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A Beautiful Friendship: lending dignity to the "buddy" movie.


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When someone hears the term "buddy movie" generally ideas ranging from Bing and Bob to Bill and Ted immediately come to mind.

However, I have been doing some thinking recently about those dramatic films which exhibit a noble friendship such as that of David and Jonathan or Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

The four that readily spring to mind are:

Hell's Angels -1930

Dawn Patrol -1938

Gunga Din -1939

The Man Who Would Be King -1975

 

What others can you think of?

 

BTW- isn't it interesting how female friendships have been immortalized by such movies as The Women and Stage Door ?

 

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BallofFire

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Buddy pictures are fairly common; you could count dozens of Westerns and war movies among them. I too think it's interesting what's been done with it otherwise. For instance, some uncommon ways in which this theme has been employed include: gangster films like The Roaring Twenties (1939); musicals like Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), and It's Always Fair Weather (1955); of course, the recent TCM showing of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (and you'd have to toss in The Sting (1973) too); and more recently in movies like Back to the Future (1985), Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987), Midnight Run (1988), Rain Man (1988), Driving Miss Daily (1989), and even Thelma & Louise (1991).

 

Is that what you were looking for, or did I misunderstand?

 

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path40a

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That's basically what I'm looking for. I am hoping to lean more heavily toward the dramatic; noble friendships like is seen in A Tale of Two Cities. I know there are dozens of such films and thought it would be an interesting topic to explore.

On this forum, much attention is given to romantic pairings but little to friendships.

 

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BallofFire

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SusannO of course has to bring up Dana Andrews. I think the relationship that develops in "Best Years of Our Lives" is wonderful because we see 3 strangers become such good friends. They share the common bond of war, small hometown and a love for their country and family. We see complex issues too.

 

And although lovers, the bond between Hepburn and Tracy is ever persons dream of a friend and/or companion who truly understands you. You knew they were friends which makes for great lovers.

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A sort of weird one is the 1937 TOAST OF NEW YORK. The movie's based on the actual 19th century swindlers, Jim Fisk (Edward Arnold), Nick Boyd (Cary Grant) and Luke [?] (Jack Oakie). As they did in real life, these three buddies teamed up to swindle Cornelius Vanderbilt (Donald Meek). The movie turns out much better for these wild and crazy guys than real life.

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> However, I have been doing some thinking recently

> about those dramatic films which exhibit a noble

> friendship such as that of David and Johnathin or

> Galilgamesh and Inkido (sp?).

>

 

I think you mean David and Jonathan, and Gilgamesh and Enkidu. And rounding out the analogy, what greater and more devoted buddies than Laurel & Hardy?

 

Finding female buddies is harder, because women were treated differently by society and by the movies. My impression is that generally women in film look upon each other as rivals for that oh-so-necessary husband that each one had to acquire by the end of the picture. However, in situations like war movies, or in other extreme situations, women could put aside the cattiness Hollywood endowed them with and act selflessly to help each other.

 

There were exceptions, of course. The first that comes to mind is Mildred and Ida in "Mildred Pierce."

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Or Any (except "I Walk Alone") Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster film together. They made 7 or 8 films together. There last film "Tough Guys('86)" They made fun of each other: Burt making fun of Kurt's chin and Kirk making fun of Burt's Teeth... Great Pairing....

 

vallo

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BallofFire,

 

This is a really good topic. One "beautiful friendship" movie featuring women (based on fact) explores the relationship between Lillian Hellman and her friend--Julia. "Julia" (1977) is the movie and "Julia", the movie, is a must see.

 

BTW: I have a question. If any movie has the following scene:

 

When two people have just had a heart-to-heart conversation, as person A starts to leave room, person B says (tentatively) "Bob?" A pauses, turns, and says "Yes?" B says, "Thanks."

 

Does that exclude the movie from your "noble friendship" list?

 

Rusty

 

Thanks to Roger Ebert for the "heart-to-heart" movie clich?.

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson? A rarified form, but buddies nonetheless

 

I think the kind of film that we think of as a "buddy film" these days didn't really come into existence until the demise of the studios. The star system was too entrenched to allow any one lead actor to be overshadowed, or even equalled, by another. For example, John Wayne had many sidekicks, but I don't think of very many of his films as "buddy movies." That genre would be more evident in B pictures like those of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers; the Cisco Kid with his pal Pancho, the Lone Ranger and his loyal Tonto. Even there, there is definitely a hero, and a supporter. There were, of course, exceptions - pairings of two major male stars, with one usually dying nobly in some way or other.

 

When you think of films like "Butch & Sundance" or "The Man Who Would Be King," it's evident that both of the buddies are given equal status.

 

The movie in which I first became aware of the "buddy" aspect was, I think, "Davy Crockett." Many Disney films of the 50s were of the buddy type, even if one or more of the principals wasn't human. I guess you could call the various "Lassie" movies buddy movies too. Two pals having adventures together, testing their friendship, and ending up more devoted than ever.

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"Or Any (except "I Walk Alone") Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster film together. They made 7 or 8 films together. There last film "Tough Guys('86)" They made fun of each other: Burt making fun of Kurt's chin and Kirk making fun of Burt's Teeth... Great Pairing...."

 

They made a great pair on stage too. I once saw them in a play where they portrayed Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn as older men. Thanks for reminding me of that night!

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Gilgamesh and Enkidu

 

As an amateur Sumerophile (if there is such a word), I'd say that's a tough act to follow. I think that calls for actors who were best friends on screen and off. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis come first to mind, and then Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Dean was always Gilgamesh to Jerry's Enkidu. Dean's and Frank's relationship was more as equals on and off screen, and they were as supportive of each other as Gilgamesh and Enkidu were. Enkidu was the more animal-like of the two, and I guess that sums up both Jerry and Frank, though in different ways.

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  • 1 month later...

John Wayne and Dean Martin in Rio Bravo

 

Beau Geste - I really want to see the silent version one day

 

Gene Hackman and Al Pacino in Scarecrow

 

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise

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