King of New York—Room Service & Leave No Witnesses

For some reason I got to thinking about Abel Ferrara’s best film King of New York (1990) this afternoon. The film beautifully frames the dirty streets of NYC, and has Laurence Fishburne playing one of the most truly menacing and memorable gangsters of recent film, Jimmy Jump. And when I think of King of New York, I think of two very specific scenes (so today’s Scenic is a twofer).

The first is when Jimmy Jump and Test Tube (played by none other than Steve Buscemi) take out King Tito during a drug deal in an airport hotel room. The other features Jimmy Jump obnoxiously ordering food in a dirty NYC Chinese joint right before he is arrested for the murder of King Tito. This scene has one of the most memorable lines from film during the 90s: “I don’t leave no witnesses.” Brilliant!

I kinda think of King of New York as a less gaudily stylized and over-acted Carlito’s Way, and that’s what you get when you remove Brian DiPalma and the odious Al Pacino from the equation.

Warning: Be prepared for all kinds of bad language and violence, this is Abel Ferrara after all, and enjoy!

“Room Service”

“I don’t leave no witnesses”

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5 Responses to King of New York—Room Service & Leave No Witnesses

  1. Brad says:

    I thought I didn’t know what movie this was until I went to the Wiki & saw it was the same one with Christopher Walken. I’ve never seen it but it’s always on TV, & after these clips I’m officially intrigued. I come from the era of The Matrix, so I donno this side of Laurence Fishburne; it’s brilliant. Loving the mix of classic & nostalgic scenes in this series.

  2. Reverend says:

    Brad,

    The thing with me is I can’t avoid the nostalgia no matter how hard I try, so sooner or later I have to give in, and I figured it would be far easier on me and the series if I started sooner 🙂

  3. Wayne Shields says:

    Love King of New York – underrated gangster classic!
    Better than Scarface in my opinion – Christopher Walken
    was superb in this movie – in fact every character in this
    movie was great – Larry Fishburne in one of his best ever
    roles – his best in my opinion was the film he made a year
    later Deep Cover (1992) which is just brilliant.
    One of my all time fave movies and in my Top 10 of all time.

    My fave bit – when Frank White and his chick are on the late train and they get hassled by a very young Harold Perrineau (Romeo + Juliet/Matrix Reloaded) and Frank simply says to him ‘I got work for you, im at the Plaza Hotel…’
    and throws him his money roll
    – now thats gangsta right there!

    – Wayne

  4. Reverend says:

    Wayne,

    I couldn’t agree with you more, King of New York gets no love in the gangster pantheon, but it is awesome. I don’t think I’ve seen Deep Cover, but now I have to given your suggestion that Fishburne is even better in that film.

    I also dig the scene on the subway, I also love the Chinatown scene when Fishburne is hanging out of the sunroof. Brilliant!

  5. Rob J says:

    A great film which has now finally been acknowledged as a classic almost twenty years after its’ original release. I guess the critics at the time didn’t rate it at the time, because Frank White was spiritually closer to Dracula than Tommy DeVito (GoodFellas).

    If you doubt me,check out the scene in the cinema where two hoods are watching “Nosfertu” and “Frankenstein”.

    Any film buff will know they both had plots based on the undead.

    As for the other classic scene when Jump and Frank both meet up….utterly brilliant.

    Mr Walken’s role as the Archangel Gabriel in the equally overlooked
    “The Prophecy” is also noteworthy.

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