5. Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon
It has been over 10 years since the world sadly lost the pair of Wilder and Lemmon, but their relationship and legacy is still as strong as ever. Inspired comedies Some Like it Hot and The Apartment perhaps stand out more than others, but the pair produced several charming and successfully films together Irma La Douce and Avanti. Their talents complement each other perfectly, with Lemmon filling the role of the charming and likable onscreen presence, and Wilder being able to give Lemmon the direction and scope to not only fulfil these roles but to grow as an actor.
Best film: Some Like it Hot (1959)
4. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
The picture says it all really. Who else could pose in such a manner armed with a sword and axe and get away with it? Given it was the 70s/80s and this kind of stuff was acceptable, but Carpenter and Russell shared a very special bond, both on and off-screen. Their friendship is apparent from the cult success of their films, with the pair singlehandedly redefining the thriller and what it is to be cool. They had a total of 5 outing together, which are all more memorable than the next, and have since solidified themselves in the B-movie hall of fame.
Best film: The Thing (1984)
3. Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant
At the time, Hitchcock and Grant were arguably the best at what they did. Hitchcock was an auteur, filmmaker, and creative genius extraordinaire, and Grant was one of the finest (and well-dressed) actors to have graced the silver screen. What has changed since then? Not much. Compared to some of the other entries on the list, 4 films may not seem like an awful lot, but when these films include North by Northwest, Notorious, To Catch a Thief, and Suspicion, you can’t really argue about how well these two worked together.
Best film: North by Northwest (1959)
2. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro
The certifiable kings of the crime movie (and comedy – aha, see what I did there!). The partnership of Scorsese and De Niro really needs no introduction, and since their first joint outing in Mean Streets (1973), they’ve been driving taxis, in the ring, running casinos, and stealing from the airport. Many people including myself will argue that De Niro is the greatest method actor of all time, and every time he links up with Scorsese, who is also widely considered to be one of the greatest directors alive, the outcome has always been tremendous.
Best film: Goodfellas (1990)
1. Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune
Rumor has it that Kurosawa and Mifune did so many films together, they were actually Siamese twins, and Kurosawa would just edit himself out of shot. This is of course untrue, but isn’t far from a plausible explanation as to the wonderful relationship Kurosawa and Mifune shared. Over the course of their careers they completed a stunning 16 films together, all of which are not only landmarks in their respective filmographies, or even Japanese cinema, but for film as a whole. They might not be as well known to the general public as some of the other aforementioned candidates, but they top this list by a country mile.
Best film: Seven Samurai (1954)
Agree that the masters of the samurai film are the ichiban? Think quantity or quality is the key to a successful collaboration? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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