Should old acquaintance be forgot...
The end of the year is marked the world over by jovial festivities as a way to see in the beginning of the next. For citizens of the globe, its seen as an excuse to get thoroughly soused and embrace the idiom dance like nobodys watching. In the movies, the custom is no different. Countless films pay homage to the end-of-year ritual by offering characters the chance to turn everything around at the stroke of midnight via romantic confessionals and last minute reprieves. Well, for some of them. For others, the ball-dropping isnt always quite so optimistic.
Whether theyre in the arms of a loved one or down in the dumps, these riotous celebrations more often than not lead to some of the craziest nights in movie history...
The Gold Rush (1925)
The Movie: Charlie Chaplin stars as a gold prospector out to secure his future wealth during the Gold Rush, and winds up in an isolated Alaskan cabin with a burly chap named Jim.
The Celebration: A resplendent New Years Eve dinner party thrown by the Prospector in honour of his beloved Georgia. Laying a heart-shaped trinket on her plate, he festoons the table with a makeshift newspaper cloth, fashions fancy hats from paper, lays out a succulent roast chicken... its a bona fide bash.
Most Festive Moment: The Prospector regales his guests with The Oceana Roll - a little skit that involves stabbing two bread rolls with forks and parading them on the tabletop as if they were dancing. A relatively low-key affair, that turns out to be but a dream; he fell asleep!
Peters Friends (1992)
The Movie: A bunch of old Cambridge chums gather at Peters gaff for a New Years weekend to reconnect. After years apart, the sextet banter and bicker their way through the festivities, which is made all the more compelling due to its star-studded cast.
The Celebration: The two-day gathering turns into a 48-hour bender of sorts. The group embark on a spot of binge drinking, fraternising and a lengthy truth-telling session, which always goes over well after a bottle or two of wine.
Most Festive Moment: In a touching moment, the gang re-enact their former glory days and warble their way through a sing-song together.
Oceans 11 (1960)
The Movie: A group of World War II vets - the illustrious Rat Pack - band together to pull off a multi-casino heist on the busiest party day of the social calendar. Las Vegas never saw this band of resourceful grifters comin...
The Celebration: Its Vegas, baby! The entire desert city is lit up, chugging back the voddy and on its way to passing out before the countdown even commences.
Most Festive Moment: As every casino along the whole of the strip heartily belts out Auld Lang Syne... a major electrical tower is blown to smithereens sending the entire city into darkness. Well, its sort of festive.
After The Thin Man (1936)
The Movie: A murder-mystery that revolves around a sleuth couple, Nick (William Powell) and Nora Charles (Myrna Loy), who return home for New Years Eve only to find themselves facing a tedious dinner with Noras toff family. The familys ulterior motive soon reveals itself as the duo are tasked with tracking down a missing relative.
The Celebration: An aristocratic culinary spread for the much-anticipated New Years Dinner. Little eating is witnessed onscreen, as the high falutin family prefer knocking back countless cocktails and snifters of brandy. Well, it is New Year.
Most Festive Moment: On the hunt to find Noras cousins husband, they find themselves at a Chinese restaurant with a full-blown dinner show in progress. Go-go dancers, excessive quantities of MSG and much boozing ensues.
Radio Days (1987)
The Movie: Woody Allens narrator recants the story of his life and how the rise of radio directly influenced his childhood in 1940s Brooklyn. Told via a series of vignettes, the affect of radio broadcasting, music and storytelling all are revealed to have had a huge impact on the members of his family.
The Celebration: Two simultaneous parties taking place in different parts of New York; one in the ritzy glamour of Manhattan, and the other in a cosy Queens household.
Most Festive Moment: In true Allen-style, one chunk of dialogue jabs at the yearly tradition; Only creeps and crazy people go out on New Years Eve, followed later by a gaggle of folks on a Times Square roof whooping and hollering in 1944.
Holiday Inn (1942)
The Movie: A film most fondly remembered for introducing the world to White Christmas, Holiday Inns show-stopping musical numbers penned by Irving Berlin tell the story of two crooners both vying for the affections of their beautiful performance partner.
The Celebration: The Inn, famous for only receiving guests during the holiday season, throws a decorated New Years Eve Ball to ring in the coming year and celebrate its opening.
Most Festive Moment: Fred Astaires character Ted turns up to the New Years Eve party absolutely blotto, and busts out his inebriated moves on the dance floor.
Strange Days (1995)
The Movie: Kathryn Bigelows tech thriller follows Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes), a former LAPD cop who turns to trading in black market virtual reality memories. His end-of-year good tidings are hampered when he discovers a batch containing the murders of people he knows...
The Celebration: A swanky soiree held by shifty chap, Philo Gant, at the prestigious Bonaventure Hotel for the citys high society crowd.
Most Festive Moment: Nero and his sidekick Mace (Angela Bassett) present their findings to the police commissioner and everyone has a right good knees up to ring in the year 2000.
Boogie Nights (1997)
The Movie: Paul Thomas Andersons porno drama about adult movie sensation, Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), is peppered with hedonistic antics as the young lad deals with his rise to fame from a dishwasher to an overnight star.
The Celebration: Seeing out the 1970s with a literal bang, the festivities are brought to a head at porno king Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds)s house for his annual New Years party.
Alas, the idea of enduring another year, nevermind a decade with his adulterous wife is too much for assistant director Little Bill (William H. Macy), who finds her in bed with another man again. He shoots them both before turning the gun on himself. Bit of a downer, to say the least.
Most Festive Moment: Before the tragic incident, the dazzling gold lame leggings worn by Rollergirl (Heather Graham) and Buck (Don Cheadle)s cowboy get-up are pretty darn festive.
Trading Places (1983)
The Movie: Two rich bigwigs brothers engage in a little wager that involves two unwitting pawns; Dan Aykroyds wealthy businessman Louis Winthorpe III and Eddie Murphys street hustler Billy Ray Valentine. Along with a lady of the night - Jamie Lee Curtis Ophelia - they venture forth to set the meddling Duke siblings right.
The Celebration: A New Years Eve costume party on a train bound for Philadelphia. Our leading trio are in attendance, along with Winthorpes butler Coleman (Denholm Elliott), all kitted out in disguises to prevent being caught by a private detective.
Most Festive Moment: The unforgettable romance between Paul Gleasons detective and an actual gorilla certainly adds a new level of festivity to proceedings.