Pictures and parties. They go together like Dubonnet and gin. Next question?

Party scenes on film have long been a wonderful source of inspiration for party designers. As with movies, parties need creative and defining artistic elements to create the ideal mood and set the perfect tone. To help you plan your next gathering, here is a list of the 10 most inspiring party scenes on film.

Auntie Mame (1958) with Rosalind Russell

Auntie Mame_2

Auntie Mame was the consummate entertainer, always making her guests feel comfortable and important. You’ll be inspired by the way she enjoyed her own parties as much as her guests did and all the chic home décor and fashion touches.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard

Breakfast at Tiffany Party

The cocktail party in Holly’s cramped New York apartment may well be the most famous party scene ever filmed. It’s a great reminder that a party with a few too many people always creates great energy.

Babette’s Feast (1987) with Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, Birgitte Federspiel, Jarl Kulle

babettes feast

Take note of the scenes where they prepare for the feast and put the finishing touches on the dessert, a rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits. All the rituals will inspire your next dinner party.

Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) with Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith

Bonfire of the Vanities

The black-tie party scene in the glass atrium – with its  – is a great reminder that one element in multiples – in this case, 45-foot-high palm trees – is all you need to create a grand party space.

Gosford Park (2001) with an ensemble cast directed by Robert Altman

Gosford Park Lunch

There are a number of beautiful party scenes in this film, but the post-hunt lunch, with its beautifully-set table, is sure to inspire your next al fresco lunch or dinner. This scene was filmed at Hall Barn in Buckinghamshire, England, a location also used for Downton Abbey.

The Great Gatsby (1974) with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow


Roaring ’20s parties are one of the most popular party themes, and this beautiful film is a great source of inspiration for anyone thinking about hosting an elegant soirée to celebrate the decade. Of particular note is the pastel color palette.

The Great Gatsby (2013) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan

Great Gatsby Party 2013

If you’re planning a big bash and money is no object, this film’s over-the-top, bacchanalian party scene is the one to watch.

A Handful of Dust (1988) with Kristin Scott Thomas and James Wilby


The dinner scene at Café de Paris captures perfectly the mood, fashions, hair and make-up of the ‘30s. Hiring a band to perform at your next party? Note the choreography of the band as they enter the restaurant.

An American in Paris (1951) with Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Nina Foch

An American in Paris

This fabulous party-of-a-musical features dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and music by George Gershwin. Planning a black-and-white-themed party? Don’t miss the scene toward the end of the film where Jerry invites Milo to the art students’ masked ball.

Top Hat (1935) starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Top Hat

This black-and-white musical featuring the Venice Big White Set, as it was known, is the one to watch if you’re planning a black tie event. It’s pure elegance.

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