Memorable Movie Friendships

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm

The third week of August is Friendship Week, so I’ve decided to celebrate by putting together this list of memorable movie friendships. Some are healthy…others are not. In either case, the relationship between the two characters has stood the test of time and promises to thrill moviegoers for decades to come. There are many more to choose from, of course, and you’re encouraged to list your favorites in our comments section.

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Oskar and Eli from Let the Right One In (2008) – While their relationship begins as a simple friendship, it’s not long before the lonely Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) begins making puppy eyes at Eli (Lina Leandersson). Problem is, Eli is an ageless vampire who only looks like a young girl. In fact, she may not even be a girl at all (something the film is somewhat vague on). As their relationship deepens, and their mutual affection grows, the body count begins to rise. Certainly the most disturbing memorable movie friendship on this list.

Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer from Thelma & Louise (1991) – Thelma (Geena Davis) is a submissive housewife, while best pal Louise is an independent waitress who hides a dark secret in her past. Together, they set out on the road for a fishing trip, but tragedy strikes and a man ends up dead. Now on the run, the two women bond in the way that only movie criminals can, and Thelma blossoms into an independent outlaw who’s not afraid to pick up handsome strangers (Brad Pitt) and have casual sex with them. If you’re looking for a cinematic friendship that’s all about the empowerment of women, then you’ve come to the right place.

Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday from Tombstone (1993) – At one point in the film, the tubercular Holliday (Val Kilmer) tells his pal with the large moustache (Kurt Russell), “I know it’s not easy being my friend.” He’s right, of course, as Holliday is a drunken, dying criminal with a devilish girlfriend and a nasty habit of gunning people down. But despite their differences, the two men are always there for one another, especially when the deadly Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn) comes looking for Earp’s blood. It’s the kind of macho friendship that men can cheer for without feeling like a sissy.

Nicole Horner and Christina Delassalle from Les Diaboliques (1955) – Christina (Vera Clouzot) owns a boarding school, where she also serves as a teacher. Nicole (Simone Signoret) is also a teacher, but she also happens to be sleeping with Christina’s ill-tempered husband, Michel (Paul Meurisse). Both women hate Michel for his abusive tendencies, and they eventually form a plan to be rid of him once and for all. But when his supposedly lifeless body disappears, their friendship will be put to the ultimate test. Can you ever really trust someone who’s having sex with your spouse? Watch this film and learn the answer.

George Milton and Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men (1992) – Set in the days of the Great Depression, this particular friendship centers on two migrant workers–compassionate George Milton (Gary Sinise) and his slow-witted pal, Lennie Small (John Malkovich). As they work towards their dream of a place of their own, the harsh world conspires to grind them down and destroy everything. A heartbreaking cinematic friendship that’s doomed from the very beginning, but you’ll still be rooting for right until the end.

Easy Rawlins and Mouse Alexander from Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) – Have you ever had a friend that’s a little crazy? Well, multiply that by a thousand and you’ve got the kill-you-at-the-drop-of-a-hat Mouse Alexander (Don Cheadle). Even though he helps buddy Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) solve a case involving interracial romance and murder, Easy still feels remorse about hanging out with such an unapologetic sociopath. It’s a complicated friendship that gives these two veteran actors plenty of opportunities to shine.

Ze Pequeno and Bene from City of God (2002) – In many ways, this relationship is similar to that of Easy Rawlins and Mouse Alexander. Ze Pequeno (Leandro Firmino da Hora) is a psychopathic drug dealer who has trouble interacting with women, while best buddy Bene (Phellipe Haagensen) is a criminal philanthropist who wants to retire from the drug trade and go straight. But rarely do characters in gritty crime films get what they want, and an unfortunate tragedy unleashes Ze onto an unsuspecting city.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – A pair of good-natured Old West robbers, Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) bicker like an old couple, compete for the same woman, and wind up traveling to Bolivia to escape a posse. Even when wounded and surrounded by a hundred armed soldiers, the duo trade barbs and dream of journeying to Australia. Newman and Redford are at the pinnacle of their masculine charms, a fact that certainly didn’t hurt this on-screen friendship.

John McClane and Al Powell from Die Hard (1988) – While they don’t meet face-to-face until the end of the film, these two cops bond over a walkie-talkie and stories of accidental shootings and outdated Twinkies. Total opposites, McClane (Bruce Willis) is a scrappy man of action while Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) is a desk jockey who needs to start counting calories. But the latter provides valuable moral support as the self-dubbed “Roy Rogers” makes his way through Nakatomi Plaza and dispatches a whole host of well-armed thieves.

The Man with No Name and Colonel Douglas Mortimer from For a Few Dollars More (1965) – A pair of bounty hunters after the same target, the first meeting between The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) and Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef) results in a hat-shootin’ showdown in the middle of the street. After finding a mutual respect for one another, they agree to team up in order to take down the loathsome Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) and his gang (including Klaus Kinski in a supporting role). Both men are the epitome of Old West cool in this Sergio Leone classic, and you can also catch them together in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (although they’re anything but friends in that one).

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 at 6:17 pm and is filed under Good Movies, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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