1. C.C. Baxter, The Apartment
Jack Lemmon’s benighted bachelor-cum-corporate drone really wants to run away with lovely elevator operator Shirley MacLaine. But he’ll just have to settle for sneaking in and out of his Upper West Side apartment.
2. The Girl, Seven Year Itch
Oh Marilyn. That white dress… that perfectly timed blast of air… those legs… the inevitable comparison to every single other blonde bombshell in America. It ain’t easy being an icon at the corner of 52nd Street and Lexington.
3. J.J. Hunsecker, The Sweet Smell of Success
Burt Lancaster’s Hunsecker (based on evil gossip czar Walter Winchell) is as ruthless and cruel as a hundred Page Sixes. Hunsecker was so tough he actually enjoyed having a penthouse overlooking the cavernous Midtown stretch of Broadway just north of Times Square.
4. Frank Serpico, Serpico
Serpico was an honest cop. Serpico played by his own rules. Serpico lived way downtown on Minetta Lane in 1973 because he wouldn’t take bribes like all the other cops.
5. Walt Berkman, The Squid and The Whale
Based loosely on the dissolution of director Noah Baumbach’s Park Slope family, the fictional life of divorce-child/spoor of the intelligentsia Walt Berkman is painful. Though perhaps less painful when one considers how much the Baumbach family brownstone is now worth.