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10 Movies Every Prep Should Reverence

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Private Club Marketing's editorial and research is conducted in conjunction with its advisory and development team.

In this article, we'll take you on a cinematic journey through the world of preppy culture, where privilege meets tradition, and impeccable style is the norm. From the Upper East Side debutantes of "Metropolitan" to the Ivy League aspirations of "Dead Poets Society," each film on our list offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the well-heeled and well-mannered. Whether you're a seasoned preppy connoisseur or simply curious about the allure of this subculture, we've got your movie night sorted with these ten classics that every prep should hold in reverence. So, prepare to be entertained, inspired, and perhaps even transported to a world where "whoo-ah" is the catchphrase of the day, and the finer things in life are celebrated with panache.

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If you've ever found yourself sipping a perfectly chilled martini at the country club, discussing the latest regatta results, and yearning for a cinematic touch of the preppy lifestyle, look no further. We've curated a list of ten movies that every prep should reverence. These films encapsulate the essence of prep culture, from Ivy League aspirations and society galas to family dysfunction and, of course, impeccable wardrobes. So, whether you're already an aficionado of all things preppy or you're just beginning your journey into this world of class and tradition, grab your popcorn, take a seat, and prepare to immerse yourself in the sartorial, social, and intellectual world of the preppy elite.


Year: 1990. Director: Whit Stillman. What Makes It Preppy: NYC debutantes. Discussions on social mobility. A bar that we're pretty sure is Dorrians. All the characters play bridge. Quote: ” I've always planned to be a failure anyway, that's why I plan to marry an extremely wealthy woman.” – Nick Smith


Year: 1992. Director: Robert Mandel. What Makes It Preppy: Elite prep school. All-star Football team. Because Chris O'Donnell is in it. Everyone wants to get into Harvard. Quote: “No sir. You will never forget what happened, because I'm going to stay here to always remind you it happened whenever you see me. You played me. I'll definitely use you to get into Harvard.” – David Green


Year: 2002. Director: Burr Steers. What Makes It Preppy: Igby's uniform. Getting sent to military school. Rampant family dysfunction. His mom's name is Mimi. Ollie, his Republican brother (played perfectly by Ryan Philippe). Quote: “I'm drowning in assholes.” – Igby


Year:2000. Director: Mary Harron. What Makes It Preppy: New York investment banker-Patrick Batemen=dark prep. Twisted rich people. Working at your father's company. Quote: “There is a split second of complete panic as I realize that Paul's apartment overlooks the park… and is clearly more posh than mine.” – Patrick Bateman


Year: 1991. Director: Charles Shyer. What Makes It Preppy: George & Nina Banks in everything they do. George's navy blue tux. THAT house. Steve Tyrell's version of “The Way You Look Tonight”. Quote: “Well this nitwit will no longer be not ripped because I'm not paying for one more thing I don't need. George Banks says NO!”


Year: 1998. Director: Wes Anderson. What Makes It Preppy: the fact that it is a Wes Anderson film. The beekeeping society. Rushmore in its entirety. Max Fischer's uniform. Quote: “My top schools where I want to apply to are the Sorborne and Oxford. My saaftey is Havard.” – Max Fischer.


Year: 1992. Director: Martin Brest. What Makes It Preppy: Charlie Sims (Chris O'Donnell) attends New England prep school. The duo stays at the Waldorf-Astoria.Lt. Col. Frank Slade knows how to tango (in spite of being blind).Quote: “Whoo-ah.” – Lt. Col. Frank Slade


Year: 1983. Director: John Landis. What Makes It Preppy: Louis Winthorpe III, enough said. Coleman the butler. Mortimer and Randolph Duke.. “The Heritage Club”. Squash. Women in headbands. Women in headbands EVERYWHERE. Quote: ”Can you believe it? He was wearing my Harvard tie. As in my Harvard tie. He definitely went to Harvard.” – Louis Winthorpe III


Year: 1999. Director: Anthony Minghella. What Makes It Preppy: Princeton alumni. A detrimental passion with Chet Baker (but we get it). Gwyneth Paltrow's ENTIRE wardrobe in this. Quote: “I have forever had the notion that it would be better, to be a fake somebody… than a real nobody.” – Tom Ripley


Year: 1989. Director: Peter Weir. What Makes It Preppy: Welton Academy’s four pillars: Discipline, Excellence, Honor and Tradition. Knox Overstreet. Quote: “Guys, you must endeavour to discover your own voice. Because the more time you take to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “The majority of men lead lives of silent desperation.” Don't be resigned to that. Break out!” – John Keating

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