Top Actor/Director Partnerships…

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Top Actor/Director Partnerships…

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It is common across the film industry to see actors and directors cement firm partnerships over the years starring and creating films together. The film Promised Land reunites the awardwinning creative team behind Good Will Huntingwith Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon coming together again to create this thought provoking drama. In celebration of this partnership, we’re looking at some of the most successful actor/director relationships, across the history of film.

Quentin Tarantino/Uma Thurman

Tarantino is one of the most celebrated directors of the modern era, having directed some of the most successful and critically acclaimed films of the past two decades. Tarantino is famous for having retained relationships with a range of actors across his career that have starred in numerous films from his portfolio. These include Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, however the most famous of these partnerships is Uma Thurman, who has starred in Pulp Fiction and as the lead character ‘The Bride’, in the Kill Bill series.

Woody Allen/Scarlett Johansson

It’s difficult to pick a collaborator from Woody Allen’s vast portfolio of films. He’s worked with a range of actresses, including Diane Keaton, Julie Kavner and Mia Farrow. However, the collaboration that stands out is that with Scarlett Johansson. They first teamed up in Match Point which was then followed by a turn in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and finally her starring role in Scoop.

Martin Scorsese/Robert DeNiro

This is perhaps one of the most acclaimed partnerships in recent times, Martin Scorsese has made eight films in total with Robert DeNiro, making their partnership one of the most enduring and famous in the history of film. Among the best of their collaborations are GoodfellasRaging Bull, and of course Taxi Driver.

Sofia Coppola/Kirsten Dunst

A less well-known collaboration but Coppola and Dunst have worked together on numerous occasions, the first being The Virgin Suicides, which told the story of a group of sisters who make a suicide pact.  However, their highest-grossing film together was Marie Antoinette which retold the historical icon’s story in a new light. Most recently Dunst made a cameo in Coppola’s The Bling Ring last year.

Alfred Hitchcock/Grace Kelly

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Known for his casting blondes in his films, Hitchcock chose to cast Grace Kelly for the lead role in Dial M For Murder after meeting her just once. The film portrayed Kelly as an unfaithful wife married to a professional tennis player, who was plotting her murder. Hitchcock then went on to cast Kelly in two more of his films, Rear Window and To Catch A Thief, both of which were a success.

Richard Curtis/Bill Nighy

This is a more recent combination with Nighy teaming up with Curtis in all three of Curtis’ directorial turns including a role as ageing rocker Billy Mack in Love Actually, head of Radio Rock in The Boat that Rocked and most recently as time-travelling dad in About Time.

Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks

In total Spielberg and Hanks have made three films together. The first being Saving Private Ryan where Hanks played a war hero, the second Catch Me If You Can featured him in a role of the detective and the last as a stranded traveller in The Terminal.

Tim Burton/Johnny Depp

This is perhaps one of the most well-known partnerships due to the very recognisable style that the pair bring to their films. In total they have made eight films together, with Burton’s partner, Helena Bonham-Carter, also making multiple appearances. The films span an extraordinary variation of genres and audiences, which include thrillers including Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd, musicals Sweeney Todd and Corpse Bride and children’s filmsAlice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Edward Scissorhands.

The Coen Brothers/George Clooney

George Clooney has worked with the Coen brothers on three films, Burn After Reading, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, and Intolerable Cruelty all of which Clooney has referred to lovingly as his ‘Idiot Trilogy’ due to the fact that Clooney’s characters in the films are all rather stupid.

Joe Wright/Keira Knightley

These two have collaborated across three films which have explored different societies and times with great attention. Knightly first appeared in Pride & Prejudice, followed by Atonement and then finally Anna Karenina.

Promised Land on Blu-ray™ and DVD – all with UltraViolet™ – and digital download from 13th January 2014.


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Alton started BRWC as a bit of fun, and has grown into what you see today, and he can only apologise. Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.