Cue the Confetti: Movies' 12 Greatest New Year's Eve Scenes

Categories: Film and TV, Lists

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Should auld acquaintance be forgot - or if you forgot to make plans for the evening -- don't forget that there are lots of cinema New Year's Eve scenes worth celebrating. Pop a cork and ring in the New Year and lots of yesteryears with these flicks. (Hey, it's more fun than watching poor old Dick Clark to croak out a greeting at midnight on TV's Rockin' Eve. Really, Seacrest, it's just getting cruel.)

1. The Godfather Part II (1974). This prequel-cum-sequel finds favored Corleone son Michael (Al Pacino) expanding the family business to Vegas, Hollywood and Havana in the 1950s. Discovering the source of a murder plot against him, Michael takes brother Fredo (the late, great John Cazale) out with mobster cronies for a night of partying in the Cuban capital. At midnight, in the middle of a lavish New Year's Eve ball, Michael confronts his younger brother. "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart," he says. One kiss of death later, Fredo flees for his life. The brothers reunite briefly years later at their mother's funeral. But when Michael sends Fredo fishing with a bodyguard, the latter is soon sleeping with them. The New Year's Eve scene in Cuba is one of the first indications that Michael will be the coldest Corleone of them all.


2. When Harry Met Sally (1989). From foes to friends to lovers, the relationship of Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) in Rob Reiner's film (screenplay by Nora Ephron) is fraught from the start. It all comes together in Manhattan on New Year's Eve. Sally is dancing forlornly with a date in a ballroom. Harry is munching Mallomars in his apartment. Suddenly he bounds up, sprints uptown to find Sally and to proclaim his love. Her response is bitter but sweet: "You see, that is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you. And I hate you, Harry. I really hate you. I hate you." And then the big smooch. They could be grandparents by now, these two.


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Full (NSFW) scene right here

3. Boogie Nights (1997). The tense atmosphere of the New Year's Eve party scene in Paul Thomas Anderson's movie about the 1970s-to-1980s porn movie biz hits a brutal high point as the characters played by Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly and Heather Graham get higher, wilder and more out of control. Serving as a metaphor for the end of an era, the sudden gun-in-mouth suicide of William H. Macy's character is a shocking cinematic substitute for a cliché countdown to the dawn of a new year.



4. The Gold Rush (1925). Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp falls in love with a pretty dance-hall girl (Georgia Hale). She accepts his invitation to New Year's Eve dinner, but only as a joke. The tramp is seen making preparations for what he thinks will be a romantic date ̶ lighting candles, setting the table and placing a "To My Love" card at Georgia's plate. Then he falls asleep and dreams of an evening that will never happen. At midnight he wakes to noises from a nearby celebration and goes outside to watch that party through a window. As the guests sing "Auld Lang Syne," the tramp looks on sadly, knowing his dream is dashed.



5. Radio Days (1987). The final scene of this fine Woody Allen comedy (co-starring Mia Farrow) about the early days of radio takes place on a Times Square rooftop on New Year's Eve, 1943. Narrating over images of partygoers gathering to ring in 1944, Allen delivers a closing speech about his childhood. "I never forgot that New Year's Eve when Aunt Bea awakened me to watch 1944 come in. And I've never forgotten any of those people or any of the voices we used to hear on the radio. Although the truth is, with the passing of each New Year's Eve, those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer."


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