

Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)

This 1948 drama stars Margaret O’Brien (best known as Judy Garland’s little sister Tootie in Meet Me in St Louis) as a young girl whose aunt’s fiancé goes to prison, but who tells her that he has gone to travel the world. Cheery!

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Starring Dana Andrews as a cop determined to stay on the right side of the law, the trailer warns that “there’s danger in every footstep where the sidewalk ends” in Hell’s Kitchen!

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957)
“The factual story of NY’s ruthless waterfront wars!”, Slaughter is an adaptation of the non-fiction book by William Keating about his experiences as the New York City Assistant District Attorney and counsel on the Anti-Crime Committee. The movie’s title comes from the Richard Rodgers ballet of the same name, and is used in the film, though the two don’t share a plot.

Mad Dog Coll (1961) and Mad Dog Coll (1992)

Not one but two adaptations exist about the life of Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll, a notorious gangster and Owney Madden adversary who terrorized the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. 

A Man Called Adam (1966)

Starring Sammy Davis Jr, Cicely Tyson, Frank Sinatra Jr and Louis Armstrong, A Man Called Adam tells the tragic tale of a famous jazz trumpeter “unable to cope with the problems of everyday life” and is said to take place partly around Midtown’s once-prolific jazz club scene

Klute (1971)

Jane Fonda stars as a sex worker in Hell’s Kitchen being pursued by a serial killer, Donald Sutherland plays the cop who attempts to help her.

The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Sean Connery gets released from prison and arrives at Port Authority  in The Anderson Tapes, where he spends his newfound freedom taking meetings on 9th Avenue.  

Serpico (1973) 

In this Al Pacino crime classic, the Serpico shoe shop is located on 10th Avenue. 

The Exorcist (1973)

The famous horror hit has at least one shot that takes place on W48th Street between 9/10th Avenue. Look out for Regan!!

The Seven-Ups (1973)

Roy Scheider stars as a cop working with an elite unit of detectives to find out killed his friend in The Seven-Ups. Also featuring an impressive car-chase scene up the wrong side of 9th Avenue, past what is now the Skyline Hotel and up the West Side along Riverside Drive!

Taxi Driver (1976)

The first of several Robert De Niro appearances, in Taxi Driver the award-winning actor picks up fares like Jodie Foster’s sex worker from the mean streets of 1970s Hell’s Kitchen.

Raging Bull (1980)

De Niro’s back! In Raging Bull, a pivotal conflict scene happens at the famous Copacabana club

Maniac (1980)

In this gruesome horror flick, a serial killer goes on a spree around New York City, including taking his victims to the infamous Hotel St James on W45th Street.  

Cruising (1980)

Al Pacino returns to the neighborhood in this controversial crime drama where he plays an undercover cop attempting to solve a series of murders in the gay community of 1980s Hell’s Kitchen. The Hotel St James also appears in this one!

Fast Forward (1985)

Directed by Sidney Poitier, this tale of eight small-town teens who travel to New York to compete in a dance competition was apparently filmed around Hell’s Kitchen. 

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)

This 1985 cult crime drama takes place both at Coney Island and on the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen.  

Big (1988)

Yes, yes, while we all know the iconic FAO Schwarz piano scene (though we’d argue it isn’t quite Hell’s Kitchen), the Tom Hanks classic also takes place at the Hotel St James (depicted as Hanks’s scary first night shelter in New York) as well as a pinball shop on 10th Avenue. 

Family Business (1989)

This Sidney Lumet-directed crime drama boasts an all-star cast — Matthew Broderick, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman and Wendell Pierce among them — and tells the tale of family mixed up in the mafia who frequently meet up at bars and restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen. 

State of Grace (1990)

Sean Penn stars as a native son of Hell’s Kitchen who returns to the old neighborhood and infiltrates the mob. Also featuring Ed Harris and Gary Oldman! 

Whore 2 (1994) 

As stated earlier, many of these films did not age well. Whore 2 depicts an author who sets himself up in the Hotel St James (it’s back!) to work on a book about sex work, only to “become fond” of a worker there. 

Money Train (1995)

This Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Lopez film only somewhat qualifies as set in Hell’s Kitchen, but this transit cop heist film does have some scenes set around the neighborhood. 

Sleepers (1996) 

Four Hell’s Kitchen boys caught up in a prank gone wrong are sent to an abusive reform school, only to later take revenge on those who harmed them. Starring Brad Pitt, Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Kevin Bacon and Hell’s Kitchen movie regulars Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, the film also features an iconic monologue where Hell’s Kitchen is described as “the lost and found of shit!”

Lowball (1996)

Two undercover cops get discovered while attempting to bust a heroin ring in Hell’s Kitchen. 

Bobby G Can’t Swim (1999)

Bobby G is a small-time coke dealer living in Hell’s Kitchen whose life falls into disarray after he gets involved with a yuppie. 

Flawless (1999)

Written by Joel Schumacher, Flawless features Robert De Niro as a conservative Hell’s Kitchen security guard and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as his transgender neighbor. 

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Nicolas Cage travels Manhattan (and Hell’s Kitchen) as a paramedic haunted by the souls of dead people. 

One Eyed King (2001)

Billy Baldwin and Chazz Palminteri star in this drama about five Hell’s Kitchen friends under the thumb of an Irish Mob boss. 

In America (2002)

Broadway’s Paddy Considine and Djimon Hounsou star in the story of an Irish immigrant family struggling to survive in Hell’s Kitchen. 

Ash Wednesday (2002)

Edward Burns and Elijah Wood are two brothers who become entangled with the Irish Mob in this Hell’s Kitchen-set drama written and directed by Burns. 

Daredevil (2003)

Ben Affleck stars in the first iteration of the Marvel Comics adaptation, which takes place in Hell’s Kitchen but was shot primarily in LA (booooooo!). 

The Kitchen (2019)

Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss play the wives of three Hell’s Kitchen gangsters who take over their husbands’s crime rings.

Short Films

While most short films were too, well, short to offer a trailer, we can report that Hell’s Kitchen is featured in the Spencer Tracy-helmed The Hard Guy (1930), Andrew Serban-directed indies Patty Reilly Was Here (2009) and West Side Girl (2010), Jaywalkers (2017), and of course, crime short Hell’s Kitchen (2021). 

TV/Mini Series 

Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Most New Yorkers associate Seinfeld with the Upper West Side, but the show’s creator Larry David once resided in Manhattan Plaza and came up with the idea for the show while at the Westway Diner with Jerry Seinfeld. The show also filmed an episode at the now-shuttered Market Diner on W43rd Street and 11th Avenue.

Trinity (1998-1999)

A short-lived NBC drama starring Jill Clayburgh, Tate Donovan and The West Wing’s John Spencer, about an Irish-Catholic working-class family in Hell’s Kitchen. 

The Black Donnellys (2007)

Four Irish brothers navigate their family’s mob legacy in Hell’s Kitchen in this one-season drama from the writers of Crash and Million Dollar Baby

Daredevil (2015-2018)

The Marvel superhero returns in this Netflix series starring Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll of True Blood and Law and Order’s Vincent D’Onofrio. 

Jessica Jones (2015-2019)

Krysten Ritter plays a troubled superhero-turned private investigator based out of Hell’s Kitchen. 

The Deuce (2017-2019)

Critically-acclaimed and regrettably short-lived, this HBO drama starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco examines life on W42nd Street during its porn-theater heyday. 

The Bite (2021)

An uncomfortably topical mini series, The Bite reimagines COVID-19 as a zombie apocalypse and was mostly filmed in a Hell’s Kitchen brownstone on W52st Street between 9th and 10th Avenue. Starring Taylor Schilling and Broadway’s Audra Macdonald! 

The Law and Order Cinematic Universe (1990-present)

Perhaps no TV show more than Law & Order — whether it be the original franchise, Special Victims Unit, the (relatively) shorter-lived Criminal Intent or newcomer Organized Crime — takes place in and films around Hell’s Kitchen. Cue the “Dun-dun!”


The musical classic West Side Story takes place around 1950s San Juan Hill but its iconic Broadway Cast Recording album cover was shot right here on W56th Street between 9/10th Avenue.

If you’re looking forward to the next Hell’s Kitchen appearance on the big screen, you’re in luck — New York City ranks number one in movie theater density. Off to the AMC Empire 25! 

What’s your favorite Hell’s Kitchen movie? Did we miss an essential flick? Are you keeping an eye out for the release of Maestro and the second season of And Just Like That, both recently filmed in Hell’s Kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

Join the Conversation


  1. Actually in Taxi Driver DeNiro sees and later talks with Jodie Foster on 3rd ave just south of 14th st. Hell’s Kitchen is in the movie though as the cab garage is west 57th and he goes to a porn movie on 8th avenue in the upper 40s

  2. The Exorcist also shot on the 2/3 subway train platform on W34th St. The dream sequence of Damian’s mother descending into the subway was on 8th Ave.

  3. I remember watching Tootsie shoot some scenes on 42nd between 10th and 11th and some on 9th. Not sure if they made the cut as I have never watched the film.

  4. Don’t forget Birdman. My building on 43rd between 8th & 9th was the star in one of the last scenes. I was a background actor and remember all the times I’d be booked in Brooklyn or Queens or NJ but when I walked out of my building to catch the bus or van to get me there, there’s trailers set up practically on my doorstep. 🙈

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