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50 Great Actor And Director Partnerships
Thesp / megaphone-wielder matches made in heaven


De Niro and Scorsese. DiCaprio and Scorsese. Johns Ford and Wayne. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Cinema history is full of serendipitous actor/director pairings, creative partnerships that seem to drive both parties to greater creative heights. But which ones really changed cinema history, or produced the most consistent hit rate? Which BFFs truly inspire one another? And who stuck together through thick and thin to make masterpieces? We assess the best of the best...

WORDS HELEN O'HARA, ALASTAIR PLUMB, PHIL DE SEMLYEN

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JOHN CARPENTER
5
KURT RUSSELL

NOTABLE PAIRINGS
The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York

WHAT'S THE SECRET OF THEIR SUCCESS?
Kurt Russell is at his best bringing growly charisma to bear as an everyman trapped in just the kind of insanely demented situations Carpenter loved subjecting his characters to. The pair had a personal affinity off-screen too. "I feel like I have a smarter older brother in John," says Russell of the man who put an eyepatch on him and made him an icon.

WERE THEY AS GOOD WITH ANYONE ELSE?
The indie god practically reinvented the thriller genre with Assault On Precinct 13, a murky, paranoiac update of Rio Bravo, while low-budget sci-fi (Dark Star) and horror (Halloween, The Fog) also got the Carpenter treatment in his '70s/early '80s golden patch. Russell has gone on to make genre pieces, compelling (Backdraft) and otherwise (Tequila Sunrise).

THEIR BEST FILM...

Escape From New York. Don't get us wrong, we love Kurt Russell as The Thing's put-upon chopper pilot but it's legally impossible to look past Snake Plissken, a man so hard he popped out of the womb throwing punches. Given just 22 hours to rescue the US President from a lawless Manhattan, Plissken proceeds to spend a good 12 of them punching Ox Baker in the head.

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 Tishiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa
Posted on Saturday March 15, 2014, 23:11 by sam.collins94
Shaping the way we view relationships between fellow contributes of the film industry; resulting in many great films such as: Throne of Blood, Seven Samaurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and so forth. Read More

2 Not Cary Grant, James Stewart, or Humphrey Bogart...
Posted on Sunday February 2, 2014, 00:35 by nemo777
Those actors were so great that they transcended any particular working relationship. After seeing Captain Phillips, I'm convinced that Tom Hanks is also safely in this category. Re Woody Allen + Mia Farrow? Their greatest pairing has got to be Broadway Danny Rose (her best role ever?). Read More

3 RE: 50 Great Actor And Director Partnerships
Posted on Sunday January 26, 2014, 23:18 by elab49
Sorrentino/Servillo would be my top 5 - and if we're allowed more than one combination for a director (Allen is in twice) then I'd say Shimura is at least, if not more, significant than Mifune with Kurosawa. Read More

4 RE: 50 Great Actor And Director Partnerships
Posted on Sunday January 26, 2014, 23:14 by JohnChard
The absence of Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott is a crime, as any serious Western fan will tell you, their Ranown Westerns are from the highest echelons. The Tall T (1957) Decision at Sundown (1957) Buchanan Rides Alone (1958) Westbound (1959) Ride Lonesome (1959) Comanche Station (1960) As is the glaring oversight of not including James Stewart and Anthony Mann, again, these are benchmarks in psychological Westerns. Winchester '73 (1950) Bend of the River (1952) The Naked Spur (1953) The Far Country (1955) The Man from Laramie (1955) Read More

5 RE: 9?
Posted on Sunday January 26, 2014, 16:30 by Inspector Hail
They may be counting their voice work together on Shark Tale. L: edoinjapan 9 Marty and Bob collaborations? I only count 8 . . . Read More

6
Posted on Saturday January 25, 2014, 20:14 by tigerwest
Where is Tony Scott and Denzel Washington? Read More

7 9?
Posted on Friday January 24, 2014, 06:26 by edoinjapan
9 Marty and Bob collaborations? I only count 8 . . . Read More

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