Movies and Media
The Riviera in the Movies
Film Crew Outside 790 RSD, 2009

The Riviera, its interiors, and the streets around it have been featured in numerous movies and television shows over the years, to the delight, and sometimes annoyance, of local residents. The multiple points of entry into the building and the relative vastness of interior and exterior spaces and its relative ease of access to the location make it an attractive place for crews to work. The following are a series of stills taken from all of the motion pictures mentioned below.


Just before Memorial Day 2011, British director, Steve McQueen, who this year was honored with a “Commander of the British Empire” or CBE (one notch below knighthood) shot a few scenes for a New-York based movie, Shame in the Riviera “The movie, starring Michael Fassbender, playing a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life After his wayward younger sister, Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan, moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. The film, produced by See-Saw Films, which also produced the Oscar runaway hit The King's Speech, is scheduled for release in the UK later in 2011.


In 2009, the thriller Salt, released in July 2010, was shot in Riviera apartment 4E, on the roof and the 156th Street exterior wall. Star Angelina Jolie was seen on the streets around 790 and caused the tabloids to speculate as to whether she was moving to Washington Heights.

SaltAngelina Jolie Filming a Stunt Scene.
Credit: PPNY/GSNY, Discuillo; Photos: SplashNewsOnline. Paramount Pictures

A recent picture from Salt showing the decorative circle pattern in Beaux-Arts and Renaissance Revival style that is unique to our building. Published in the July 9-16, 2010 issue of Entertainment Weekly, the article by Nicole Sperling is about the stunt coordinator Simon Crane. Caption excerpt reads, “Angelina Jolie has absolutely no fear of heights. Which is a bonus when you're 120 feet in the air, grasping the side of a building, barefoot, with a dog in your backpack. ‘We were talking about her kids when she was hanging off this building.’ says Simon Crane.’”

Architectural details of our building.Picture from Entertainment Weekly
Credit: Entertainment Weekly and Paramount Pictures


The 1980 film Gloria, written and directed by Grinnell resident John Cassavetes, was shot along the Oval as was its 1999 remake directed by Sidney Lumet. Gena Rowlands with John Adames are shot in front of 157th Street and Riverside Drive.

Walking down 157th Street from Broadway Outside 157th Street Entrance
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Big Daddy

The 1999 comedy Big Daddy, starring Adam Sandler, and the action-adventure Shaft were shot inside apartment 1E at 790. In these stills from the movie Adam Sandler is shown introducing Julian (played by twin brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse) to his girlfriend (Joey Lauren Adams).

Big Daddy 1999 Hallway with Elevator Doors
Credit: Columbia Pictures


Shaft (the 2000 sequel to the 1971 film by Gordon Parks) starred Samuel L. Jackson and Vanessa Williams. In these shots, Vanessa Williams is ushering a child to safety just before a police task force breaks into the headquarter of the criminals, staged in apartment 1E of the Riviera.

Shaft 2000 Hallway, Central Stairs on the Left
Credit: Paramount Pictures