Everyone loves a good party and the movies have made them part of many great cinematic moments. From romantic get-togethers to cop-crashing city block bashes, the party scene is a staple, with countless titles adding them to their stories. While there are many that have become memorable, some are now considered iconic. Here are 13 defining movie party moments.
The Party (1968)
When bumbling supporting actor Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers), meant to be fired from a film set, accidentally gets on a big studio president's wife's dinner party list and becomes part of an increasingly chaotic party that he inadvertently continues to exacerbate. What party is complete without a baby elephant? Basically the whole movie is a party and playground for Sellers' comedy genius.
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Set in late nineteenth-century New York City, when posh aristocrats lived and died by social stigmas, Newland Archer (Daniel Day Lewis) plans to marry young, respectable May Welland (Winona Ryder), though secretly falls in love with Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) on the down-low. A ball at the Beauford's is a dance through the luster that reveals the fragility of the times and his heart. A lush and devastating moment with love crushed under the weight of proper society.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Considered by many to be the greatest superhero movie ever made, Christopher Nolan's game-changing sequel to his own reboot of the Batman franchise features a crucial moment at a fund-raiser for Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart)at Bruce Wayne's (Christian Bale) penthouse when the Joker (Heath Ledger) crashes the party in epic, psychotic fashion, cementing his place in cinematic history as one of the greatest villain performances ever put on film.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
On the eve of shipping out to Vietnam, Mike (Robert De Niro), Steven (John Savage), and Nick (Christopher Walken) party at Steven's wedding reception, trying to come to terms with what unknowns lie ahead, drinking, singing and dancing under the shadow of a horror soon to come. It's an emotionally draining experience as we watch, wondering who will make it to the end of the story.
Animal House (1978)
When the gang at Delta Tau Chi screw up on an important test and the Dean warns them they are now one mistake away from expulsion, do the boys buckle down and head to the library to study harder? Of course not. It's time for a party and so comes the beer, girls, sex and, let's say it together, "TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!" It's a call heard round campuses even today.
The Godfather 2 (1974)
Similar to the opening of the original Godfather, which featured a wedding, in this follow-up, it is Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) son's first communion, a massive party Lake Tahoe, Nevada that the new Godfather uses as a venue to conduct "family" business and settle issues as hundred eat, dance, and sing by the water's edge. It's a remarkably evocative and compelling sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a World War I veteran moves from the mid-west to the North Shore of Long Island, where he becomes neighbors with reclusive business magnate Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), famous for his wild, enormous house parties that feature "everyone" from the city. Flapper dancing, gallons of Champagne, extravagant entertainment and more mark each of the weekend bashes. This first journey through one of them with Nick is a bizarre, semi-lucid cacophony of sound and sights that comes to define the story itself.
Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two high school best friends on the verge of going their separate ways for college so connive to get into the last big popular kids party in hopes of hooking up and going out in style. A surprisingly good-natured and warm-hearted comedy with a classic party sequence featuring lots of drinking, beautiful girls, head bumps and a forced rendition of "These Eyes," the party is a genuinely funny scene but also full of painful lessons.
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
When two high school friends Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) head to college, they form their own fraternity and hold a party with the nearby sorority, with awesome 80s get-ups and kickin' pop tunes. The jocks however have a thing against the nerds and crash the gig with a sounder of swine. Learn more here.
House Party (1990)
Peter "Play" (Christopher "Play" Martin) plans a party with his friends Christopher "Kid" (Reid) and Bilal (Martin Lawrence) and though a series of circumstances threaten to ruin the fun, the party kicks off and the film is a collection of conflicts, romance, sex, good times and tons of great music. Wave your hands in the air, everybody! Old school fun. And speaking of old school . . .
Old School (2003)
Recently single Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) buys a house near the local campus and incited by his friends Bernard (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell), attempts to create a fraternity, beginning with an epic house party that features none other than Snoop Dogg on the mic and the return of Frank the Tank, streaking through downtown. This party has it all and would propel Ferrell into movie superstardom.
Project X (2012)
In Pasadena, Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) plan to throw a party for their friend Thomas' (Thomas Mann) birthday in hopes it will gain them some popularity. Heavily advertised, they invite the hottest girls and the coolest guys but the party lures many more and soon it's all drugs, drink, sex and police intervention. Awash in criticism for its themes it set off a series of real life copycats. Say what you will, that's a party.
Bachelor Party (1984)
Rick Gassko (Tom Hanks), a notoriously irresponsible party boy is ready to settle down and get married to the lovely Debbie Thompson (Tawny Kitaen) so his best pals stage a wild bachelor party in his honor at a local prestigious hotel. While all around him, throngs engage in sex, drugs, and spiraling degrees of debauchery, Rick tries to resist and stay true the girl he loves, even when a donkey shows up. As it ramps up to the end, this moment sees the room in full-party mode as Rick fends off the biggest of hurdles. There's none better than Bachelor Party.