New York Stories

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

New York Stories (Touchstone Movie)

“New York Stories” is a unique anthology film released by Touchstone Pictures in 1989, comprising three short stories, each directed by a renowned filmmaker. The movie explores various aspects of life in the bustling city of New York, presenting a fascinating blend of drama, romance, and comedy.

The first segment, directed by Martin Scorsese, tells the story of a talented but eccentric painter, Lionel Dobie (played by Nick Nolte), who falls for a beautiful and elusive muse named Paulette (played by Rosanna Arquette). The love affair becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions as Lionel struggles to capture his passion on canvas.

In the second part, Woody Allen takes the helm, presenting a comedic tale titled “Oedipus Wrecks.” The story revolves around Sheldon Mills (played by Woody Allen), a successful lawyer who can’t escape the overbearing presence of his mother (played by Mae Questel). Chaos ensues when she disappears during a magic show, only to reappear as a giant floating head over the city, exposing Sheldon’s personal life to everyone.

The third and final segment, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is titled “Life Lessons.” It follows Lionel Dobie’s best friend, David (played by Lionel Dobie), a successful and renowned artist who grapples with his feelings for his young and talented assistant, Paulette (played by Rosanna Arquette). As the lines between professional and personal relationships blur, David faces a moral dilemma that tests his artistry and integrity.

“New York Stories” offers an enchanting exploration of human emotions, relationships, and the chaotic nature of life in the city that never sleeps. Each segment has its own distinct style and narrative, making the film a captivating cinematic experience that showcases the unique perspectives of three legendary filmmakers. The stellar performances of the cast, the exquisite cinematography, and the vibrant backdrop of New York City further elevate the movie, making it a must-watch for fans of diverse storytelling and exceptional filmmaking

Additional Details


Life Lessons

  • Nick Nolte: Lionel Dobie
  • Rosanna Arquette: Paulette
  • Steve Buscemi: Gregory Stark
  • Jesse Borrego: Reuben Toro
  • Peter Gabriel: Himself
  • Illeana Douglas: Paulette’s friend
  • Debbie Harry: Blind alley girl

Life Without Zoë

  • Heather McComb: Zoë
  • Talia Shire: Charlotte
  • Giancarlo Giannini: Claudio
  • Don Novello: Hector
  • Adrien Brody: Mel
  • Chris Elliott: Robber
  • Carmine Coppola: Street musician
  • Carole Bouquet: princess Soraya

Oedipus Wrecks

  • Woody Allen: Sheldon Mills
  • Mae Questel: Mother
  • Mia Farrow: Lisa
  • Julie Kavner: Treva
  • George Schindler: Shandu the Magician
  • Larry David: Theater manager
  • Mike Starr: Hardhat
  • Ira Wheeler: Mr. Bates


  • Directors: Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese
  • Producers: barbara De Fina, Fred Fuchs, Robert Greenhut, Charles Joffe, Jack Rollins and Fred Roos
  • Writers: Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola and Richard Price

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and