Video: The Dilapidated Dirty Hollywood Glamour Of New York’s Subway System

Not too long ago, although it seems that way, in the 1970s and 1980s, the New York City subway system was a graffiti-covered, crime-ridden hell hole. Thanks to Giuliani-era policing tactics, new paint resistance metal surfaces and the all around economic explosion that transformed the city into a Disney safe tourist haven, riding the subway is a relatively safer experience now than it was in its rawest years.

And now we found a great clip that mashes Hollywood’s tribute to the bygone days of seedy underground travel. The video, created by Jonathan Hertzberg, features scenes from dozens of gritty 70s and 80s movies. While I can’t recognize all the movies featured, I can recognize the stars; Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, John Travolta, Woody Allen and Henry Winkler are all seen lending their Hollywood shine to one of America’s dirtiest rides. It’s a great clip that is hard to shut off.

If you don’t believe what Hollywood is presenting above, last March, we featured a video clip of a long ride from Union Square to Coney Island taken in the summer of 1987. It was a home movie, and it captured a glimpse of the sorry state of New York’s once dangerous subway system.


Sign in or become a Bklyner member to join the conversation.