As I was stepping out to go grab some dinner this evening, I passed by a newsstand with last week's issue of Time Out New York still on display. The cover article was a subject very close to my heart -- "100 BEST NYC FILMS" -- so I bought it and proceeded to page through it as I wolfed down an order of beef with broccoli at Charlie Mom's on 6th Ave. By myself. Like a loser.
In any case, while I was relieved to find most of my favorite movies cited amidst TONY's 100, I was slightly miffed at the comparatively middling ranking of my very favorite film of all time, that being Martin Scorsese's "After Hours" (a film I've laboriously written about here several times). For my money, #13 is not high enough on the list (especially when ranked behind stuff like John Carpenter's "Escape from New York" --- a fine, entertaining film, but in no way better than "After Hours").
With maddening predictability, TONY's encapsulation of the film makes a oversight that I've seen made time and again in way too many citations of the movie, and it never fails to give my virulent pedantic streak a galvanizing jolt.
After Hours (1985)
Martin Scorsese has made bigger movies—that’s inarguable—but none capture the wasteland that was ’80s Soho after midnight better than this black comedy, a time capsule of NYC weirdness. Frantic Griffin Dunne wanders through papier-mâché-strewn artist lofts, the Moondance Diner and the Emerald Pub, all on his desperate way to get back home (or at least to survive the wiles of Teri Garr).—Joshua Rothkopf
Okay, so what's the big deal? Well, lemme just preface my rant by saying that no one loves and misses the Moondance Diner (another thing I've written about several times here before) than me. It was a quintessential, vital organ of the SoHo of yesteryear, and everyone misses it, especially when they gaze upon the eyesore that currently sits in its footprint.
Here's the thing: THE MOONDANCE DINER DOES NOT APPEAR IN ANY SHAPE, WAY OR FORM IN MARTIN SCORSESE'S "AFTER HOURS"!
Hacks just lazily assume it's the Moondance given the fact that the movie's largely about SoHo. Why Scorsese didn't shoot in the Moondance I don't know, but the diner that Marcy drags Paul to (and that Paul periodically returns to throughout the rest of the film) is NOT the Moondance Diner.
So which diner was it?
As can be plainly seen in the screengrab from the exterior shot above and the video below, It was shot at the RIVER DINER at 452 11th Avenue & 37th Street, across from the Javitz Center. Don't bother looking for it today, as it's long gone. The former site of the diner is now a seedy check cashing establishment.
Now, does any of this really matter (especially in 2012)? Well, no ... but it's mistakes like this that drive me up a wall. If you're going to claim to be an authority on something, HOW ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT?