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Monday October 15th 2018

Manhattan Murder Mystery | 1993

Manhattan Murder Mystery location: National Arts Club, Gramercy Park South, New York
Manhattan Murder Mystery location: From a window, Carol sees the supposedly-dead neighbour on a bus: National Arts Club, Gramercy Park South, New York

This minor but enjoyable Woody Allen comedy grew out of ideas rejected from Annie Hall – which apparently began life as a murder mystery.

Larry and Carol Lipton (Allen and Diane Keaton) are a New York East Side married couple who begin to suspect their kindly old neighbour may have bumped off his wife.

The couple stake out their cultural parameters by watching a NY Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue between West 31st and West 33rd Streets, Chelsea, and taking in Wagner at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Amsterdam Avenue, on the West Side.

Carol voices her first suspicions over a meal at what was fave Woody Allen hangout, Elaine’s, 1703 Second Avenue between East 88th and East 89th Streets on the Upper East Side, until it closed in 2011 after the death of owner Elaine Kaufman. Elaine’s is famously also featured in Allen’s earlier Manhattan and in his 1998 satire Celebrity.

Manhattan Murder Mystery location: 21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street, New York
Manhattan Murder Mystery location: the Liptons take their son the the club: 21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street, New York

The Lipton’s take their son (an early appearance by Scrubs’s Zach Braff, director of Garden State) to the 21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, midtown, where you can see its cheery frontage of tiny jockeys. The club is also featured in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.

The grand old establishment, where Carol attends a wine tasting and sees the supposedly-dead neighbour on a bus, is the the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South at Irving Place in the Gramercy district. Its olde worlde interior forms one of the period backdrops for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence.

Manhattan Murder Mystery location: Cafe des Artistes, West 67th Street, New York
Manhattan Murder Mystery location: Larry gets a poker lesson: The Leopard des Artistes, West 67th Street, New York

Marcia Fox (Anjelica Huston) gives Larry a lesson in a poker at The Leopard at des Artistes (formerly the Cafe des Artistes), 1 West 67th Street at Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on the West Side, where the aggrieved women meet up in The First Wives Club and the location – supposedly – for Louis Malle’s My Dinner With Andre.

Manhattan Murder Mystery filming location: Hotel Chelsea, 222 West 23rd Street, New York
Manhattan Murder Mystery filming location: the interior of the fictitious ‘Hotel Waldron’: the old Hotel Chelsea, 222 West 23rd Street, New York

The fictitious ‘Hotel Waldron’, where a body is discovered, is Hotel 17, 225 East 17th Street in the East Village, though its interior is the venerable – and now unbelievably closed – Hotel Chelsea, 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, which also anonymously provided a hotel interior for Luc Besson’s cultish Leon – The Professional and appeared as itself, of course, in Alex Cox’s Sid And Nancy. The hotel is being 'renovated', which seems to mean that its hard-won quirky charm is to be replaced by bland, luxury hotel anonymity. Shame.