Our Top 5 Movie Dive Bars – By Ed Attanasio
Bars of all types have been featured in films from the very beginning. The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson was the very first “talkie” produced in 1927 and it included a brief bar scene. If you’ve watched any old black and white silent film starring Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields or Keystone Cops, you’ve likely spotted a bar scene in there somewhere.
Since then, dive bars have appeared in films and in some cases, played an integral role in the story. Most of these dive bars are either fictional or out-of-business, so you can’t visit them. But at least you can see them now, because iconic movie dive bars live forever on celluloid.
So, here is our list of the Top 5 Movie Dive Bars that appeared in films, brought to you from all of the movie heads/dive bar enthusiasts out there.
1.)Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars IV: A New Hope, 1977): This dimly-lit tavern is known for its heavy-handed bartenders, melodic tunes, and those random
outbreaks of shocking violence where phasers blow off heads and assorted appendages. Drink specials included here were the Wobbling Wookie, Jabba Juice and the Mad Mandalorian. If you are a Dive Bar Tourist and visiting the planet of Tatooine, that means you’re hallucinating because this dive bar only exists on the big screen and in the mind of its creator George Lucas.
2.)Bob’s Country Bunker (The Blues Brothers, 1980): Bob’s has both kinds of music–country and western and serves two types of beer-cold Bud and warm Bud. Chicken wire prevents a deluge of beer bottles thrown at bands that don’t meet the patrons’ standards. As long as Jake and Ellwood kept
playing “Rawhide” (the only country song they knew), there were fine. The duo was dedicated to playing music at dive bars and avoiding the cops on their “mission from Go
3.) Rick’s Café American (Casablanca, 1942): This smoke-filled bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the movie classic
Casablanca had a great piano player named Sam who took requests, mostly from its owner. The number one libation there was always champagne, mostly being consumed by mysterious women dressed in trench coats. In 2004, a huge fan of the film opened Rick’s Café Casablanca–a restaurant, bar and café located in the city of Casablanca, Morocco. It’s been designed to recreate this classic movie dive bar.
4.) The Double Deuce (Road House, 1989):
Known as the nastiest, loudest and rowdiest dive bar south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the DD featured beer bottles constantly flying through the air, verbal arguments turning into knife fights at the drop of a dime (bag), and not a single cop car or ambulance within 15 miles. In the film, professional bouncer Dalton (played by Patrick Swayze) was hired to clean this place up. It worked, because soon the roadhouse became a respectable business, by basically eliminating all the f
5.)Hollywood Star Lanes (The Big Lebowski, 1998): As a dedicated and seasoned Dive Bar Tourist, you know that a great dive can be found
anywhere,whether it’s on some remote roadside, in a rundown strip mall, or in this case, even in a bowling alley. The Dude, Walter, and Donnie were regulars at the Hollywood Star Bowl in The Big Lebowski, one of the most popular cult films ever produced. A Los Angeles institution since it opened in 1960, Hollywood Star Lanes closed its doors forever in 2002 with a blowout party offering $1 beers!
Runners Up: Gaston’s (Beauty and the Beast); The Blind Donkey (La La Land); Basement Taverna (Inglorious Basterds); NY Bar & Grill; Park Hyatt Piano Bar (Lost in Translation); Gold Room at the Overlook Hotel (The Shining):The Prince (Chinatown); The Ink and Paint Club (Who Framed Roger Rabbit); The Titty Twister (From Dusk Until Dawn); The Slaughtered Lamb (An American Werewolf in London); Trees Lounge (Trees Lounge); Korova Milk Bar (Clockwork Orange); Fat Sam’s Grand Slam (Bugsy Malone) and L Street Tavern (Good Will Hunting).