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Frenemies and Enemigos


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A happy confluence of movies in the schedule has prompted this rumination.  Frenemies of course are nominal friends who do not hesitate to use, manipulate, betray, backstab, or otherwise take advantage of their acquaintance.  And of course the best examples of frenemies in movies are Hope and Crosby in the road movies.  And of course the best of the road movies is on now, Road to Morocco (1942).  Another of my favorite movies with frenemies is called Three Broadway Girls (or The Greeks Had a Word For Them, 1932), with Joan Blondell, Madge Evans, Ina Claire, and Lowell Sherman.  One of the best of the pre-codes, I don't think TCM has ever shown it, but it's readily available for viewing around the internet.  The movie centers on three former Ziegfeld girls gold-digging their way around New York and Paris.


Enemigos are antagonists (even mortal), who, due to circumstances are forced for a time to work together.  Depending on the stories, there sometimes is a final confrontation.  Other times, the object (whatever that is) obtained, the opponents part, one or the other perhaps having the advantage.  Or they gain a certain respect for one another and end up friends.  This seems to happen disproportionately in Westerns.  I'm sure a number could be picked out from the ones aired over the past month or two.  For all the Westerns we've seen, I don't think there was even one of the Bud Boetticher/Randolph Scott movies.  I mention this because their plots often involve enemigos.  They're all first rate, but my favorite is Seven Men From Now (1956), co-starring Lee Marvin, as about the slimiest villain ever to insinuate across the West.  And Gail Russell.

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