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Slaves of New York

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Eleanor (Bernadette Peters) is an aspiring hat designer who lives with her successful but abusive artist boyfriend. The high cost of rent makes Eleanor and most of her fellow loft dwellers slaves to their relationships; if only they could afford to move they could move on. Struggling to make a namefor themselves, they do their best to get by with what they've got. Trapped in cramped apartments and unsatisfying love affairs, they wander the city looking for the one thing that will set them apart and set them free.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Sarandon, Anthony LaPaglia, Mary Beth Hurt, Steve Buscemi, Nick Corri
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant, Gary Hendler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009P42UA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,988 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Slaves of New York" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bonnie Burton on September 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I have to admit. This is the movie that made me want to drop everything and move to NYC to become an artist/writer/hat designer/club kid. Of course, I was 16 when I first saw it and wasn't going to be leaving my Colorado suburban abode anytime soon. But it still inspired me to one day visit NYC and run into the same characters in this movie. Not only is the story entertaining, but the movie style is indeed unique.
My only request: PLEASE MAKE THIS AVAILABLE ON DVD!
I would love to see bonus DVD material including a documentary on NYC in the '80s and commentary with the director and Bernadette Peters. Maybe Criterion will take this one on.
Either way, this flick is a gem.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
New York has changed since "Slaves of New York" was made. It has undergone a process of gentrification. Merchant-Ivory have created a motion picture which is nostalgic in an unique way, for a milieu that no longer exists, but lives on in our minds.
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Format: DVD
I first saw Slaves of New York when it was originally released quite some time after reading the book. I was drawn into the world of the 80's NYC Art Scene. The film is a bit austere, but I think that helps viewer's relate to Eleanor's (Bernadette Peters)struggle in life as an outsider-that she never gets the joke. Bernadette gives a rich and nuanced performance as Eleanor. She is the reason for seeing the film. She vacillates between giddy joy, depression, heartbreak, and triumph. Her introverted Eleanor is a joy to watch.

The colorful peripheral characters add spice and contrast, but it is Eleanor's story of finding her identity in an environment where everything is a facade.

This film is definitely not for everyone. Many talented people worked on this film and I found it charming on so many levels. It is definately unlike anything you have ever seen. If you love anything about the 80's culture, fashion, or pop world this is a must see. The fashion alone is a hoot. There are several priceless scenes.
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Format: VHS Tape
That last review is not suprising to me...of course some people would be attracted to the way the movie looks, instead of what it preaches. "Slaves of New York" is actually poking fun at those who are shallow...it's not just about artists...or even New York for that matter...it's about how people treat each other in general.
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Format: DVD
If you dog it, you've obviously never dared to live it. This movie is true poetic genius on all fronts.

One of my all time favorite films.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Funny and revealing movie about relationships in NYC 1980s in context of competitive young artists. Focussed look at how when people who can't afford high rents, they become indentured to the lovers they've moved in with and endure abusive behavior in order to avoid being jettisoned to the street.
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Format: Amazon Video
This was first a wildly popular book written by Tama Jamowitz who had lived the life depicted in the book. This is the New York City 1980s art scene and in both book and film we get an insider's look at being a member of this community of oddballs. This scene no longer exists in New York because the artists of this "just hanging on variety" can no longer afford to live there. New York has so gentrified its neighborhoods that in 2015 only a work about a rich, successful artist would be realistic. But it would be so much less interesting.

Bernadette Peters, who is more identified with plays on Broadway today, did a marvelous acting job in this film. She is a fiber artist who makes hats. She also has trouble sewing. Peters also made a lot of movies with Steve Martin as his leading lady prior to this. Then she jumped to the Broadway stage and rarely jumped back into film again. She is so closely identified with Martin when it comes to film that it was a great opportunity for her to extend herself by taking on this non-Martin like film.

Some viewers bill this as a Merchant-Ivory "miss". I thought it was about time Merchant-Ivory took a risk too and made something contemporary and not rooted back at least a century ago written by Forester or James. This is exactly the last movie you would expect to see them make which is why they needed to do so.

As a huge fan of the book, I can't imagine a better film adaptation of it.
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Format: DVD
Since 1989, this quirky and original little movie amused me and fed my inner Bohemian. Bernadette Peters portrays a gentle young woman in love with a misogynistic, unfaithful artist who paints popular cartoon characters. She designs hats. An amusing segment of New York's hip culturati, Slaves of New York peeks through the windows of creativity and oddity; and I'm dreaming of Soho.
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