RETRO: Ringin’ in the Year, Hollywood-style

That’s part of your problem. You haven’t seen enough movies. All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.” “Grand Canyon,” 1991

Where ya’ gonna be at that precise split second between 1999 and 2000? New York? New Orleans? Paris? The corner bar?

No matter your choice, as far as Tinseltown players are concerned, they’ve been there, done that.

Hollywood could always throw a party. Sometimes Hollywood acted as if it invented parties, and sometimes we even believed it. There were the luncheons and the dinner parties and the no-meals parties. Some private celebrations got so outrageous, so out there, so out of hand, the bashes made the papers. Or the courts.

So Hollywood folks know how to party off screen. But what about on screen? As we count down and ring-a-ding-ding in a new century, let’s see what the movies have had to say about partying time and raising hell in general.

NORA: Hey, what hit me? NICK: The last martini. “The Thin Man,” 1936

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. “Holiday,” 1938

Scusi! Scusi! I’m also very good at parties! “The Gay Divorcee,” 1934

You call this a party? The beer is warm, the women are cold, and I’m hot under the collar. In fact, a more poisonous little barbecue I’ve never attended. “Monkey Business,” 1931

For good, clean fun, there’s nothing like a wake. “Nothing Sacred,” 1937

It’s some tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can’t enjoy it. “The Big Chill,” 1983

When I heard you were alive, I drank a bottle of champagne and played Chopin’s funeral march in swingtime. “The Great Lie,” 1941

ADOLPH: Marcel, why did you tell me it was a costume party? MARCEL: Oh, sir, I did so want to see you in tights. “One Hour With You,” 1932

Let’s blow trumpets and squeakers and enjoy the party as much as we can like very small, quite idiotic school children. … Let’s be superficial. “Private Lives,” 1931

I want a sit-down orgy for 40. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” 1966

What I’m out for is a good time — all the rest is propaganda. “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,” 1960

You don’t think I enjoyed what we did this evening, do you? What I did was for Queen and country! “Thunderball,” 1965

Time is just a clock some sucker winds. “Malaya,” 1950

Time! Time! What is time? The Swiss manufacture it. The French hoard it. Italians want it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook. “Beat the Devil,” 1954

No looking ahead. No tomorrows. Just today. “Only Angels Have Wings,” 1939

Let joy be unconfined. Let there be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons and necking in the park! “A Night at the Opera,” 1935

You know something, Phil? I suddenly want to live to be very old. Very. I want to be around to see what happens. The world is stirring in very strange ways. Maybe this is the century for it. Maybe that’s why it’s so troubled. Other centuries had their driving forces. What will ours have been when men look for back to it one day? Maybe it won’t be the American century after all. Or the Russian century. Or the atomic century. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, Phil, if it turned out to be everybody’s century? When people all over the world — free people – found a way to live together? I’d like to be around to see some of that in the beginning. I may stick around for quite a while. “Gentleman’s Agreement,” 1947