Top Director-Actor Teams? Discuss!

by HELEN GEIB

This post at Anomalous Material on director-actor partnerships got me thinking about great filmmaking teams. Like John Woo and Chow Yun-fat (pictured above in Woo’s delirious, no holds barred Hong Kong actioner Hard Boiled). The only ground rule for this game: they must have made at least three movies together.

What’s your list of cinema’s greatest director and actor teams?

21 responses to “Top Director-Actor Teams? Discuss!

  1. Richard Winters

    Here are some that come off the top of my head:
    1.) John Wayne and John Ford
    2.) Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers
    3.) Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart
    4.) Woody Allen and Diane Keaton
    5.) Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell
    More to come when I can think of them.

  2. Richard Winters

    Of course, how could I have forgotten this one:
    1.) Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski
    The two made some fantastic movies together, but literally tried to kill each other in the process. The documentary about their relationship ‘My Best Friends” is almost unbelievable.

  3. Richard Winters

    How could I forget the classic teams from Italian cinema:
    1.) Fredrico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni
    2.) Lina Wertmuller and Giancarlo Giannini
    3.) Vittorio De Sica and Sophia Loren
    There is also:
    1.) Frank Capra and James Stewart
    2.) Elia Kazan and Marlon Brando
    3.) David Lean and Alec Guinness
    4.) Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss
    5.) Michael Winner and Charles Bronson
    6.) Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
    and of course the greatest team of all:
    7.) Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds (okay I’m joking with that one)

  4. Kurosawa and Mifune
    Scorsese and De Niro
    Brooks and Wilder

  5. Nice going everybody, now I have nothing to post! lol
    Ooh! Scorsese and DiCaprio! Ha!

  6. Melville and Alain Delon
    DeMille and Gloria Swanson

  7. Richard Winters

    Okay guys, here is what I’d like to think is the definitive list of all famous actors and directors who worked together in at least 3 movies. I am not including any names already mentioned in any of the previous posts. If you can come up with any others you are free to add to it. Here goes:
    1.) James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger
    2.) Carl Reiner and Steve Martin
    3.) John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands
    4.) Jon Roach and Mike Myers
    5.) Joseph Losey and Dirk Bogarde
    6.) Quinten Tarantino and Uma Thurman
    7.) Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson
    8.) Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks
    9.) Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov
    10.) Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
    11.) Joel Coen and George Clooney
    12.) George Stevens and Elizabeth Taylor
    13.) David Zucker and Leslie Nielson
    14.)Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson
    15.) Stanley Kramer and Spencer Tracy
    16.) Mark Rydell and James Caan
    17.) Arthur Penn and Gene Hackman
    18.) Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood
    19.) John Huston and Humphrey Bogart

  8. Richard Winters

    Continued:
    20.) John Frankenheimer and Burt Lancaster
    21.) Sidney Lumet and Sean Connery
    22.) Ken Russell and Glenda Jackson
    23.) Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs
    24.) Howard Hawks and Cary Grant
    25.) Henry Hathaway and John Wayne
    26.) Igmar Bergman and Max Von Sydow
    27.) Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford
    28.) John schleisinger and Julie Christie
    29.) John Carpenter and Kurt Russell
    30.) Robert Altman and Elliott Gould
    31.) Harold Ramis and Bill Murray

  9. Richard Winters

    And there is still more:
    32.) Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon
    33.) George Roy Hill and Paul Newman
    34.) Alan J. Pakula and Jane Fonda

  10. Richard Winters

    One last one:
    35.) The legendary pairing of John R. Cherry III and Jim Varney, who did all the ERNEST movies together. Can’t forget them!!

  11. Richard Winters

    Ooops, I forgot two:
    36.) Peter Bogdanovich and Cybil Shepard
    37.) Martin Ritt and Paul Newman

  12. Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten.

    Bam!

  13. Richard, lots of good combinations there but I think the challenge was to name “great” collaborations, significant creative partnerships. I’ll challenge you to choose the ‘great’ five from your list.

    • Richard Winters

      Yes, Miriam, I realize that the idea was to pick just 5, but when I started to think of all of them I thought it would be fun just to create a complete list. I thought of Welles and Cotten this morning when I woke up and was going to add it, but Nir beat me to it. Helen came up with some really good silent ones that had slipped my mind. I guess if you want my top 5 they would be: (Drum Roll Please)
      1.) Fellini and Mastroainni
      2.) Siegel and Eastwood
      3.) Cassavetes and Rowland
      4.) Rafelson and Nicholson
      5.) Ramis and Murray

  14. Wong Kar-wai and…
    -Leslie Cheung
    -Tony Leung Chiu-wai
    -Maggie Cheung

    (I couldn’t pick just one from that group)

    @Richard: I’ve unleashed a monster

    @Miriam: DeMille and Swanson- I like it! More silent partnerships: Griffith and Gish, Browning and Chaney

    @Nir: good one :D

  15. Richard Winters

    I’ve just thought of another one and these guys have made some excellent black comedies, possibly some of the best ever I might even place them in my top 5:
    38.) Bertrand Blier and Gerard Depardieu

  16. Nir and Miriam, and anyone else who’d care to jump in: do you have a top five? Or top three or whatever number.

    I’m going to ponder mine while I wait on a reply. :=)

    • Richard Winters

      So, Helen, what’s your top Five? It’s been four days since you’ve lasted posted here and the world is waiting on the edge of their seats for your answer.

      • Like Nir this is the first time I’ve dived into director/actor teams listmaking, but I have at last come up with a top five:

        1 (tie) Kurosawa/Mifune and Ford/Wayne
        3 Griffith/Gish
        4 Woo/Chow
        5 Carpenter/Russell

        The world can take a deep breath. ;-)

  17. I don’t really have a top five because I never even thought of director/actor partnerhsips so thoroughly; I prefer to see, at least one single great partnership. But to add to the list:

    Shinya Tsukamoto and… Shinya Tsukamoto! He was an actor and a director and he starred in a few of his own films, like Tetsuo: the Iron Man and Tokyo Fist. There’s Takashi Miike and Riki Takeuchi. Takeuchi played in 7 Miike films and always played the tough-as-nails cool guy, regardless of whether her played a good guy or a bad guy.

    There are also Michelangelo Antonioni and Monica Vitti, Jean-Pierre Melville and Lino Ventura, Jean-Pierre Meville and Jean-Paul Belmondo, and finally there’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Dominique Pinon, who never stars in Jeunet’s films but plays in many of them as important characters. Hope it counts. :O)

    On the same director/actor approach there are Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Jacques Tati, and Orson Welles, again. :OD

    Last but not least, one that we all somehow forgot: Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood.

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