Great examples include the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, in which a New York gang have to make it back to their home turf before daybreak with many other gangs out to hunt them down for a crime they didn’t commit. But it’s not just a feature of crime films – wild nights out play a part in storylines across a whole range of movie genres. Let’s take a look through our top 5.
Seth MacFarlane’s Ted could be described as one of the highest of high-concept movies of recent years. The premise is that the central character John Bennett’s childhood teddy bear, Ted, is magically brought to life by a shooting star.
Flash forward to adulthood and Ted is still living and partying hard with Bennett, and leading him into all kinds of trouble. In one wild scene he persuades him to come to a party with the promise of meeting Sam J. Jones, star of the movie Flash Gordon. What follows is a debauched, and drug-fuelled, night of shot drinking, karaoke singing and woman chasing.
The film’s a hilarious romp from the opening scene to the final credits and was so successful that the sequel, Ted 2, was released three years after the original in 2015.
The movie also entered into popular culture in some more unexpected ways. With the popular forms of merchandise including T-shirts and the like readily available, it’s also branched out into the world of gaming. The Ted video slot has proved to be a huge success. Set in a cartoon-esque environment, players find Ted asleep in his living room, before all hell breaks loose – with the Thunder Buddies Bonus and the Beer Streak, Ted fans will find plenty of the film they love within the game.
When The Hangover was released in 2009, who could possibly have predicted that it would go on to spawn not just one but two sequels? The first film deservedly earns itself a place on many people’s lists – not just of best movies featuring Las Vegas, but their all-time favourite movies. The fact that you can actually visit the casino where some of the action took place just adds to the appeal.
The trick to the first film is that the audience has to join the cast in trying to piece together just what happened on the wild night out which, for some reason, no-one seems to be able to remember in very much detail. The clues are all there to be unpicked. The tiger in the bathroom, the baby in the closet and the chicken flapping around the room, too.
Then there’s the question of how come one of their mattresses is impaled on a statue outside Caesar’s Palace. By the end of the movie’s 100 minutes all these questions, and more, will have been answered. It’s the wild night out to end all wild nights out – and set the standard for the extent of drunken debauchery in Vegas.
Director Martin Scorsese isn’t particularly well-known for his comedies. This movie, along with the highly rated King of Comedy, are his two main forays into the genre. But while After Hours is definitely driven by its humour, it’s also a very black comedy too.
The action plays out over a single night and starts with a nerdy computer programmer called Paul Hackett (played by Griffin Dunne) leaving work in the evening to meet up with Marcy (Roseanna Arquette). What follows is a fairly unbelievable series of events that sees the sensible and restrained Hackett subjected to ever increasing difficulties and indignities as the night goes on.
These include losing his last $20 dollar bill, which blows out of a taxi window and leaves him with only spare change. With subway fares rising at midnight, Paul is unable to get home – and here begins his adventure. But everything ends well for Hackett when, encased in plaster of Paris to avoid the mobsters who are intent on killing him, he falls off the back of a lorry outside his office, is released from the plaster and is able to go straight in to work as if nothing had happened over the previous 12 hours.
This 2010 movie starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell is similar in some ways to After Hours in that it’s all about a night that goes increasingly, and wildly, awry. Fey and Carell play married couple Phil and Claire Foster who, seeing the couples around them starting to break up, decide that weekly date nights are the way to keep the magic of their relationship alive.
One week they decide to leave the kids at home with a babysitter and go to a swanky Manhattan restaurant. It’s fully booked but they realise that someone called Tripplehorn has failed to show up so they pretend this is their name to get the table. But it turns out that the real Mr Tripplehorn is in possession of some very incriminating photographs of a district attorney that a mob boss played by Ray Liotta wants for blackmail purposes.
Things go from bad to worse for the couple throughout the night – until the truth of their identities is finally revealed.
The final of the five films that include wild nights out is a tour de force from the German director, Sebastian Schipper. It tells the story of the eponymous Victoria, a Spanish woman living in Berlin and working in a café during the day.
The action begins in a super-trendy nightclub where Victoria meets a gang of men who are trying, unsuccessfully, to get past the strict doorman. Later, after she’s left the club, she meets up with them again.
She is soon embroiled in a plot which will involve robbing a bank with them, as one of the members of the group is paying back a debt to a master criminal who had protected him while he was in prison. Over the course of the film Victoria goes from being an innocent abroad to being on the run from the police.
The plot is gripping, but the truly remarkable thing about the 138-minute film was that it was shot in real time and in one single take – and it works amazingly well.
Wild nights out are among the most thrilling types of scenes to watch – as you almost feel like you’re part of the night out yourself. Can you think of an example we haven’t covered in our list? Let us know by commenting below.