Vintage Film From 1955 Provides a Portrait of Manhattan's Third Avenue Elevated Train

Created by producer/director Carson Davidson in 1955, this incredible vintage film provides a portrait of the Third Avenue El in its final year. Once present up most of Manhattan's numbered avenues, the 3rd Ave El was the last elevated train line in the City, replaced by our now ubiquitous network of subway lines.

A portrait of the Third Avenue Elevated Railway in New York City in 1955. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive. The music is Haydn's Concerto in D, played by harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. Davidson was a great fan of Landowska, and the rights to the music were held by HMV, who told the filmmaker that he could use the music, provided Landowska gave her approval. Through her secretary, Davidson discovered that Landowska distrusted filmmakers, had only seen one film in her life (which she disliked), but nevertheless "snapped up an offer of $200, all the money I had at the time," says Davidson.

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