Coyote Ugly (2000)
Tries to do for New York what Showgirls did for Vegas. Thanks, Jerry Bruckheimer.
Party Girl (1996)
Look, we adore Parker Posey in her breakout role, too. But she charges for parties and mooches off everybody. How did this girl get so popular?
Al Pacino’s inadvertently comical undercover foray into gay S&M. Don’t miss the cop-in-jockstrap interrogation scene.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Based on a fabricated article (in New York Magazine—sorry, folks). But faithful to late-seventies working-class Brooklyn disco, nonetheless.
John Cassavetes’s vérité classic about Beat-era partying: blank walls, smoky rooms, and bad drunks.
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
Tom Hanks as a Wall Street mover and shaker. Right. (Nor are we buying Bruce Willis as a journalist—but that’s another category.)
Trading Places (1983)
Yes, it’s set mostly in Philly. But it gives a fairly concise explanation of how the trading floor works.
Boiler Room (2000)
Give it credit for laying bare the adorably Neanderthal world of Long Island brokerages. Until it turns into The Firm.
Wall Street (1987)
Slick Michael Douglas ended up being the prototype for real-life slimeballs to come.
Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
Based on a true story. Plus: Jonathan Pryce’s uncannily icy portrait of ruthless buyout tycoon Henry Kravis.
(Photographs from top: First Look Pictures/Everett Collection; 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection)