Ransom | 1996
Stinking rich airline exec Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson) risks all when the FBI fails to rescue his kidnapped son, snatched from a Junior Science Fair at Bethesda Terrace, Terrace Drive at 72nd Street, in Central Park just opposite the famous Dakota Building – the location for Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. The photogenic terrace is a screen regular in such diverse films as Enchanted, Friends With Benefits and John Wick.
In the original 1962 The Manchurian Candidate, the highly suggestible Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) responds – literally – to a chance aside by barman Rizzo (“Go up to Central Park and go jump in the lake...”) by tripping down the steps of Bethesda Terrace and plopping into the Lake.
Mullen’s luxury pad is
The wild goose chase, with $2 million ransom money, takes Mullen from 125th Street in Harlem through the Holland Tunnel, which runs from Canal Street, SoHo, to 12th Street, Jersey City. He’s soon deep into New Jersey, at Paramus on Route 4, going west to Route 208, and north on Saddle River Road to the rock quarry where small-fry gofer Cubby (Donnie Wahlberg) gets shot.
When the kidnap’s mastermind is finally unmasked, he gets Mullen to wire money from the fictitious ‘Vanderbilt Bank’, actually a grand private house, 1261 Madison Avenue at 90th Street, near the Mullen home. The final shootout takes place outside the ‘Bright Lights’ shop, in reality Rigby & Peller Lingerie, 1252 Madison Avenue at East 90th Street.