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dolowicz

Which subway station was used in Nighthawks (1981)

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In the movie Nighthawks from 1981 there is a chase scene where Sly and Billy Dee Williams chase Rutger Hauer to the 42 Street subway station.

 

In the movie they used the unused tracks at Hoyt-Schermerhorn (as almost all movies that had a NYC subway scene back in the 80s did), with faux 42 Street signage.

 

However, when they run up the first flight of stairs we cut to another station, which is unknown to me. It looks like the Times Square 7th Avenue IRT station with its old ramps intact, but the layout and look of it doesn't make sense. I am aware the station complex has been renovated recently and much has changed, but old photographs and diagrams from it prove that it's not shot at Times Square (yes, even with the fake signage).

 

So my question is, who recognizes this station? To me it looks like a IND station with ramps. Which IND stations had ramps intact back in 1981?

 

I am attaching some screenshots from the scene.

 

nighthawks_1.jpg
nighthawks_2.jpg
nighthawks_3.jpg
nighthawks_4.jpg
nighthawks_5.jpg
nighthawks_6.jpg
nighthawks_7.jpg
nighthawks_8.jpg
nighthawks_9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In one of the screenshots there is a stair ML2 and according to the (MTA) stair ML2 is located at Times Square-42nd St.

http://www.mta.info/capconstr/sas/documents/feis/chapter05b.pdf

 

(on page 5B-38)

 

As far as I understand it, each station names staircases to its platforms P1 - Px, Ramps R1 - Rx, Mezzanine levels ML1 - MLx etc. So I doubt there is a general counter for the entire complex making each staircase uniquely numbered.

 

According to my diagrams, ML2 at Times Sq is one of the staircases leading down from the IRT Westside platforms to the IRT Flushing line mezzanine.

Edited by dolowicz

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The first picture looks like Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets

That was noted:

 

42nd makes sense for the rest, especially since they often used the now-demolished lower level of 42nd Street-8th Avenue for movie shoots. 

 

It would be either there, or a number of since-closed off portions of 14th Street-Union Square that I believe they used for "The Warriors."

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The first one is definitely Hoyt-Schermerhorn.

 

It doesn't look like Union Square either, although it had some closed off ramps back in the day.

 

If you look at picture 6 and the sign above the staircase it mentions trains to Whitehall Street (South Ferry) etc. Not sure if that sign is fake too, if not it should be able to give us an answer which line we are on at least.

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As far as I understand it, each station names staircases to its platforms P1 - Px, Ramps R1 - Rx, Mezzanine levels ML1 - MLx etc. So I doubt there is a general counter for the entire complex making each staircase uniquely numbered.

 

According to my diagrams, ML2 at Times Sq is one of the staircases leading down from the IRT Westside platforms to the IRT Flushing line mezzanine.

 

Well, ML2 I could only find at Times Sq so... And your last sentence only proves that I may be right because after the stairs you clearly see the sign 'FLUSHING' on the wall so that may mean the ML2 stairs in the picture lead to the IRT Westside platforms of the Flushing line, just like on your diagram of Times Sq.

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Well, ML2 I could only find at Times Sq so... And your last sentence only proves that I may be right because after the stairs you clearly see the sign 'FLUSHING' on the wall so that may mean the ML2 stairs in the picture lead to the IRT Westside platforms of the Flushing line, just like on your diagram of Times Sq.

 

IRT Westside is not the same as IRT Flushing.

 

The diagram shows ML2 as one of the staircases on the IRT Westside platforms that lead down to the mezzanine above the Flushing platforms (they still exist, kind of). The screens do not show any upper platforms.

 

Also, even it is is Times Square, the last photo shows the ramp leading up to an exit, which is not possible because the IRT Westside platforms are just behind the top of that ramp (which is now removed).

 

So, the plot thickens...

Edited by dolowicz

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It's actually Hoyt-Schermerhorn dressed up as 57th and 42nd Streets. Check the Nighthawks Wikipedia page. Also mentions the 174th Street stop on the (2) and (5) lines as well as the 6th Avenue line.

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174th Street is an elevated station. It was used in the opening sequence for the attempted robbery.

 

Hoyt-Schermerhorn was only used for the platform action. As soon as they run up the staircase we cut to another station - Hoyt does not have any ramps and is it not that deep below street level.

 

It could be 34th Street - Herald Square. It has ramps, perhaps this is what the old configuration looked like? Anyone remember this station before it was renovated and reconfigured?

 

Here's a photo that shows the station in what is probably the 1970s. You can see a staircase on the left side platform that kind of matches the one shown in the movie. There's also a ramp on the right hand side.

 

img_45687.jpg

Edited by dolowicz

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That pic I believe was from when they were converting the lighting from incandescent bulbs to florescent, which would make it around 1970 or so.  I do remember ramps being in those stations, but I don't remember when they were removed.

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Wouldn't that be pre-1967, when the (F) terminated there nonrush-hours?

You're right actually.  I do remember it looked it they were in the process of replacing the lighting at 34th when that picture was taken.

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It's actually Hoyt-Schermerhorn dressed up as 57th and 42nd Streets. Check the Nighthawks Wikipedia page. Also mentions the 174th Street stop on the (2) and (5) lines as well as the 6th Avenue line.

 

Since when do we trust Wikipedia for these kind of facts?

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That pic I believe was from when they were converting the lighting from incandescent bulbs to florescent, which would make it around 1970 or so.  I do remember ramps being in those stations, but I don't remember when they were removed.

 

There are still ramps, but the whole complex was reconfigured in the early 1990s making it look very different from what it looked like before. Haven't been able to find a lot of photos of the complex pre-reconfiguration.

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Since when do we trust Wikipedia for these kind of facts?

 

Considering it's also on IMDB (generally more accurate) and the fact that the first pic is definitely Hoyt-Schermerhorn, I think it's a pretty safe bet.

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Considering it's also on IMDB (generally more accurate) and the fact that the first pic is definitely Hoyt-Schermerhorn, I think it's a pretty safe bet.

 

Hoyt is in the movie, but that's not what I am asking. I know that the scenes running up the stairs and ramp WEREN'T shot there. My research leads me to believe it's 34th Street - Herald Square.

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Hoyt is in the movie, but that's not what I am asking. I know that the scenes running up the stairs and ramp WEREN'T shot there. My research leads me to believe it's 34th Street - Herald Square.

 

Right, I was just trying to point it out to the people who didn't believe it was Hoyt. 34th seems like a good bet, for a second I almost thought it was City Hall on the BMT but that doesn't really make sense. 

Edited by MHV9218
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Then again it is hollywood, they don't often get the details right. The original Pelham 123 and French Connection are both as close to accurate as I can think of.

No offense to others here, but not sure why it really matters what station was used. Just enjoy the film, at least it wasn't as messed up as some of the current films these days like that recent Pelham 123 remake.

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