7 Classic New Year’s Movie Scenes

New Year’s Eve – the eve of a new year, and a new beginning for many.  We love movies.  We love new beginnings.  So here are some clips from movies that show that magical New Year’s moment when anything seems possible.  Well, the movies themselves might not show that anything is possible.  But you get the idea.  In fact, a lot of these New Year’s movie scenes depict a lot of the human condition, and not so much hope for a new beginning.  Some are sad, some are uplifting.  Check them out.

7. Holiday Inn – 1942

Nothing better than a drunk Fred Astaire, I always say. The comedy practically writes itself.

6. The Gold Rush – 1925

Maybe the saddest New Year’s Eve scene ever – The Tramp has invited a beautiful woman and some other guest to dinner on New Year’s Eve. Nobody shows up, so he entertains his imaginary friends instead.

5. The Godfather:  Part II – 1974

Short and sweet, the New Year’s scene is significant in the second Godfather movie because it is where Michael reveals that he know that Fredo betrayed him. Possibly THE most famous scene from any of the films from The Godfather trilogy, though if you’re me you pretend the third one doesn’t exist. Blech.

4. Strange Days – 1995


A totally underrated movie starring The Man Who Would Be Voldemort, this is one of the biggest New Year’s Eve scenes I’ve ever seen on film. Considering seconds before this portion of the clip we thought the two main protagonists were going to be beaten to death, it’s nice that it ended the way it did.

3. Sunset Boulevard – 1950

Norma Desmond was my kind of girl. Why should the fact that you’re washed up, deranged, and other adjectives deter you from hiring an entire orchestra for you and the guy who is begrudgingly spending time with you? This clip is a a little cut up – it has the famous tango, but a fan has dropped other clips from the movie in there too. Helpful for those of you who want to get the gist of the movie. Annoying if you just want to watch the New Year’s scene.

2. Radio Days – 1987

Amazing that the only clip I can find is the whole darn movie. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you just want to see the scene, skip to the end. One of the best Woody Allen movies. Ever.

1. When Harry Met Sally – 1989

Probably the best-loved New Years scene of all time, Harry finally admits he’s in love with Sally, and gives this amazing romantic speech, and they live happily ever after. Sorry if you consider that a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen that movie, you deserve it. Plus, it’s a late-eighties romantic comedy. Of COURSE it has a happy ending. Since The Gold Rush, The Godfather: Part II, and Sunset Boulevard all depict sort of dystopian New Year’s Eves, and Strange Days is a happy ending in a melee of violence, it’s nice to end on Radio Days, which ends on a hopeful note, and When Harry Met Sally, which ends in an “awwwww” note. Wonder what that whole movie about New Year’s Eve is going to be like?

By Lawrence Reaves

Posted by on December 29, 2011. Filed under Movies, The List. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.