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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Top 20 Director/Actor Collaborations

There is a dazzling variety of life-long partnerships between film directors and their favorite actors. In the case of those listed below, it would seem that almost any one name could be dropped and replaced with another. John Mills, for example, was in more of David Lean's films than Alec Guinness, but I believe that, in the masterpieces that Lean and Guinness made together, each artist was essential for the other to do his best work, and the films they made would have suffered without the presence of both. Likewise, Max von Sydow was famously Ingmar Bergman's male lead of choice, but I would argue that Bergman's collaborations with Liv Ullmann reveal the deeper talents of both director and performer in ways that neither could match alone. And, again, one might insist that Federico Fellini's greatest collaboration was not with Marcello Mastroianni, but with his wife, Giulietta Massina, but Marcello - he is more than just an actor, no?

I invite you to submit your own choices - or to shoot down mine - in the Comments section.

With that in mind ...

The 20 Greatest Director/Actor Collaborations
  1. Woody Allen / Diane Keaton
  2. Ingmar Bergman / Liv Ullman
  3. The Coen Bros. / John Goodman
  4. George Cukor / Katharine Hepburn
  5. Federico Fellini / Marcello Mastroianni
  6. John Ford / John Wayne
  7. Jean-Luc Godard / Anna Karina
  8. D.W. Griffith / Lillian Gish
  9. Akira Kurosawa / Toshiro Mifune
  10. Werner Herzog / Klaus Kinski
  11. Alfred Hitchcock / James Stewart
  12. John Huston / Humphrey Bogart
  13. David Lean / Alec Guinness
  14. Mike Leigh / Timothy Spall
  15. Bruce Robinson / Richard E. Grant
  16. Martin Scorsese / Robert De Niro
  17. Don Siegel / Clint Eastwood
  18. François Truffaut / Jean-Pierre Léaud
  19. Wong Kar Wai / Tony Leung Chiu Wai
  20. Zhang Yimou / Gong Li

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Wow, great post...I put Bogie and Huston at #1 tho', THEN probably Marty and Bobby.

What about Howard Hawks and John Wayne?

Howard Hawks and Cary Grant?

Howard Hawks and...somebody?

Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart? Capra..and somebody?

Preston Sturges used the same people over and over...but Joel Mcrea? Probably not...

Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon?

Did Lean and Guinness have much more than Bridge on the River Kwai? A good one, no doubt, but I'm a little down on their filmography....

- By Anonymous Chris Soth, at Wed May 24, 05:00:00 AM GMT+1  

Of course! Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon!

The Lean and Guinness pictures are "Oliver Twist", "Great Expectations", "River Kwai", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Dr. Zhivago", and "A Passage to India".

I'd thought about Capra and Jimmy Stewart, but Stewart was only in 3 Capra movies - albeit two of them very, very important movies, still it didn't seem to have the weight of Hitchcock and Stewart. But I think someone could easily make a case for nixing Stewart and going with Hitchcock and Cary Grant.

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Wed May 24, 05:04:00 AM GMT+1  

Oh, and also the list is arranged according to last name of director. So there really wasn't much point in numbering it, but...

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Wed May 24, 05:06:00 AM GMT+1  

Oliver Stone and John C McGinley?

Robert Rodriguez and Antonio Banderas?

Tarantino and Buscemi?

John Hughes and Molly Ringwald?

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks?

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp?

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell?

Andy Sidaris and Donna Speir?

I'm a veg, Dannie....
B (yeah, that was me who deleted-- sue me!)

- By Blogger Brett, at Wed May 31, 02:55:00 PM GMT+1  

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