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Statue of Liberty in popular culture

The Statue of Liberty, and its location on Liberty Island, appear in posters, pictures, motion pictures, and books.

In literature

  • O. Henry's 1911 story "The Lady Higher Up" relates a fanciful dialog between the statue and the then-famous Statue of Diana at Madison Square Garden. In the story, Diana asks "Mrs. Liberty" why she speaks with what Diana terms a "City Hall brogue." Liberty answers: "If ye'd studied the history of art in its foreign complications ye'd not need to ask. If ye wasn't so light-headed and giddy ye'd know that I was made by a Dago and presented to the American people on behalf of the French Government for the purpose of welcomin' Irish immigrants into the Dutch city of New York."
  • Jack Finney's 1970 novel Time and Again takes advantage of the presence, in 1882, of just the arm and torch of the statue in Madison Square Park for an important plot development.
  • In the final scene of Maggie-Now by Betty Smith, two characters scatter Maggie's late husband's ashes from the statue's torch.
  • In Amerika by Franz Kafka, the author depicts the statue holding aloft a sword rather than a torch.
  • The DC Comics superhero Miss America was originally granted her powers by the Statue in a vision. This was later retconned to have been a dream; she had really gained her powers from an experiment.
  • In the Marvel Comics universe, the torch of the Statue of Liberty is the secret meeting spot between superheroes Spider-Man and his friend/confident Human Torch.

In television and film

  • The 1942 Alfred Hitchcock movie Saboteur features a climactic confrontation at the statue, ending in a fall from the torch.
  • The final joke in the 1940s Warner Bros. cartoon Baseball Bugs depicted the statue coming alive and admonishing a ballplayer who was disputing the umpire's call.
  • The statue is seen in various episodes of Futurama. In the very first episode, Fry is shot through a transportation tube that has replaced the statue's torch. The opening sequence shows the statue holding a ray-gun, whilst other appearances show it with its normal torch.
  • In the ending of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, the statue appears decayed and half-buried in sand, serving as painful, undeniable proof to the film's protagonist, Taylor, that he has been on Earth the whole time. (This scene is parodied in the animated comedy Madagascar, the Mel Brooks film Spaceballs, the Kevin Smith film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and in two episodes of The Simpsons—one where Homer is an astronaut ("Deep Space Homer"), and another where Troy McClure appears in a Planet of the Apes musical dates Marge's sister Selma to revive his career and quell the rumors about his sexual fetish with fish ("A Fish Called Selma"). It also appears in the beginning of the first Planet of the Apes sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • Beginning in the late 1970s, Miss Piggy has been featured in muppet:The Statue of Liberty of the Statue of Liberty.
  • At the end of Men in Black II, Tommy Lee Jones' character uses the statue's torch to erase the memory of an alien spacecraft from the minds of thousands of New Yorkers.
  • Much of the advertising for the film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) used an image of the Statue of Liberty nearly buried in snow and ice (much like the University of Wisconsin "Pail and Shovel Party" prank), after a storm surge and catastrophic climate change. In this image, the Statue of Liberty is facing the wrong way - West towards New Jersey, with the New York skyline to its right.
  • In the episode of The Critic, Jay Sherman, who inherited a billion dollars from his supposed deceased parents, took some of that money to clean up New York. One of his tasks was him personally lowering himself down to the armpit of the Statue of Liberty and spraying her with a large can of deodorant.
  • In Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I, after escaping the Roman Army in the "The Roman Empire" segment, the gang head to Judea. The Statue of Liberty can be seen in the cityscape.
  • The American Dad episode "A Smith in the Hand" has Stan carving The Statue of Liberty on a wooden plank to kill his urge to masturbate, only to pleasure himself to the picture.
  • In the series Seinfeld, George Costanza works for a time at a fictional company called Kruger Industrial Smoothing. The company is said to have participated in the 1980s restoration of the statue. In a different episode, George and Jerry discuss whether or not the statue was assembled prior to its transportation to America.
  • In the disaster film, Deep Impact the statue is toppled and her severed head pushed into the streets of the city by the tidal wave of water created from the asteroid impact.
  • The statue assists the Ghostbusters to defeat the evil Vigo the Carpathian in the comedy, Ghostbusters II. The statue is shown to move like a human being would. An earlier scene in the film, however, showed the mood slime used to animate the statue could cause solid substances to animate (as a bathtub was shown to become flexible).
  • A pre-release poster for the 1984 film Supergirl was a painting that showed the film's star flying by the Statue of Liberty, which was depicted holding up its torch with its left hand.
  • The statue is one of the first glimpses of the United States seen by Bronson Pinchot's Balki Bartokomous character in the opening credits of the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers.
  • The climax of the film X-Men took place within the pedestal, museum, inside the statue, and atop the torch of the statue.
  • A 2006 episode of Doctor Who, "New Earth", features a planet 5 billion years in the future on which humans have settled following the end of the world. The Doctor and Rose visit the city of New New York, the fifteenth city of this name since the original. Incorporated into the city is the statue dwarfed by skyscrapers. It is unrevealed if it is the original which has been rescued from Earth before its destruction, or a copy. As New New York is the fifteenth city to hold the name then it is possible the statue is a copy. The statue is also seen in the 2007 episodes "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks", both based in New York in November 1930.
  • In Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning the statue is destroyed by Emperor Pirk's forces as a symbol of the fall of the old world order as the propaganda film narrator proclaims "The time was right for a brave new empire: the P-Fleet was born".
  • Bart Simpson shouts to a boatload of immigrants "Hey, immigrants! Beat it! Country's full!" from the statue in the Simpsons episode "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". The official aboard the boat tells the group, "OK people, you heard the lady. Back into the hold. We'll try Canada." The immigrants moan and go back below the deck.
  • The statue frequently appeared in the background of the Disney animated show Gargoyles. It was the setting for the first battle between the gargoyle clan and the main antagonist David Xanatos after the latter was released from prison.
  • In Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, the statue collapses during an earthquake.
  • In the Family Guy episode "I Take Thee Quagmire", Peter Griffin brings Glenn Quagmire the Statue of Liberty's foot as a wedding present because Quagmire has a foot fetish. Later in the episode Adam West sees the foot and believes the statue has been destroyed, parodying the scene with the statue's ruins in Planet of the Apes.
  • In the episode "The Edge" in the cartoon series Gargoyles, the aerial fight between the Gargoyles' clan and the 'Metal Clan' takes place around the statue, with one of the two secondary robot Gargoyles crashing into Lady Liberty's book, the other being shot down and exploding on the lawn of Liberty Isle. The leader Robot Gargoyle is then trapped on top of the Statue's head, and (revealed later on as Xanatos in a power-suit) surrenders, flying off.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Grandpa Simpson tells the family about when he first arrived at America, stating that he and his mother and father lived in the statue for a while, until they filled it up with trash and moved.
  • In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, a poorly-built replica of the Statue of Liberty is built to cause an "accident" to befall upon Ed's violin (which he plays very poorly). However, this plan is foiled when Edd gives Wilfred (Rolf's pig) a powerful magnet, which he eats.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode Flatbush Koopa, the Mario Bros. find the statue modified with King Koopa's head on it. This happens again in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode Recycled Koopa, and at the end of the episode, the statue, having returned to normal, praises the Mario Bros..
  • In the film Cloverfield, a giant monster decaptitates the statue and throws it onto a Manhattan street. Later in the film, the decapitated statue is seen from the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • In the CSI: NY episode Can You Hear Me Know?, blood is present on the crown and visible from long range. Two security guards were murdered during a systems update where the security system was temporality down.

Motion pictures

This is a list of movies that the Statue of Liberty has appeared in. Most of the appearances are, like the monument, set in New York City, with the exception of the recent film National Treasure: Book of Secrets where they discover a hidden clue on the flame of the Statue of Liberty in Paris, France.

Year Movie Appearance
1917 The Immigrant Charlie Chaplin admires the statue when his ship arrives at New York harbor.
1942 Saboteur Climactic confrontation fought on the torch.
1965 A Thousand Clowns
1968 Planet of the Apes Taylor (Charlton Heston) finds the remains of the Statue of Liberty half-buried on the beach. This leads him to realize that what he thought was an alien planet is actually Earth in the distant future.
1968 Beneath the Planet of the Apes
1972 The Godfather When the traitor Paulie Gatto is killed in a remote field (probably in New Jersey), the Statue of Liberty can be seen in the background.
1974 The Godfather: Part II The young, orphaned Vito Corleone, on a boat of Italians emigrating to America, sees the statue from behind a nearby boat. It is his first glimpse of America.
A grownup Vito returns to Corleone and celebrates with his family. He presents a souvenir replica of the statue to a Sicilian old woman who takes it as la Madonna americana.
1978 Superman: The Movie Superman and Lois Lane fly through the Metropolis skyline, close to the Statue of Liberty at one point.
1981 Escape from New York In the dystopian 1997 in which the film is set, Liberty Island is used as the headquarters for the police force encamped around Manhattan Island. Additionally, in posters advertising the film, the head of the demolished statue is depicted lying in the ruined streets of Manhattan, although the statue is intact in the film.
1981 The Man Who Saw Tomorrow Destroyed during a dramatization of one of Nostradamus' prophecies.
1982 The Soldier The Soldier and Susan walk around the base of the statue at the end of the film. The shot widens to include the statue and lower Manhattan; the end titles roll over the still shot.
1983 Superman III Evil Superman confronts the blonde antagonist on the crown of the statue, stating that he doesn't save people any more.
1983 The Return of Captain Invincible All American super hero Captain Invincible lived in his secret hideout in the head of the Statue of Liberty.
1985 Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins Remo Williams was climbed up to the head of Statue of Liberty during pratice and fought thugs on the statue while it was under the 1985-6 construction.
1985 National Lampoon's European Vacation Griswold family returning to U.S. sees the Statue of Liberty. Clark accidentally opens cockpit door while searching for a bathroom, bumps pilot, and causes plane to hit the statue's torch, damaging it.
1986 An American Tail Under construction but was seen finished in the end.
1987 Au revoir, les enfants The Statue of Liberty shot from The Immigrant plays as entertainment at a boys' boarding school in Vichy France.
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Nuclear Man lifts the The Statue of Liberty from her pedestal and hurls her towards Metropolis. Superman catches and re-attaches her to her pedestal.
1988 Working Girl Cinematographer Blain Brown considers the opening shot "the best helicopter shot of all time." It starts with a tight closeup of the face of the Statue of Liberty, "circles around the head, peels off to a wide shot of New York Harbor, then gracefully moves in to a tight shot of the Staten Island ferry... One can only wonder how many takes were necessary to come around and catch the ferry in exactly the right spot to complete the move.
1989 Ghostbusters II Brought to life to rally positive support from New Yorkers; important role in film, appearance lasts about six minutes.
1995 Batman Forever It says Gotham in the crown. Its head is damaged by the helicopter.
1995 Judge Dredd The Statue of Liberty is at the entrance to Mega-City One. Later on, Dredd and Rico have their climatic confronation in the crown.
1996 Independence Day After the aliens leave New York City in ruins, there is a view of New Yorks devastated skyline. In the foreground, you can view the Statue of Liberty's head lying in the Hudson River in the right hand corner.
1997 Cats Don't Dance The statue makes a short cameo during the musical number "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now".
1997 Titanic When the Carpathia arrives at New York City.
1997 The Fifth Element The statue can be briefly spotted as the spacecraft takes off over New York Harbor. The oceans have receded drastically so that the pedestal under the Statue of Liberty, roughly five times as tall as it currently is, is now connected directly to the mainland.
1997 Jungle 2 Jungle A young boy raised in South America climbs the statue, sits on the crown, and is disappointed to find that the torch is not actually on fire.
1998 Deep Impact Destroyed when a massive tidal wave reaches New York City.
1998 Saving Private Ryan German propaganda mentions that 'The Statue of Liberty ist kaput!' to discourage American soldiers. Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, skeptically listens to the message and replies: 'Well, that's disconcerting' while continuing the fight.
1998 The Legend of 1900 The statue features prominently in the opening scene, as the narrator describes the moment when the very first person on a ship full of immigrants sees her in the distance.
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York The Statue collapses into the harbor during the earthquake sequence then later in the film shows being reconstructed.
2000 X-Men Site of a climactic fight sequence.
2001 A.I. The SoL is submerged up to the bottom of her torch.
2001 Band of Brothers As the troopship leaves for England in episode 1 of this HBO miniseries, the Statue of Liberty is featured prominently as the last sight of America many of the soldiers will have.
2002 Men in Black II Agent Kay pushes a button and the torch of the Statue of Liberty neutralizes the whole of New York City.
2004 The Day After Tomorrow Multiple scenes: when New York City is flooded; after freezing over; when the survivors are being picked up.
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Under construction.
2004 National Treasure Brief view in an intro shot of New York City.
2004 Taxi Seen in intro.
2004 Godzilla: Final Wars Seen destroyed as Rodan finishes off the American battleship with New York City ablaze.
2004 Team America: World Police After Gary sings on broadway.
2004 - present CSI: NY Establishing shots. The opening episode of the fourth season of the series (air date 26 September 2007) featured a murder inside the crown of the statue.
2005 Hitch Multiple scenes.
2005 Fantastic Four In the film's closing shots, the Statue of Liberty is in the foreground as Johnny Storm traces a fiery "Fantastic Four" logo in the dark New York sky.
2006 Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Superman is kicked into the torch of the statue by General Zod, destroying it. The destruction is later reversed when Superman turns back time to repair the damage cause by the 3 Supervillains.
2006 The Pink Panther Shown first as the detectives go to New York City.
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Shown when the fantastic four arrives at NY
2007 National Treasure: Book of Secrets A clue is found on the Statue of Liberty (the one located in Paris, France) which helps lead to the treasure.
2007 Across the Universe Newly drafted American soldiers have difficulty carrying a horizontal Statue of Liberty on their backs while trekking through Vietnam to the Beatles' She's So Heavy.
2008 Cloverfield The film's monster decapitates the statue and the head lands in the street.
2008 The Incredible Hulk The Statue Appeared when Bruce Banner Arivves in New York City.
2008 Meet Dave The Statue appear in 3 Scenes first is Landing Place of Starship Dave second is also seen when Dave Saves the city from a waterspout the last is when Starship Dave was Destroyed and they evacuate with a pair of Shoes
2008 WALL-E Set in Deserted and dirty New York City but the statue seen when the axiom landed on earth

In video games

  • In the opening cut scene for the video game Parasite Eve, the Statue of Liberty can be seen crying what appears to be blood. Later in the game, the main protagonist and antagonist battle on Liberty Island near a fallen and gooey Statue of Liberty.
  • In the Play Station game Tekken 2, character Paul Phoenix's stage is set in New York City, with the statue visible in the background.
  • In opening scenes of the video game Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for Play Station 2, the statue and its pedestal are shown 780 years in the future perched atop a domed building called 'The Art Museum of Statue'. A floating ring-shaped building (presumably an observation deck) encompasses her head. The surrounding skyscrapers suggest the statue has been moved far from Liberty Island (not that the museum was built on Liberty Island).
  • In the Spiderman 2 (video game), Mysterio turns the Statue of Liberty into a giant Mysterio Statue, where Spider-Man must destroy the power core to change it back to normal and stop Mysterio's invasion.
  • In Punch-Out!! for the NES, after completing the circuit (only the Minor and Major), there will be a cutscene with a password showing Little Mac jogging following Doc on a bike. At the end, the Statue of Liberty is shown, along with the password.
  • The first level of the 2000 computer game Deus Ex takes place on Liberty Island and inside the statue pedestal. The statue itself has been heavily damaged in a bombing that occurred several years before the events of the game. In the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War, the last level is again at the statue, which has been re-erected as a light sculpture.
  • The 1998 Nintendo 64 game Duke Nukem: Zero Hour features a level set in the statue.
  • Two video games in the turn-based Civilization franchise (Civilization II and Civilization IV) both have the Statue of Liberty as a World Wonder that one civilization in total during the game can achieve. In Civilization II, actual footage of immigrants coming to the United States in the mid 1900's, on a boat and seeing the Statue in the distance of New York Harbor is used after the players civilization acquires the Statue of Liberty in the game.
  • In the opening cutscene of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 the statue is heavily damaged by an invading Soviet fleet. The first mission of US campaign depicts the statue being destroyed by a truck-mounted V3 missile. Its ruins are used as symbol of America's downfall by Soviet propaganda.
  • A parody of the statue appears in fictional Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV as the "Statue of Happiness", holding a styrofoam coffee cup in place of a torch and featuring the likeness of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The inside of the statue contains a chained beating heart, and the statue is said to have been presented to the United States of America in 1886 by France to mark "100 years free from British food and spelling".
  • The opening credits of the game Freedom Fighters are followed by a view of the Statue of Liberty with Soviet Su-47 fighter jets flying overhead.
  • In the last level of Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the player must disarm the last nuclear device on a boat in the waters around Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty is visible.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, the mission is to retrieve the Statue of Liberty after it is stolen by Krang and Shredder. The statue appears in the background during the final battle with Shredder.
  • The computer game Tycoon City: New York allows players to build the statue (though its ownership rests with the city).
  • In World in Conflict the statue can be destroyed during the Soviet attack on New York City, however a mission objective in the single player campaign is to save her from occupying Soviet forces. Also in World in Conflict, the front of the disk, packaging and instruction manual features the Statue of Liberty in front of the USSR symbol.
  • The Statue of Liberty makes an appearance as an Alliance-controlled structure in the Sierra game Manhunter: New York.
  • In The Simpsons Game, at the end of the level Around the World in 80 Bites, Homer must take down a miniature Simpsons statue. Groundskeeper Willie also comments on how Homer had destroyed the statue, in a reference to Planet of the Apes. Comic Book Guy adds to that by roughly saying "Less quotes, more cleaning"
  • In Crash of the Titans, a statue of Doctor N. Gin represents him as the Statue Of Liberty.
  • In The Godfather (video game) the statue can be seen at certain points.
  • In Dino Stalker the statue appears half-buried in a desert in level 4.
  • In Driver: Parallel Lines the statue appears as itself.
  • The original ending of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty would have had Arsenal Gear crashing into and displacing the statue, and a scene during the credits would show it now resting on Ellis Island. This and other ending scenes were removed due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
  • In JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain, the scene in which Botley explains Polly's plan to alter time, shows that Polly caused the Statue of Liberty to be built entirely out of red licorice, giving it the name "The Statue of Licorice".
  • In Twisted Metal 2: World Tour, the statue is seen in the distance in the New York stage. After shooting it repeatedly it will lose its clothes, revealing a red bikini underneath. Continuing to shoot it will result in the statue to become an extremely fat woman, still in a red bikini, before being destroyed completely.
  • In Ninja Gaiden II (2008 Video Game) A Fiend named Alexei has taken over the entire New York and sits atop of the Statue. Ryu must stop him in order to save the City and the world. Ryu is shown meeting him from the head of the statue while Alexei sits on the torch.
  • In the Sega Genesis game Comix Zone, Lady Liberty's ruined head can be seen in several panels in the first episode, "Night of the Mutants".

In music

  • In 1968, Al Kooper posed as the Statue of Liberty on his first solo album, "I Stand Alone."
  • The cover of the 1973 Atlantic Records compilation album Let It Rock has the statue holding aloft a microphone instead of the torch, winking, and flashing 'her' legs.
  • The album cover of Supertramp's Breakfast in America shows a rendering of the downtown New York skyline made from egg cartons, coffee mugs, and other dining utensils. In the foreground a waitress with a name tag reading "Libby" holds a glass of orange juice on a saucer in her outstretched right hand, and a menu in her left, as she mimics the statue's pose.
  • The Statue of Liberty has been used as a symbol of protest, as in the cover for the Dead Kennedys 1986 album Bedtime for Democracy.
  • In the music video to Franz Ferdinand's song, Eleanor Put Your Boots On, the titular character (an animated Eleanor Friedberger) runs up the Statue of Liberty.
  • The front cover for metal band God Forbid's album, IV: Constitution of Treason featured the Statue with the torch torn away from the arm with a hellish environment.
  • In the music video Go west of the Pet Shop Boys, Statue of Liberty is symbolising socialism

As a political symbol

  • The artist Joseph Pennell created a poster 1918 for the fourth Liberty Loans campaign of 1918, during World War I, showing her headless and torchless while around her the New York area was in flames, under enemy attack by air and by sea. The poster is sometimes referred to on the Web as "That liberty shall not perish" since these are the first words that appear on it.
  • In 1978, at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jim Mallon and Leon Varjian of the "Pail and Shovel Party" won election by promising to give campus issues "the seriousness they deserve." In 1979 (and again in 1980), they created their own version of the Planet of the Apes scene by erecting replicas of the torch and the top of the head on the frozen surface of Lake Mendota, creating a fanciful suggestion that the entire statue was standing on the bottom of the lake.
  • Many libertarian organizations use images of the statue as their symbol.
  • The Conservative Party of New York uses the statue's torch and flame as its symbol.

In sports

In numismatics

The Statue of the liberty has been depicted in several coins, not only in the USA, but all over the world. Once of the most recent silver coin is the 20 euro S.M.S. Sankt Georg commemorative coin. The obverse shows the armored cruiser S.M.S. Sankt Georg sailing into New York Harbor on May 17, 1907; passing right in front of the Statue of Liberty. This was to be the last visit of an Austrian naval vessel in the U.S.A.

Other

  • During the 1940s and 1950s, the iconography of science fiction in the United States was filled with images of ancient, decayed Statues of Liberty, set in the distant future. The covers of famous pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories and Astounding Science Fiction all featured Lady Liberty at one time, surrounded by ruins or by the sediments of the ages, as curious aliens or representatives of advanced or degenerate humans of the future gazed upon her remains. The February 1941 cover of Astounding showed a primitive man and woman approaching on a raft a Statue of Liberty surrounded by wild growth.
  • New York and New Jersey have featured the statue on license plates. The statue was on the regular New York plate from 1986 until 2001. A New Jersey specialty plate, celebrating Liberty State Park has been available for many years and is still available as of 2005.
  • On April 8, 1983, CBS broadcast a program, the fifth of a series featuring illusionist David Copperfield, in which he made the statue apparently vanish. The effect took place at night. The program showed the statue from the point of view of an audience seated on a ground-level platform, viewing the statue between two scaffolding towers in which a large curtain was raised. (See also: Vanishing the Statue of Liberty)
  • Epcot's The American Adventure attraction ends with Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain standing on the Statue's torch, relishing their view of America. Interestingly, the attraction opened in 1982, and so used a replica of the Statue's pre-1986 torch, but even after a major renovation in 1993 the old torch remained in the show.

References

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