Monday, February 28, 2011

De Niro, Streep, Chicken

This weekend, Bowery Boogie passed on the sad news that the 60- or 70-year-old Chinatown Fair Arcade has shuttered, a month earlier than rumored. Robert Chin has photos of the goodbye sign and the miserably emptied interior:

As an homage, and a post-script to last week's post on the Chinatown Fair and its tic-tac-toe chickens, I offer a complete rundown of the rather substantial scene from the 1984 film Falling in Love, in which Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep visit the arcade and compete against the chicken. All of the scintillating dialogue has been transcribed for your enjoyment.

all screenshots from Falling in Love, 1984

De Niro: "I can't beat this guy."

Streep: "That's 'cause he cheats. Oh, okay. Bird wins. You lose."

De Niro: "I can't believe it."

Streep: "Try again."

De Niro: "See, it's unfair because he goes ahead."

Streep: "You should flip for it. See who goes first. He's saying hurry up."

De Niro: "Well, I gotta go again."

Streep: "He's beating you again."

De Niro: "Oh."

Streep: "Bird wins."


Melanie said...

Back in the early 70's I played with the chicken too- my boyfriend at the time--he played and won!!!

Marty Wombacher said...

Streep: "You should flip for it. See who goes first. He's saying hurry up."

If only DeNiro would've said to the chicken: "You talkin' to me?"

Eric said...

I remember there used to be a dancing chicken. You'd put in your money, and the platform it stood on would spin around. There was some sort of obstacle that forced it to jump. I think it got shut down because it was cruel to the chicken.

Grand St. said...


I remember the 'dancing' chicken. Don't think there was an obstacle. I think the plate got hot and the chicken would start to move its feet. Hence, the cruelty.

Anonymous said...

many's a night i spent with my first husband, quaaludes and the chicken.

the dancing chicken stood on a electrified grid - he got shocks which caused him to "dance".

but that was in the bad old days when you could smoke at your desk and there were no strollers on the island of manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Nice post and some more pics from the arcade's last night here:

Gary said...

So did you see the most recent June 2012 NY Times news on the arcade? It's back - but of course not what it was. Has too many things that can be found everywhere else - but the most popular seems to be a rare Wizard of Oz themed game. Turns out the tic tac toe chickens didn't strategize but were directed with pulses of light determined by the machine. IQ Zoo also has featured a drum playing rabbit & a piano playing duck.