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Entertainment  »  Movies
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Eight Favourite Bar Movies of All Time

By: David Leonhardt


Date Added : June 29, 2011 Views : 719
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What recurring themes do movies set in bars and night clubs tend to share in common? Here are common features:

- Drinking (In a bar - what a surprise!)
- Singing
- Would-be stars trying to find that big break.

Here is our pick of the top eight bar movies ever.

Burlesque (2010)

Directed by Steven Antin, and starring Cher and Christina Aguilera (and both of their powerful voices), this is the narrative of a young songbird who saves the old diva's night club, not just with her voice, but also with her clever strategy and legal knowledge (think "air rights"). There are plenty of dance numbers, with terrific costumes and choreography - and amazing vocals with two such talented singers occupying the stage.

Chicago (2002)

Directed by Ron Marshall, and starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, this movie is set in 1920's gangster-era Chicago. Two singers, a diva past her prime and a would-be star, both waiting on death row for the murder of the men in their lives, conspire to use their new-found gangster notoriety to escape the gallows. Queen Latifah adds some extra spark to the story and the musical highlight is "All that Jazz".

Coyote Ugly (2000)

Directed by David McNally, this comedy classic starring Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia and Maria Bello is a chick flick with plenty going for the dudes. Coyote Ugly is actually the name of the road house bar where the story happens - where a young lady takes a job serving drinks and teasing the male patrons to make ends meet - until she is to get her big break as a songwriter. Plenty of eye candy for the guys in this one.

Road House (1989)

Directed by Rowdy Herrington, Patrick Swayze is hired to set order at the Double-Duce, a brawl-infested road house in a small Missouri town. It turns out that to clean up the bar, he must first clean up the town, which is terrorized by the local crime boss. More known for its breaking chairs than for music, it is worth noting that the bar's house band is lead by Canadian blues-rock guitarist Jeff Healey.

Cocktail (1988)

Directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown and Elisabeth Shue. Like so many bar flicks, this is the chronicle of a would-be hot-shot trying to get his break. The main difference is that this is Tom Cruise, not a prettystarlet.

BarFly (1987)

Directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway and Alice Krige, this is the one bar movie that has "bar" in its title. The tale, such as it is, expounds on how life is a sewer, but at least its more fun to drown in alcohol instead of waste water.

Strange Brew (1983)

Directed by and starring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, this flick is - wait for it - a comedy (big surprise there, huh?) These clowns from the Great White North can make a bar out of anywhere, so why not a brewery? If you enjoy Bob and Doug McKenzie, the SCTV characters of the 1980s, this is your kind of bar movie. Oh yeah, and lot's of alcohol (it is a bar, after all).

Casablanca (1942)

Directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, this is the most famous bar movie of them all - maybe even the most quoted movie of any. Bogart's piano lounge is a haven for refugees from the war in Europe, and serves as the venue for plenty of romance and intrigue. Above all, Casablanca is famous for the line "Play it again, Sam" - a line that isn't even in the movie.

We should also give honourable mention to the following three flicks ...

Wild Hogs (2007), because they explode a bikers' bar.

Saturday Night Fever (1977), for what might be the most famous dance scenes of all time, which along with much of the movie do take place in a disco.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), just becasue the they named the bar The Titty Twister.


David Leonhardt is a freelance writer, helping people learn about bars. Looking for a bar in your town? Here is where you can find a bar or club in New York.

Article Source: Eight Favourite Bar Movies of All Time

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