When a gentleman isn’t in the bar, yelling, guffawing and knocking them back in the company of his best gentlemen mates, he enjoys watching films that depict similarly sophisticated behavior. Alcohol makes the gentleman feel alive, and imbibing at a rapid rate with like-minded ilk who laugh at the grave seriousness of life habitually restores his faith in humanity. It’s no secret that we enjoy these types of people, and thus it must be unsurprising that we enjoy these types of movies. And so, as a little Christmas gift come early, we present to you — dear faithful readers — our 12 favorite drinking scenes in cinematic history. Hell, if you can’t actually drink with these fine men, you might as well watch them…just remember to pour yourself a stiff cocktail so you can join in on the action.
12. The Deerhunter
Sure, there’s going to be hell to pay when you finally decide to dry up for the day, but is there anything better than foregoing sleep and locking yourself in the pub for those final few debacuherous rounds? The sun might be well over the horizon, and reality just around the corner, but with Frankie Valli on the jukebox, your luck still running on the pool table and an arsenal of Rolling Rocks still to be guzzled, this finite moment might as well last forever.
11. Easy Rider
Note to self: If you ever make the good decision of running drugs cross country in the gas tank of your chopper, remember to add an alcoholic lawyer with a taste for early-morning swigs of Jim Beam to your entourage.
10. Philadelphia Story
Any man that rings our doorbell in the middle of the night — waking us from our gentleman’s slumber(!) — sporting a bespoke tux and carrying a bottle of bubbly (with two glasses no less) is a-ok by us. If he’s too drunk to remember bringing the bottle and kindly asks us for a pop, why then he’s invited over anytime he pleases. Friends are a wonderful thing to have, but drunk friends you can take advantage of are even better.
9. Old School
It takes a truly mature man to crush his wife’s dreams of spending a nice little Saturday together at Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond (time permitting of course) in favor of funneling cheap beer with college kids 20 years his junior. But remember, a sophisticated gentleman knows no pleasure greater than imbibing, and he takes equal delight in drinking a beverage from a Waterford Crystal glass, a 12 oz. bottle or two feet of plastic, hardware store-bought tubing.
8. Arthur 2: On The Rocks
Like most sequels, Arthur 2: On The Rocks pales in comparison to the original, but Dudley Moore — a Renaissance Man of comedic proportions if there ever was one — nails the uncanny ability fellow drunks have at making fast friends with booze-soaked aplomb. If a down-on-his-luck gentleman can’t count on the deep friendship of thirsty bar patrons whose names he’ll never know, who can he count on?
7. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Though a gentleman often thinks he has full reign over a bar to behave as he pleases, a cold hard reality sets in after his beer guzzling actions, ribald remarks and overall tomfoolery cause him to be ejected by the scruff of his neck. Fortunately the two-bit criminals of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels needn’t worry about the aftermath of their collective buffoonery because they’ve got an in with this pub’s owner (hint: he’s one of lads’ dads), giving them carte blanche to lock themselves in, elegantly spill drinks, light their flatulence on fire and generally behave like — what else? — gentlemen.
6. The Big Lebowski
Ahhh, the innocent pleasures of drinking and driving. While a gentleman prefers to imbibe in the safety of the backseat while his chauffeur pilots the boat-like rig through suburban streets on a Sunday morning, sometimes even Jeeves takes the weekend off, in which case the gentleman is forced to multitask with one hand gripping the wheel and the other firmly wrapped around the bottle. Should he choose to up the ante by smoking a roach as well, juggling substances, navigational techniques and operational procedures with the finesse of a big top showman, he must be weary of rogue dumpsters who seek to thwart his leisurely journey.
Leave it to Ty Webb to add cocaine to the Tequila shots combo…and then just stick to the cocaine. We tip our top hats to this 80s icon for taking a page out of Steely Dan’s book with the Cuervo Gold and the fine Columbian, and look forward to one day meeting him on the 19th hole for a beverage.
There should be a gentleman’s clause added to the Constitution that says any well-dressed, precocious 15-year old capable of writing a hit play be allowed a little drink to unwind himself. And while that fine retort of Max Fischer’s certainly makes this Rushmore’s most memorable scene, nothing beats Bill Murray nearly choking on his drink after the sarcastic little shit jabs Luke Wilson on his “nurse’s uniform.”
3. Carling Beer Explorer Commercial
Ok, since this is a commercial and not some feat of cinematic brilliance, we technically cheated on this one, but you’ll forgive us, won’t you? When they’re skipping out on buxom babes, beer ads typically revolve around male-bonding; but while we’ve been force fed talking lizards and wazzup catch phrases, leave it to the Brits — the land responsible for Monty Python, Alan Partridge and The Office — to come up with this equal parts absurd, hilarious and ultimately heart-warming ode to drinking with your mates. Now please excuse us while we head to the bar.
2. Mean Streets
Remember those disastrous nights of drunken mayhem that quickly become unhinged, suddenly sucking hours up with the voraciousness of a time machine that spits you out and leaves you with nothing but a headache and a void where your memory used to be? We do, or maybe we don’t. Regardless, no director weds music and that visceral feeling of in-the-moment cinema like Martin Scorsese, and this clip of Harvey Keitel’s aspiring mobster Charlie throwing them back in Mean Streets truly makes us want to go on a bender, aftermath be damned.
1. Withnail and I
When a gentleman drinks before venturing out into public, he feels compelled to communicate his twisted state to the sober masses. Hopped up on a sea of spirit-lifting booze, a gentleman will stroll into public with increased swagger and humor toward the stiffs surrounding him. Rules become ridiculous and manners go out the window, while the only thing that matters is the procurement of fine wine, cakes and other such delights, and a gentleman will crack any joke or tell any lie to get the job done. In that regard, British cult classic Withnail and I — a film depicting the boozed up antics of two down and out actors — takes the cake, pitting the dramatic, deadbeat and totally out of their element duo against the formalities and realities of English society.