Top Ten… Conference and meeting room scenes in movies

Political conferences can be a bit boring. If only they were as exciting in real life as they can be in the movies. Prime minister David Cameron took to the stage today to make his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, but did he draw inspiration from these terrific bits of cinema set in a conference or a boardroom meeting? And yes, we do realise how tenuously linked this list is to the Tory Party Conference. But we don’t care. Because we’re awesome. And so are these scenes.

10. Big Business (1988)

What the Tories really need is another female leader. And who better to follow in Margaret Thatcher’s footsteps than Hollywood’s very own iron ladies, Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. There’s this rumour going round that The Godfather is the best film ever made. We all know, of course, that it’s flippin’ Big Business.

9. Star Wars (1977)

This conference scene doesn’t have the singer who gave us Wind Beneath My Wings, but it does have the baddest motha in da galaxy. Good old Lord Vader. ‘The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.’ Er, no. No it isn’t. Jerk. Wouldn’t say that to his robot face though, or you might have to reach for the nearest packet of Lockets.

8. Sabrina (1954)

In this conference scene, glimpsed briefly in the trailer below, Humphrey Bogart punches William Holden when he teases him for fancying Audrey Hepburn. Which is a bit like punching someone because they teased you about breathing in oxygen.

7. Dogma (1999)

People who sit around in boardrooms are bad. We know this because Kevin Smith tells us so. I’ve never really loved Dogma – it’s a bit sanctimoniously cool for its own good. It’s a bit, well, sixth form. But there’s no denying fallen angels Affleck and Damon give it loads of chutzpah in this conference room scene. And remind us that you should always say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes.

6. The Dark Knight (2008)

‘THINGS ARE WORSE THAN EVER!’ Oh, Harvey Dent… so YOU are Batman? Oh hi Bruce Wayne, did you just come along to this press conference to watch Harvey Dent tell the media he is Batman? Good for you…

5. Iron Man (2008)

Press conferences were all the rage in superhero movies in 2008, but Tony Stark knocks Batman’s cowl off his cape with his great reveal at the end of Iron Man.

4. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

More boardroom bad guys in this often overlooked gem from the Coen brothers. This time there’s no need for wisecracking angels to wipe someone out, the top man Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning) does it himself.

3. Notting Hill (1999)

Call me sentimental, but there’s nothing like Hugh Grant playing a dolt trying to ensnare the woman of his dreams. In this case, the woman of his dreams is the woman of a lot of guys’ dreams. This conference scene proves that two people from different worlds, one from the downtrodden (HA!) area of Notting Hill and one from Hollywood, can find love together. For someone who bloody hates journalists, Hugh Grant is pretty loveable when playing one. Or playing someone pretending to be one.

2. Robocop (1987)

Never… ever… ever… bring a barely tested weaponised enforcement droid into a boardroom meeting.

1. Malice (1993)

Don’t every try to outact Alec Baldwin. Particularly in the boardroom. This scene gets extra points because it has Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows in it. As McBain would say, meeting adjourned.



4 Responses to “Top Ten… Conference and meeting room scenes in movies”

  1. If only things like this happened in real political conferences. The world would be a happier place, wouldn’t it? Right now, I’m to the point that if there’s a meeting scene taking place in a movie, I know right away that something’s going to happen. So I get a sense of instant excitement.

  2. The Untouchables, when an unhappy DeNiro gets some batting practice in…..

    Or The Rookie, with a beaten Charlie Sheen interrupting Tom Skerritt’s meeting – “I’m not asking because you’re my father, I’m asking because you’re the richest guy I know”.

    Or something.

  3. Wes B… yeah, real life sucks, huh?
    mcguinnr… that Rookie scene is the best scene ever. Oscars are given out for way less. great shout.

  4. Hunt for Red October has to be the best, doesn’t it? “You son of a bitch!”

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