Movies That Smash the Statue of Liberty


A trailer for the upcoming movie I Am Legend shows Will Smith and his canine buddy wandering an entirely empty New York City. But that's nothing new. Hollywood has always loved to show one of the most bustling cities on the planet smashed to hell and emptied of human life.

  • Planet of the Apes: Probably the most famous image from this film is ol' Chuck Heston riding up the beach and finding the Statue of Liberty buried in the sand, which means New York City is buried under a ton of coastline. "You blew it all up. You really did it. Damn you... goddamn you all to hell!" Sorry, Charlie.
  • Escape From New York: While there's still a few people kicking it around New York, Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison, and of course they haven't been kind to the Statue of Liberty either. Director John Carpenter shot the film in St. Louis, Missouri and was able to convince city officials to turn off the power to ten city blocks each night to simulate the desolate city.
  • Independence Day: New York City is bustling and full of life... until a giant flying saucer comes and zaps the place to hell. As expected, the Statue of Liberty buys it in this one, although it just looks like she might be taking a nap in the Hudson River, but the city didn't look fare quite so well.
  • Deep Impact: New York City gets taken out by chunks of a comet that has been split in two in this 1998 movie. Several other U.S. cities supposedly get decimated as well, but it's Manhattan that we see getting blasted. A tidal wave created by the impact also takes out the Statue of Liberty, and pushes her head through the streets like a giant pinball.
  • Armageddon: Two months after Deep Impact, Armageddon slammed into theaters, taking a good sized chunk of New York City with it. While the Statue of Liberty's plight isn't shown, we do get to witness the top of the Empire State Building coming off and slamming into the streets and bringing the observation level down to the ground floor. What a view.
  • Artificial Intelligence: A.I.: Even the combined might of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg couldn't manage to put any intelligence into this film about artificial intelligence, nor could they save New York City from being flooded and smashed up like some child's Lego toyset. Although bonus points for having the Statue of Liberty survive, even though she's buried underwater up to her torch.
  • Vanilla Sky: Tom Cruise wakes up to a bad day where he's the last person in New York City, resulting in a pretty spectacular shot in a desolate Times Square. The production was given unprecedented access to the location for filming, and the city let them shut everything down and empty it out one early Sunday morning just for this scene.
  • The Day After Tomorrow: Director Roland Emmerich wasn't satisfied with blowing New York City to smithereens in Independence Day, so he decided to give the place a good going over in this film. New York gets battered by tidal waves, flooded, and then frozen to absolute zero in order to show you the dangers of global warming. Even the Statue of Liberty gets iced with sideways icicles.
  • Cloverfield: All we know about this J.J. Abrams-produced movie is that some sort of giant creature starts tearing the city apart, and the Army tries to fight back. Plus, the thing whacks the heads off of Lady Liberty, and it goes sliding down a city street taking out cabs. For a thing built in 1886, she sure is pretty damned resilient.

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