7 Classic Statue of Liberty Moments in Movies
Ah, Lady Liberty. She stands tall on Liberty Island, overlooking the New York City skyline. She's an iconic image, so it only makes sense that she's made a lot of cameo appearances in movies. Here seven of the best, from those heady pre-9/11 days when you could get up to the top and fight to the death without any problem (most of them are, anyway).
Alfred Hitchcock is well-known for his ability to take the familiar and turn it into something sinister and terrifying. He showcases this ability pretty well in the famous climax of "Saboteur," a spy-thriller in which an innocent man is framed for Nazi sabotage and chased across the country, by the police and by the real Nazis. The chase ends in New York City, where he and the bad guy have their final duel on top of the statue.
"Planet of the Apes"
The Statue of Liberty might be an iconic emblem of benevolence and freedom, but not even that can last forever if we humans aren't careful. That's the lesson behind her appearance in the (now-famous) twist ending of "Planet of the Apes." Astronaut Taylor, stranded on the titular planet, discovers that he's been on Earth all along when he sees the remains of Lady Liberty washed up on the beach. Sucks when celebrities get old, right?
"The Godfather, Part II"
There have been countless movies and TV shows in which a young immigrant to America sees the Statue of Liberty from the ferry and it acts as a symbol of optimism and hope for the future. But the best example of this trope is in "The Godfather, Part II," which features a young Vito Corleone seeing the Statue of Liberty from the ferry and it acts as a symbol of optimism and hope for the future. That future ended up having a lot more murders than the little kid was probably expecting, but oh well, that's a living.
"Escape From New York"
For John Carpenter's science fiction thriller about a future New York City transformed into a giant prison colony, Lady Liberty makes a cameo appearance on the poster-only she's been decapitated. It's not known why this classic image wasn't kept for the movie. Perhaps because decapitating the Statue of Liberty was too expensive for the movie's low budget.
Don't forget that sometimes LL actually appears in movies as an actor, which is to say she doesn't always play herself. In Mel Brooks' sci-fi parody "Spaceballs," she appears as the giant transforming Mega-Maid, equipped with a giant "suck/blow" vacuum cleaner. If this seems like a weird choice, just know that it was mostly so Mel could work a "Planet of the Apes" parody into the movie.
Director Bryan Singer was inspired by "Saboteur" when he set the climax of "X-Men" on top of the Statue of Liberty. That's where Magneto has placed his turns-humans-into-mutants-and-then-puddles contraption, and the final fight between Magneto's team and the X-Men takes place up there. This means lots of high-flying action and close calls, and while it's unlikely Alfred Hitchcock ever read an "X-Men" comic, it seems possible he would have approved anyway.
In "Cloverfield," we get a from-the-bottom-up view of what happens when a monster rampages through New York City, as shot from one guy's camcorder. This means we don't see a lot of the big widespread shots of destruction that are usually in giant monster movies. We do get one iconic image though-the Statue of Liberty's head, hurled down the street like a Skee-ball. That woman should keep a closer eye on her head, huh?