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New York City Real Estate in Film: 8 Examples

When Hollywood needs source material for drama, New York City real estate offers it in ample supply.

"5 Flights Up," a new movie coming out Friday, stars Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman as a couple who are selling their Brooklyn apartment in a "young people's building." It's about gentrification and rising rents. Very "now."

But filmmakers have been making movies about the travails of New York real estate for decades. It's often an integral part of the plot, usually as an antagonistic force for evil. 

Below are some of Hollywood's attempts to bring housing drama to life:

1. "How To Marry a Millionaire" (1953)Sometimes good digs can make all the difference. In "How To Marry a Millionaire," three models decide their best strategy for marrying rich is renting a ritzy Sutton Place penthouse.

2. "Rear Window" (1954)As a primer on city voyeurism, this Alfred Hitchcock film features a convalescing photographer (Jimmy Stewart) in Greenwich Village who passes the time watching his neighbors in apartments across the courtyard, some of whom seem to have murderous intentions.

3. "The Apartment" (1960) —  Handy housing moves the plot along in Billy Wilder's classic film, "The Apartment," featuring an insurance company underling (Jack Lemon) who keeps his bosses happy by letting them use his midtown residence for their illicit trysts.

4. "Rosemary's Baby" (1968)Your demonic neighbors don't compare to the ones the Woodhouses (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) encounter in their Upper West Side building, The Dakota, which in the film houses a presence that possesses them in ways far beyond their wildest creative class anxieties. 

5. "The Landlord" (1970) — In this Hal Ashby film, a rich WASP (Beau Bridges) buys an inner city tenement in 1970 Park Slope, planning to evict everyone and remodel the place as his personal residence. Instead, he falls in love with one of his tenants.

6. "Duplex" (2003) — A nice, young professional couple (Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore) moves into their dream house, a Brooklyn brownstone, only to become so fed up with their upstairs neighbor that they hatch a plot to make her disappear.

7. "Please Give" (2010) — Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt star in this comedy about a wealthy New York couple in a Greenwich Village apartment building looking to flip the apartment next door once its elderly tenant passes on.

8. "The Resident" (2011) — A twisted landlord (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) uses his expertise to stalk his tenant (Hilary Swank) in her own Brooklyn loft. 

Are we missing any key New York City real estate movies? Tell us in the comments!