Thursday, April 24, 2014

Top 15 Director/Actor Collaborations

There’s a reassurance that instinctually accompanies a fruitful director/actor collaboration. As soon as we hear that one of our favorite directors is once again teaming up with one of our favorite actors, an immediate excitement takes hold. Even if we don’t end up liking their most recent effort, we take solace in the fact that they’ve delivered before, and will surely deliver again.

This is a good time to reiterate the purpose of lists on this site. Every single list on post here is simply my opinion. I would never insist that, for example, the 15 collaborations listed below are the 15 best director/actor collaborations of all time. These are simply my favorite director/actor collaborations. Which, of course, I hope you enjoy. And as there are many others to choose from, please feel free to share your favorite pairs as well!

Note: I’ve only considered collaborations that have produced at least four films. There were too many great three-film collabs, so limiting it to four allowed me to open things up a bit.

15. Quentin Tarantino/Samuel L. Jackson
Why? Because Quentin Tarantino is one of the most uniquely influential screenwriters to ever grace the medium, and Samuel L. Jackson was born to speak his lines. Rufus… he’s the man.

14. Federico Fellini/Marcello Mastroianni
One could argue that the Fellini/Mastroianni collaboration occasionally produced weak results. But the way I see it, few films are more accomplished than La Dolce Vita and 8 ½. Two glorious examples of an actor and director exploring a new vision, and reinventing the wheel in the process.

13. Billy Wilder/Jack Lemmon
Does absurdist comedy get better than Some Like It Hot? Does comedic desperation ever succeed The Apartment? Say what you will about Widler and Lemmon’s later films, their first two (or three, or four) are cinematic staples that will endure forever.

12. Wong Kar-Wai/Tony Leung
I love how Kar-Wai’s films have a way of just washing over me. They’re so poetic and beautiful, and Leung has proven to be the best possible facilitator to execute Kar-Wai’s fluid vision.

11. Paul Thomas Anderson/Philip Seymour Hoffman
I have no words. From the impossibly humorous way in which he shot craps in Hard Eight, to the coldly melancholic manner in which he sang “Slow Boat to China” in The Master, never was Philip Seymour Hoffman as consistently good as he was through Anderson’s lens. Rest well, fine sir.

10. Alfred Hitchcock/Jimmy Stewart
This is career reinvention at its finest. Before his collaboration with Hitch, Jimmy Stewart was the good ol’ boy. The man who fought for us – who rallied our cries and sang our praises. Then Hitch turned him into an obsessive, manipulative, conniving asshole. And I loved every frame of it.

9. John Cassavetes/Gena Rowlands
John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands were married for 35 years, creating a lifetime of love, three children, and seven works of cinematic art. Rowlands’ work in A Woman Under the Influence remains the best female acting performance I’ve ever seen. What trust it must have taken to bring that character to life.

8. John Huston/Humphrey Bogart
How can you possibly pick a favorite? The Maltese Falcon is as potboiler noir as it gets, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre captures madness hauntingly, Key Largo is shamelessly entertaining, and The African Queen is a mix of both Huston and Bogart’s best qualities as artists. A genuinely impeccable collaboration.

7. Jean-Luc Godard/Anna Karina
Godard and Karina were lovers who carried the fire of their tumultuous marriage over to the big screen. A Woman Is a Woman is pop French New Wave at its finest, and Vivre sa vie… forget about it. Seldom has the plight of a woman been better realized on film.

6. Woody Allen/Mia Farrow
Given current events, it seems dangerous to talk about this collaboration today. But no matter the he said-she said family horror that these two suffer through, the 13 films they made together deserved to be remembered. For my money, movies don’t get much better than Another Woman, but as far as Farrow’s acting goes, The Purple Rose of Cairo is her crowning achievement. That final scene. That. Final. Scene.

5. Akira Kurosawa/Toshirō Mifune
Again, how the hell can you pick a favorite? Damn near all of the Kurosawa/Mifune films are classics, but I suppose Seven Samurai is the best evidence of their collaborative strength. The film remains, in a word, astonishing.

4. Werner Herzog/Klaus Kinski
What I love most about the Herzog/Kinksi collaboration is that these two really, genuinely, truly detested one another. Since Kinski’s death, Herzog has been asked countless times why he continued to work with Kinski. Considering the actor’s erratic behavior, why not just cast someone else? “There was no one better,” Herzog often quips. A true testament to the work outweighing the personal bullshit.

3. Ingmar Bergman/Max von Sydow
This collaboration reads like a roll call of perfection. Together, Bergman and von Sydow made a handful of the best films ever committed to celluloid. Their work has been copied, parodied, celebrated and adored for more than half a century, and will continue to do as such. If you’re a fan of von Sydow, I highly recommend watching Shame, Hour of the Wolf and The Passion of Anna in quick succession. It’s basically a trilogy of Max von Sydow slowing going insane. And it is utterly mesmerizing.

2. Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro
This is the one we all talk about, and for damn good reason. Scorsese and De Niro started at the same time – developing their respective crafts together, from the beginning. Two New York kids who grew up two miles apart and connected at a time when they were both looking to change things. And boy, did they ever.

1. Ingmar Bergman/Liv Ullmann
For me, film collaborations don’t get better than Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann. The films they made together have had such an indelible impact on my life – creatively, artistically, and humanly. The other day, I rewatched the masterful Passion of Anna and was reminded why I love film. The combination of Bergman’s experimental, patient style and Ullmann’s pained innocence is something I find endlessly compelling. And consider this: out of the 10 films they made together, I would rank The Passion of Anna eighth. That leaves a hell of a lot of room for greatness.

On Their Way
Steve McQueen/Michael Fassbender
Give it some time. McQueen and Fassbender will widely be considered one of the inarguable, all-time great film collaborations soon enough.


Fifteen More I Love
John Ford/John Wayne: 21 films
Ingmar Bergman/Bibi Andersson: 13 films
Richard Linklater/Ethan Hawke: 8 films
Wes Anderson/Bill Murray: 7 films
François Truffaut/Jean-Pierre Léaud: 7 films
Joel and Ethan Coen/Steve Buscemi: 6 films
David Lean/Alec Guinness: 6 films
David Mamet/William H. Macy: 6 films
Yasujirō Ozu/Setsuko Hara: 6 films
Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney: 6 films
Lars von Trier/Stellan Skarsgård: 6 films
Pedro Almodóvar/Penélope Cruz: 5 films
Nicole Holofcener/Catherine Keener: 5 films
Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio: 5 films
Spike Lee/Denzel Washington: 4 films

76 comments:

  1. Very, very glad you mentioned McQueen and Fassbender. They are both talented at what they do and they make great movies together. I also completely agree that Jackson was born to speak Tarantino's lines; Pulp Fiction would not be the same if someone else played Jules.

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    1. McQueen and Fassbender were born to make films together. Those three films are masterpieces of the art form. Love them.

      Interesting, Paul Calderon was originally cast as Jules in Pulp. And while I'm sure it was awful to recast him at the last second, there is only one Jules, and he is Samuel L.

      Thanks for the comment!

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    2. No problem! I didn't actually know that about Calderon, thanks for pointing that at!

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    3. My pleasure! I'm kind of obsessed with that film (it's my 2nd fave of all time), so I'm glad I could throw some trivia your way!

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    4. I don't blame you, everything about Pulp Fiction is perfect. Tarantino really nailed the non-linear narrative.

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    5. Oh definitely. Hey, are you on Twitter? I love what you're doing at I Saved Latin..., and I'm always looking to stay in touch with cool people!

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    6. thank you!!! yeah it's @racheldankt I don't use it much but we should definitely follow each other.

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  2. That is a great list. Herzog/Kinski is my favorite collaboration so far as I'm sure the McQueen/Fassbender collaboration will be in that list soon. I await for McQueen's next film.

    I would love to be in that list once I start my filmmaking career. For me, it would with Scarlett Johansson and Jena Malone. Who would be your dream actor/actress to be your regular collaborator?

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    1. I'm jumping in on this cause your question is really interesting. My dream collaboration would be with Mads Mikkelsen.

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    2. void: thanks man! Few collabs top that Herzog/Kinski pairing. I can't imagine working under those conditions. But if he's the best... then he's the best.

      Definitely a great question, void. I love your two picks, and Mask, that is a perfect one as well. For me, I love working with people who "get" my vision of things, and don't question it tirelessly. If I'm dreaming big, I think Michael Fassbender would venture to the dark places that my scripts go. And he'd do it flawlessly. I also think Amy Seimetz would be a great person to collaborate with. On a smaller, more realistic level, Catherine and I have a good thing going on. She's been in every film I've made, if for no other reason than we view the world, in all its complexities, in the same way. The lead of my new film, Wait, is a dude name Micah Parker. We hit it off great during filming, and have already begun working together on two new projects. So he'll definitely be in my future work.

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    3. Bring it on Alex/Catherine or Alex/Micah!

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    4. Ok I have to bite. I want to turn Allison Brie and Aubrey Plaza into the next big art actresses, think Laura Dern and Isabella Rosselini. I also want to work very closely with Michael B. Jordan, Allison Pill and Mads! :D The dreaaammmmmm...

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    5. I think Alison Brie is a sensation. Comedy, drama... she has a bite to her that is insatiable. I know she's tied up with her TV obligations, but I would love to see her take on more film roles.

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  3. McQueen and Fassbender, all of this.

    Those two better keep on working with one another and keep knocking it out of the park. I'm so happy with what they've done together and I sincerely hope that they continue to work well together. As for Billy Wilder, who I love like the third grandfather I never had, and the great Jack Lemmon, not all of their collaborations are great but they are indelibly theirs.

    Thirdly, Martin Scorsese and Bob are pretty big, even when they're flawed, they're perfect if that makes sense. You can tell the immense respect the two have for one another in stills, it's really something.

    This post is wonderful, each and everyone of these collaborations is inspiring. I hope to find that actor or actress to share my vision with, one who will endure my madness haha. I would have liked to see David Lynch and Laura Dern on here as well.

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    1. I think McQueen and Fass will be at it for a long, long while, and we'll all be better for it. I adore that pairing so much. The clouds aligned on that one.

      I feel you on Marty and Bob. The only collab of theirs I don't like (New York, New York) is still something I'm able to appreciate. That film is Busby Berkeley-meets-John Cassavetes and hey, I give 'em all the credit in the world for trying.

      Thanks for the kind words about the list, I really appreciate it. Lynch/Dern were here originally, but then I took out all of the three-film collabs. Still, a fantastic pairing.

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  4. That's so true about Jackson being born to say Tarantino's lines. No one says them better. Great list here! So many wonderful collabs.

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    1. Thanks! The man really does sling QT speak better than the rest. Every line is perfection.

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  5. I just wanna say that I like Jimmy Stewart as a good ol' boy but that last sentence is so true (and definitely made me laugh because of it).

    Maybe it's because I just finished up Kurosawa's filmography but the moment I saw the title for this list, his was the first name into my mind (even though it's not the one you have the pic for - they were the second lol). I mean just hell, you want a list of perfection just look at the films you have in Kurosawa and Bergman collabs. One could spend a lifetime learning from those films and still never truly what makes them as powerful as they are (not that I'm discounting the others listed but I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at). Your move McQueen/Fassbender - show us just how many masterpieces you can do in a row!

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    1. Haha, but it's true! I really do prefer Hitch Stewart to, say, Capra Stewart, but it's all good either way.

      I know exactly what you mean about those Kurosawa and Bergman films. I mean really, for me, movies don't get any better. You made it through Kurosawa's filmography, huh? Damn impressive man. I actually drafted a list of his work yesterday, with plans to crush them out for a director's post. Such a massive undertaking though. But a worthy one. Thankfully, most all of the ones I haven't seen are on Hulu+.

      Bring it on, McQueen and Fass!

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    2. Yeah it took several weeks of Netflix orders (and then finishing up on Hulu). The only one that took some skill finding was The Quiet Duel, which I actually found strangely haunting even if it isn't the pair's most accomplished work. I look forward your eventual post good sir!

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    3. Oh I haven't seen that one yet. It wasn't on Hulu? I'll have to track it down!

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  6. Aw, you made me sad that we won't see another Paul Thomas Anderson/Philip Seymour Hoffman collaboration. But I still like the rest of the list as well.

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    1. That really is a damn sad thing. But that collaboration will live forever. Pure gold, through and through.

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  7. Ahhh, finally! A best director/actor collaborations list that does not include Tim Burton/Johnny Depp. I am not really familiar with Herzog/Kinski, or their separate films respectively. What do you think would be the best film to start with?

    My favourite is Scorsese/De Niro though. What a list of films, just brilliant!

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    1. That's not to mean that I don't like the Burton/Depp pairing. I think their movies from the 1990s are great, but for me anyways, it all started going downhill from Sweeney Todd.

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    2. I know it goes against popular consensus to NOT include Burton/Depp here, but frankly, their last several collaborations simply don't work. Both of them have lost their touch, when working together and separately. So, honestly, their collab didn't even come close to making my list. (But, yes, this is said with the utmost respect to Edward Scissorhands, a great film; Ed Wood, one of the best inside-Hollywood films ever; and Sleepy Hollow, perfectly creepy. Their subsequent work does nothing for me.)

      Now, Herzog/Kinski is fantastic all the way through. I always think it's best to start at the beginning. Most people will tell you Aguirre is their best film together, and it's hard to argue otherwise. I like their Nosteratu better than he original, and Fitzcarraldo is one of the best films about obsession that I've ever seen. However, the little-seen Woyzeck is my favorite of theirs. A straight character study of a deeply flawed man. They shot it in a few days with a cast/crew of about 11 people. Fantastic effort. Cobra Verde is their most forgettable film. Kinski is great in it, but it's just an okay film.

      Hope that helps!

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    3. Ah that's cool. I think that the only Herzog film I've seen is Grizzly Man, which I LOVED so much, and from what I've heard from other Herzog/Kinski fans, Aguirre is their best, so I will probably start with that. I never knew that they detested each other though, but like you said, if Herzog thought he was the best, he must have been.

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    4. They HATED each other, and literally, no joke, tried to kill one another on the set of Fitzcarraldo. After you watch Fitzcarraldo, check out Les Blank's Burden of Dreams directly after. It's a full-length doc about the making of Fitzcarraldo. You won't believe the shit that Kinski pulled while they were filming. It's insane.

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    5. That reminds me, have you seen the documentary Herzog made called My Best Fiend? It's very interesting!

      Also, Scorsese's facial hair is just amazing.

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    6. I love that doc. Interestingly, most of the best stuff in it is actually from the Les Blank doc, Burden of Dreams. Herzog asked Blank's permission to use the footage in My Best Fiend. Still, both are really fine documentaries. And that hug they share in My Best Fiend... my god, it just kills me.

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  8. Ooooo fantastic list. So glad to see Woody-Mia there. Mia is definitely still my favourite Woody muse and it sucks that they hate each other so much now.
    Also love Godard-Karina, PTA-PSH, WKW-Leung, Tarantino-Jackson, Truffaut-Leaud, Linklater-Hawke. I didn't know Lemmom and Wilder did so many movies together!
    My favourite *of course* is Wes Anderson and Bill Murray.

    I know they haven't made as many movies together but I love Joe Wright and Keira Knightley as a director-muse pair. She acts the best in his movies and his movies are never prettier than when Knightley is on screen (well, except McAvoy in Atonement). Also Fincher and Pitt though they *really* need to do more movies together.
    Last but not the least, I would be lying to myself if I didn't mention Burton-Depp. Yes, it is annoying now but at one point, they were like magic to me.

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    1. Thanks Nik! Old Bill Murray was born to be in Wes Anderson's films. The man's plight fits so well within Anderson's world.

      I read an interview with Knightley when Anna Karenina came out, and she basically said that she and Wright aren't friends. As people, they have nothing in common and never hang out socially. They like each other well enough, but for them, it's all about the work. I thought that was an interesting dynamic, because I always assumed they were really close.

      I think we're going to see less and less of Pitt as an actor. He'll have his larger movies to pay the rent (maybe....), but I think he's killing it as a producer as of late. Still, I would love to see he and Fincher team up again.

      I discussed the Burton/Depp collab in an earlier comment, but basically, after their first three GREAT films together, they've really fallen off for me. Damn shame.

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  9. Really enjoyed this list, and so glad to see McQueen and Fassbender on there - such a brilliant pairing!

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    1. Thanks! Those two make gold, don't they? Really appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

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  10. Awesome article, you know a lot about great director-actor collaborations. I just saw the 1999 documentary My Best Fiend about Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, and that was interesting, Kinski, he sure is a brilliant, fascinating, but troubled actor.
    Your post certainly has wet my appetite to check out more of these films!

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    1. Thanks Chris, so glad you like the piece. Kinski... yeah, a very, very troubled man. A few years ago, his daughter said that he sexual assaulted her for like 10 years, which is repugnant. Kind of makes it hard to appreciate his screen talent.

      But either way, I hope the post leads you to some great flicks!

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  11. If I could identify another "on their way" I would note Michael Shannon and director Jeff Nichols. They've technically done three, I think, although Shannon just had a bit role in Mud. But Take Shelter ... wow.

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    1. Oh I love their work. Shotgun Stories is their best work in my opinion. That's such a raw and brutal little film. But Take Shelter is rather brilliant as well.

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  12. Great list Alex. A fine mention for PT Anderson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. They could have done so many more great films together. Such a loss!

    For me it's still Scorsese and DeNiro that are tops but another great mention for McQueen and Fassbender

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    1. Thanks Mark! PTA/PSH would've gone on for decades. A sad loss indeed. Man, I'm still hoping Marty and Bobby make another film together!

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  13. Great article Alex. It's great to see these relationships between actors and directors blossom because they clearly bring out the best of each other. Wilder and Lemmon is one I love but De Niro and Scorsese have definitely produced some great work with DiCaprio taking over from where De Niro left off. Interesting that some of Farrow and Allen's best work came out of a period of time where they hated each other!

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    1. Thanks Dan! You know, it's actually quite baffling to think that at the very beginning of the Woody/Mia drama, I mean literally when shit was just starting to hit the fan, they put their differences aside and finished filming Husbands and Wives, which is one of Woody's best films. I can't believe Mia agreed to stay on and do it.

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  14. I think we can all agree that Scorsese and DeNiro need to make another film. DeNiro's later career, despite some bright spots, has been pretty sad. And with the exception of The Departed, which I just love, ScorCaprio (a term which I am totally coining right now) isn't really doing much for me, although I've yet to see Aviator, but I hated Gangs of New York and Wolf of Wall Street.

    Woody Allen, I don't care what sort of crap he has in his personal life. He's as damn fine a filmmaker as there's ever been. He nails it with Farrow, and I would also like to give a shout-out to his work with Diane Keaton.

    Has Mifune even made anything without Kurosawa? Was it even worth watching?

    I've been curious about something for a while. Which "Shame" do you prefer: Bergman/Ullman/Von Sydow or McQueen/Fassbender? That'd be one hell of a double feature, I'm sure.

    It is waaaayyyyyyyyyy too hard for me to find early Herzog. I just can't find them anywhere. I really liked Bad Lieutenant, Rescue Dawn, and Grizzly Man, and I'm just dying to see Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. Oh, well. There's a blu-ray collection of those films coming out, so I'm just gonna start saving now.

    Anyway, great list, as always. And as a side note, I hope Wait is going well. Can't wait to see it!

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    1. Hey man, first off, I really appreciate your kind words of encouragement about Wait. They mean more than you know. So thanks for that.

      As for the post: interesting that you don't dig the ScorCaprio (nice one) collab, but hey, we like what we like.

      I too love many of Woody Allen's films. He and Farrow made gold together, and Keaton has never been better than through his lens.

      Hell in the Pacific. A great film starring only Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune as soldiers from opposing sides of the war who get stranded on an island together. Hardly any dialogue, all emotional expression. Brilliant. That is the only good non-Kurosawa film featuring Mifune that I've seen.

      The Shame trophy goes to McQueen. I love Bergman's film, but McQueen's has influenced me so deeply. Ah, it's just as good as movies get.

      That's a bummer that it's so hard for you to find early Herzog. Where do you live? It's been pretty easy here in the States. But that new box set is killer. So many classics in there.

      Thanks again for the comment!

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    2. I live in Fremont in the Bay Area! Oh, well. I'll just save up for that box set. I'll also have to check out Hell in the Pacific (Marvin and Mifune, damn, that has to be good. And apparently it was directed by John Boorman, who I feel gets overlooked despite putting out some pretty good work). And feel free to use the word "ScorCaprio" anytime you want. "ScorNiro", too, when appropriate. You've earned it, man.

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    3. If you don't mind me butting in, check out films like Samurai Rebellion and Sword of Doom. Both are great Mifune pics done by two underrated Japanese directors.

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    4. Nickolas: ha thanks man, I will use ScorCaprio like mad. Hell in the Pacific is my second favorite Boorman film, after Deliverance. I really do like it.

      Mask: thanks for the reccos. Glad to hear Mifune had other great roles outside of Kurosawa. Even though he was often quoted as saying he was only good when he was in Kurosawa's films. Weird.

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    5. @maskofgojira: I looked up Toshiro Mifune shortly after leaving that comment, and was surprised to see that he made a few films that have actually been on my watch list for a while, like Samurai Rebellion, the Samurai Trilogy, and John Frankenheimer's Grand Prix. I haven't heard of Sword of Doom, but I'll check that out, thanks!

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    6. I agree, thanks for all the recos mask!

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  15. I'd have Kurosawa and Mifune at #1. I was a little surprised that the commonly listed #1 (Scorcese/Deniro) wasn't at the top of this list. I remember you mentioning your love for Bergman in the past, so it's not THAT surprising, I suppose. I would have maybe tossed out a few other suggestions for the 15, but you pretty much covered them in your addendum list.

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    1. Good stuff. Can't argue the Kurosawa/Mifune collab. Those two made gold together. Have a favorite film of theirs?

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    2. Seven Samurai. I consider it the best non-English language film ever made. Throne of Blood is another five star film for me and easily the best Macbeth adaptation I have ever seen.

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    3. Oh wow, high praise. Had no idea you were such a fan. Good stuff man.

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  16. I'm so glad you mentioned Steve McQueen's terrific collaboration with Michael Fassbender. I'm sure we have to see a lot more from the two of them in the near future. According to my personal estimation, their collaborations until now have produced some of the greatest film work in the last decade. "Hunger", "Shame" and "12 years a slave" were undeniably all of them modern classics and have revealed a creative trust between them that seems so rare in this day and age. The Martin Scorsese / Robet De Niro collaboration would top my list without any doubt. Every time those two have worked together the result was just mind-blowing. I also have to mention that the Scorsese/DiCaprio pairing is simply astonishing. Especially their last collaboration in "The wolf of Wall Street" was a marvel to watch, an act of almost inceceivable artistic bravery.The François Truffaut/Jean-Pierre Léaud pairing is my second favorite collaboration of all time and, personally, I wouldn't leave the Coen Brothers/Frances McDormand for any reason. Anyway, it's another fantastic list, man. You rock.

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    1. Thanks buddy! I fully agree about McQueen - those three films are some of the best I've ever seen. Those two are going to continue achieving greatness for many, many years to come. I love the Coen Brothers/McDormand collab as well, it always produces damn fine results. And I so appreciate the spark that DiCpario has lit in Scorsese. The Wolf of Wall Street is such a dangerous and, yes, brave film, one that could very well end up being my favorite collaboration between the two of them.

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  17. Great list - lots of stuff on there I really need to see! (Especially Herzog/Kinski, a partnership I've yet to experience)

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    1. Thanks man! I LOVE the Herzog/Kinski films. They're all so unique and great. Hope you dig them!

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  18. Pretty comprehensive and accurate list, and just more evidence that your lists always remind me that I'm woefully behind on Bergman's oeuvre.

    A couple I might argue for are Errol Flynn & Michael Curtiz, even though Curtiz was really just kind of a hired hand as opposed to an auteur. Still, those two together made some really, really good stuff and a couple PERFECT films, in my opinion. And while it's impossible to argue Q.T. & Jackson, well, I confess that I actually have found more value in Q.T. & Uma. She's his muse. I wish they'd do more together, though I suppose she needs to build stamina to work with him. And I know you included Spike & Denzel in your 15 others, but I wish they'd do more together too.

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    1. I need to see more from Flynn/Curtiz, do you have any must see recommendations from them? As for QT/Uma, ah, I love 'em. Only didn't include them here because they've only made 3 films together. And Spike/Denzel, you would really think they'd make more films together. Very strange to me that they haven't. Malcolm X is arguably the best work of their respective careers, and He Got Game is a film that will always hold a special place in my heart. I love their collab.

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  19. Great list, man... I knew you would throw some ode to Fassbender in there! ha

    I didn't realize that Mia Farrow was in 13 Woody Allen films. That's just crazy!

    The only one that I would just have to include is John Goodman and the Coen Brothers, although his roles are usually small. Also, I'm surprised there was no love for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, even though I'm not a big fan of Burton.

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    1. Thanks Tanner! I LOVE Coen Bros/Goodman. Goodman is so damn perfect in their world, from major supporting roles to one scene cameos, the dude always kills.

      I honestly didn't even consider Burton/Depp because while I do think they made two great films and one very good film together, I am not a fan of their subsequent work at all. It's nice that they have a partnership with one another, but, for me, it hasn't produced good results in many years.

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  20. This list is perfect. And it has reminded me of some films I haven't watched (from Wong Kar-Wai, Kurosawa and Huston, I've watched some of them and loved them, but not all their filmography) and others that I love and should rewatch.

    My faves have to be Bergman with both Ullman and Sydow. I remember watching The Seventh Seal and The Magician when I was pretty young and both really impressed me. Specially The Magician, I was so fascinated by Sydow's charismatic persona and his expressions. And when Ullman and him are together on a Bergman film is perfection. Scorsese and De Niro are ones of my all time faves too, they've done impressive things together. Same with Cassavettes + Rowlands, and Godard-Karina. Vivre sa Vie and A woman is a woman are my two favorite films from him, I absolutely adore Karina as Nana and Angela. And I agree with what you've said about Rowlands on A woman under... and Farrow on Purple rose of Cairo. Also Another Woman has to be my favorite Woody Allen film, which has another amazing performance from Rowlands. Another fave duo, Fellini + Marcello. I also love Fellini's work with his wife Giulietta Masina. La Strada, Cabiria, and Giulietta of the spirits are three of my favorite films, along with La Dolce Vita which is one of my top favorites. And Antonioni and Vitti are another couple that did unique things together.

    I also love Herzog and Kinski, Samuel L. Jackson and Tarantino, and P.T. Anderson and Seymour Hoffman. And nice that you’ve given a special mention to McQueen + Fassbender, you know I love these two and I can’t wait for more of them together. Truffaut + Léaud are two others that I also like a lot.

    And I would have added Chabrol + Isabelle Huppert. They've done terrific things together.

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    1. I'm starting to think we may be the same person. Seriously, we like ALL of the same art - film, photography - it's incredible.

      I love that you're a fan of Bergman's work. I was pretty late to The Magician, by the time I saw it, I had seen most of Bergman's popular films, but I really enjoyed that film. Sydow is such a force there.

      Those are my two favorite Godard films as well. Vivre sa Vie in particular is just remarkable. Kills me. And seriously, the fact that Another Woman is your favorite Woody Allen film is just perfect. We may be two of, I dunno, 15 people who have actually seen that film, but I absolutely adore it.

      I'm going to have to seek out some Chabrol/Huppert films, because at this point, if you like them, then I'm almost positive I would like them too!

      Thanks so much for the comment!

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    2. "I'm starting to think we may be the same person" haha I feel the same. It's actually great to read someone's views on things that I also love, 'cause most of the time it's just me who appreciates them. Like what you've said about Another Woman, I have some friends that like Woody Allen bust just his recent films mostly 'cause they don't know about the old ones. My mother recommended me that film - like most of the films I've seen - and I loved it. The flashbacks and the Gena Rowland's character relation with the one played by Gene Hackman were amazing. And absolutely agree about Vivre sa Vie. Karina's performance is heartbreaking.

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    3. I love that your mom recommends such great films to you. That's incredible.

      That final flashback with Rowlands and Hackman never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I absolutely adore it. In the tunnel, holding each other. It's perfect.

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  21. Another very nice list. Kind of surprised you didn't have Anderson and Murray. Personally, I would've had to include Spike & Denzel and Almodovar & Cruz and given strong consideration to Scorcese & DiCaprio. That said, I can't really fault the choices you made.

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    1. Thanks man. Those are all damn fine picks. Really, there are so many flawless collabs to choose from. Cruz really is the face of Almodovar's best work. Love it.

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  22. Love this list. I didn't realize Wilder and Lemmon made so many films together. I've only seen their first two, both of which are undisputed classics. Curious to see their other collaborations.

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    1. Thanks Eric! Irma la Douce and The Fortune Cookie are both pretty solid, but the final three aren't quite as good. Still, it was always great to see them work together.

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  23. Fantastic list man! I might bump Allen/Farrow into the top 5 over Herzog/Kinski, but I've only seen Aguirre and Nosferatu. Can't argue with Bergman/Ullmann at #1, though. That's an iconic pairing. Love that you gave McQueen/Fassbender a special mention as well.

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    1. Thanks man! So pleased you like the top pick. Those two made pure gold together, didn't they? I just HAD to make some room for McQueen and Fass. Those two have been killing it together.

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  24. Loved to see Lean/Guinness combo up there in consideration, if for nothing else than their work in Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. I remember calling the duo the second best British film collaboration of all-time in a list of my own. Loved Stewart/Hitch, no one ever could play the Hitchcock everyman better, Vertigo being the crown jewel in their collaborations. It's a shame that because of the failed at the B.O the two separated forever, what the two could've done together, such a missed opportunity. De Niro/Scorsese will always be tops in my book, just the sheer range and heights the two of them were able to reach because of each other is inspiring. It all goes to show the major collaborative effort of filmmaking and the professional relationships that can spawn from that.

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    1. That's an interesting point about Vertigo. It is a damn shame that the film failed financially, because those two could've continued to make gold together. It's also kind of crazy to think that, at one time, Vertigo was a failure. So bizarre.

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