NPR logo

RSVP: Which Movie's Party Would You Attend?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/132288529/132288524" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
RSVP: Which Movie's Party Would You Attend?

RSVP: Which Movie's Party Would You Attend?

RSVP: Which Movie's Party Would You Attend?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/132288529/132288524" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Marx brothers entertain partygoers in 1930's Animal Crackers. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Marx brothers entertain partygoers in 1930's Animal Crackers.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Film buff Murray Horwitz knows one party that always delivers: the movie party.

Some people wish they'd attended the barbecue from Gone With the Wind, but for others, it's the hallucinogenic bacchanalia from Midnight Cowboy.

Parties serve several functions in film, Horwitz tells NPR's Neal Conan. "First of all, they're great backgrounds for things — they're just festive." And secondly, they can help move the plot along.

They're also "a great way to introduce characters," says Horwitz. And sometimes a party is an opportunity to introduce a character in a certain way, with a boldness unsuited to other environments. Take, for example, nearly any John Hughes movie "where the nerdy guy or the nerdy girl sheds the nerdiness and steps up."

And from black-and-white movies to ones in 3-D, they perfectly capture their eras. "Nowhere are movies more effective as a kind of cultural history," Horwitz says. "There are big differences among parties in the '60s, the '80s, the roaring '20s, and you can see them in their movie portrayals."

Tell Us: Which movie party would have been most fun for you?