TX. Prom Movie Scenes

It’s that time of year again: the weather can’t decide to keep winter or welcome spring, kids are counting down the days until summer vacation, and the excitements of prom are in the air.

Even now that I have made my way into the world of a sophomore, I have never thought of prom as the big deal that everyone makes it out to be. In all honesty, I haven’t ever thought that I would get to go to the dance party of all dance parties. My feelings and impressions about prom have developed from the countless movies that I watched as a kid, and that I continue to watch now as a teenager.

Though you could argue about some of their inaccuracies and stereotypes, movies were on track from the very beginning on how people view this same big night drastically different. A Molly Ringwald’s character Andy in “Pretty in Pink” so perfectly observes: “Part of me says just to go and get it over with, and this other part says it’s a stupid tradition and what’s the point?”

There are those who have waited their whole lives to dress up and feel like Cinderella for one night, and then there are those who couldn’t care less about the whole thing.

Movies have picked up on this fact more and more as time has gone on, and have found the most entertaining ways of showing these prom perspectives to viewers.

Now that our 2019 prom festivities are drawing to a close, it’s amusing to look back on some of these films and be reminded of ones that match your perception of this colossal night.

1. “It’s A Wonderful Life” — directed by Frank Capra, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed (1946). This film’s classic high school dance scene is absolutely unforgettable. Every year at Christmastime, watching George Bailey and Mary Hatch fall into the gymnasium’s swimming pool all while dancing the Charleston never gets old.

2. “Napoleon Dynamite” — directed by Jared Hess, starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Tina Majorino (2004). There isn’t a person around who hasn’t heard the line, “Vote for Pedro!” Though Napoleon’s date Trisha abandons him upon their arrival to prom, his night was nevertheless saved by Cyndi Lauper’s hit, “Time After Time,” and Deb’s puffed sleeves.

3. “Pretty in Pink” — directed by Howard Deutch, starring Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer and Andrew McCarthy (1986). Even after 33 years, Molly Ringwald still looks “Pretty in Pink.” Thanks to her best friend Duckie and a newfound confidence in herself, Ringwald’s character Andy makes it to prom and lets the world know “that they didn’t break her.”

4. “Footloose” — directed by Herbert Ross, starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer (1984). You read the film’s title and can’t help but hear Kenny Loggins singing. A story that shows the importance of free expression, “Footloose” and Bacon’s Ren McCormick made us all feel like we could dance — even if we really can’t.

5. “Grease” — directed by Randal Kleiser, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978). How can you forget Danny and Sandy’s “Born to Hand-Jive” dance on American Bandstand? Despite Cha Cha taking Sandy’s spotlight and causing more trouble for our love-struck couple, I’ve always loved watching the Rydell High students dance like only Rydell could!

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6. “Carrie” — directed by Brian De Palma, starring Sissy Spacek and John Travolta (1976). The only horror movie on the list, this particular adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is what has solidified Carrie White as the worst prom date in history. Spacek’s performance is impeccable; her facial expression as the bucket of blood falls on her head stands as sheer proof of the incredible actress that she is.

7. “Back to the Future” — directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd (1985). Saving your parents’ prom night isn’t exactly every high school kid’s dream, but it seemed to work out in Marty McFly’s favor when he finally got “back to the future.” An ‘80s film that stands the test of time, “Back to the Future” is the perfect example of how we should all take more chances and never settle for second best.

8. “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” — directed by Kenny Ortega, starring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens (2008). In spite of this being a Disney Channel movie, its heartfelt message of individuality, trying new things and standing by the people you care about — no matter what — only adds to the fun and creative dance scene. To me, this is a film that every senior in high school should see.

9. “Mean Girls” — directed by Mark Waters, starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Tina Fey (2004). Saying something mean about someone else doesn’t make you any better of a person, as taught to us by Lohan’s character Cady Heron. If you ever need a moment to see that life works out and that every single person is important in one way or another, this is the prom movie for you.

10. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” — directed by Mike Newell, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson (2005). Although I realize that this film doesn’t technically have a prom, I’m adding it to the list for its accurate portrayal of how it really feels to be at a prom. While Hermione is off having the time of her life, Harry and Ron are sitting on the sidelines, feeling completely out of place. Yes, prom can be the greatest night of your high school experience. However, you need to keep your expectations in check and remember who you really are; even if that means feeling like you don’t belong.

Siena Cummings is a sophomore at Fremont High School. She loves classic books and movies, some of her favorites being “The Outsiders,” “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Little Women.” Email her at cummingssi@wsdstudent.net.

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