What 2 films have you always wanted to see together?
December 21, 2004 4:40 AM   Subscribe

Film Double Bill Suggestions. I'm putting together a season of double bills of great films. The double bills could be linked by actor, director, cinematographer, editor or genre, or they could be linked thematically - 2 films about childhood/set on a runaway train/sharing a common influence and so on. Anything goes, although both films must appeal to a broad audience, and should be generally recognisable as 'classics' of their type. What 2 films have you always wanted to see together?
posted by gravelshoes to Media & Arts (57 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I would suggest a combination of A Matter of Life and Death (US: Stairway to Heaven)(1946) and Wings of Desire (DE: Der Himmel uber Berlin)(1987).

Both concern heavenly interaction with humanity as a jumping off point for meditation on the human condition and both employ innovative use of colour/black and white as fundamental to their points. And they're both cracking films. You could perhaps also make the point that the story in the first stems from the events of the second world war (though in reality concerns itself with the relationship between the UK and the US) while the second is set in the divided Berlin, using the city itself as a fundamental aspect of the cinematography. The division of the city can be seen as a product of the same war.
posted by biffa at 4:53 AM on December 21, 2004

I saw Immortal Beloved in the theatre with a bunch of friends, we came out in a stunned silence of appreciation. One of us noticed that Pulp Fiction was on, and starting in a few minutes. It would have been a great, but I was overruled.

Of course they are both so old now, at least for me, that it wouldn't be so impressive, but at the time it would have been the greatest double bill ever!
posted by Chuckles at 4:55 AM on December 21, 2004

Oof, I don't know if Wes Anderson is an American classic yet (his two best films made the Criterion collection! [but so did the ROCK]) but for contemporary American humor in a classic French style, I'd suggest Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. Such wonderful films.
posted by themadjuggler at 5:10 AM on December 21, 2004

You can't go wrong with Steve Martin films: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are some of his best. They just don't make movies like that anymore.

How about two films from an era of special effects gone-by? Gremlins and Ghostbusters both had many of their effects done optically prior to the age of computer special effects becoming cheap and mainstream.

Or just give in and show the entire Back to the Future trilogy. You know you want to.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:18 AM on December 21, 2004

I've always wanted to see a double-feature of Over the Edge and River's Edge. They're completely separate films, but linked in innumerable small ways, both thematically and in terms of the production.

A true great-film freak-out double feature would be Psycho followed by Touch of Evil. The two are inexorably linked to me, and not just because they both star Janet Leigh.
posted by eschatfische at 5:24 AM on December 21, 2004

Brother John (1971) / In The Heat of the Night (1967) -- Sidney Poitier at his fierce best in both. Most have seen the second film, and almost nobody has seen the first.
Rock & Rule (1983) / Wizards (1977) -- Mid-to-late disco-era adult-directed animation, showing a contrast between one of the films that "started" the genre and one that mostly ended it.
Legend (1985) / The Dark Crystal (1982) -- Gorgeous mid-80s fantasy films with a strong Hensonian influence. Both were far darker than anyone expected, having a long-lasting influence on those of us who watched them as kids.
Say Anything ... (1985) / High Fidelity (2000) -- Lloyd Dobler grew up, sold his trenchcoat and radio, changed his name to Rob Gordon and opened a record store. You know I'm right.
The Graduate (1967) / Harold and Maude (1971) / Garden State (2004) -- Benjamin, Harold and Large are all lost in life and looking. As a bonus, all three have some of the best soundtracks in film.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958) / Vertigo (1958) - Both starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. Both filmed the same year. Two films that couldn't be more different.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:30 AM on December 21, 2004

This is not particularly helpful, but the question irresistibly reminds me of a rollercoaster of a double feature shown some 20-odd years ago at the late, lamented Circle Theatre in Washington DC: Woody Allen's Bananas, and (I'm not making this up) Peckinpah's Straw Dogs.
posted by mojohand at 5:57 AM on December 21, 2004

Sorry. Thought of a couple more ...

Trainspotting (1996) / Small Faces (1996) -- Scotland the Brave (and Violent and Heavilly Medicated and more than a little Nihilistic).
Evil Dead (1981) / The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) -- The double-feature playing at the Aero Theatre in Donnie Darko.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:06 AM on December 21, 2004

Taxi Driver with Dirty Harry seems like a natural. How about Monte Hellman's masterful and inarticulate Two-Lane Blacktop paired with something? Vanishing Point or (gak) Easy Rider are the obvious choices, but it seems like you could legitimately do anything from Death Race 2000 to The Motorcycle Diaries as a counterpoint. One False Move and High Noon? The Fly or Videodrome and Todd Haynes' Safe? Sullivan's Travels and O Brother Where Art Thou? The Lavender Hill Mob and Star Wars?
posted by snarkout at 6:28 AM on December 21, 2004

Actually, I think you could get some fun out of bit parts and early work; show The Lavender Hill Mob with Roman Holiday or Wait Until Dark; show Gaslight with The Manchurian Candidate; show Nightmare on Elm Street with Dead Man.
posted by snarkout at 6:35 AM on December 21, 2004

Back when i used to run semi (or is it bi) weekly movie nights for my friends at my house, we came up with this list of more current flicks...hope its helpful

the crow & dark city
the matrix & strange days
road warrior & waterworld
willow & Baron Munchausen
angel heart, jacob's ladder & the sixth sense
dangerous liasons & cruel intentions
virtuosity & The Lawnmower Man (you know you want to do a Bad Movie Night)
12 monkeys & city of lost children
army of darkness & evil dead 2
the fugitive & wrongly accused
hot shots part deux & rambo
fatal attraction & fatal instinct
batman (1966) & batman (1991)
johnny dangerously & goodfellas
clue & ten little indians
posted by softlord at 6:37 AM on December 21, 2004

I know I've thought of tons of these, but the only one jumping to mind right now is Network and Putney Swope.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:44 AM on December 21, 2004

It's an obvious pairing, but Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo to be followed by Les Blank's Burden of Dreams a documentary of the making of Herzog's film.
posted by safetyfork at 6:46 AM on December 21, 2004

With two friends and a large quantity of wine, I once watched Battleship Potemkin and the Beavis and Butthead movie in the same evening.... the linking theme being that the titles both start with B, I suppose. It was a very fine evening.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:54 AM on December 21, 2004

Koyannasqatsi and My Dinner with Andre
posted by mkultra at 7:05 AM on December 21, 2004

The trouble here is that you said "great films". That makes it tricky. I'd suggest "A Fish Called Wanda" and "Silverado" (both have Kline and Cleese. AFCW is perhaps one of the greatest modern farces--not deep theater, but terrific farce. Silverado is a western's western--it's about as cliché ridden as you could want).
"12 Monkeys" I'd pair with "Awakenings" in that both movies make notoriously bad or stereotyped actors actually act (Brad Pitt and Robin Williams).
You could also put "Modern Times" and "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" together for some of the best physical comedy on film.
"Papillon" and "The Great Escape" might be good as a Steve McQueen/Get Out of Jail Free pairing.
posted by plinth at 7:06 AM on December 21, 2004

I'd pair Blow Up with any of the other 'cinema/voyerism/technology as conspiracy/politics/art' films. (There's even a qausi-B-movie remake). Be sure to allow the mimes to suspend any disbelief.
posted by glibhamdreck at 7:08 AM on December 21, 2004

Actually, I'll see your The Graduate/Garden State and raise you The Graduate/Fight Club. Tyler is Mrs. Robinson, Marla is Elaine, IKEA is "plastic," fistfights are adultery, the implosion of the credit company skyscrapers is the bus ride away from the church, "Where is My Mind?" is "The Sound of Silence," etc.
posted by blueshammer at 7:15 AM on December 21, 2004

Earth vs the Flying Saucers and Close Encounters of the Third Kind: two different takes on meeting The Other, each reflective of their time.
posted by SPrintF at 7:32 AM on December 21, 2004

Desk Set and The Hudsucker Proxy.
posted by icetaco at 7:51 AM on December 21, 2004

The all-time best double feature I've hosted is The Bicycle Thief followed by Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (which parodies it).
posted by Prospero at 7:57 AM on December 21, 2004

For the synchronicity in both titles and contents, A Beautiful Mind with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
posted by adamrice at 8:09 AM on December 21, 2004

The Untouchables | Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (fun Sean Connery movies)
Moonraker | Live and Let Die (two of the best with everyone's my favourite Bond, Roger Moore.
Ronin | Bad Boys 2 (excellent car chases)
The French Connection | Dragnet (Good cop, bad cop; followed by bad cop, worse cop)
Kind Hearts & Coronets | Tootsie (magnificent drag performances)
Hidden Fortress | Star Wars (for the influence of the former on the latter)
posted by nthdegx at 8:10 AM on December 21, 2004

Oh yeah: American Splendor with Ghost World. If you need to make a tryptich, add Crumb.
posted by adamrice at 8:11 AM on December 21, 2004

Blow Up followed by The Conversation
Sullivan's Travels and O Brother, Where Art Thou?
posted by Len at 8:32 AM on December 21, 2004

if you are interested in New York in the 70s:
The French Connection with The Taking of Pelham 123 which both serve as amazing period pieces, capturing the style of the time with amazing detail.
The Taking of Pelham 123 with The Warriors as they both take place primarily in the subway and there is a nice contrast between Pelham 123's more realist style and The Warriors over the top 70s glam gangs.

Inspired by glibhamdreck's post above: pairing Blow Up with Blow Out is an obvious choice. And The Conversation and The Parallax View make a nice pair. Or if you want to split up the era and style of the movies, perhaps The Parallax View and The Manchurian Candidate.

The Wild Bunch paired with The Killer would be great as well, especially if you like stop-start slow motion gunplay.
posted by finn at 8:43 AM on December 21, 2004

Response by poster: great stuff - I find it's very difficult to stop them coming once you've started - the possibilities are, as they say, endless. Thanks for all these suggestions - lots of great ones I hadn't thought of.

If you're London based, email me and I'll add you to the mailing list for screenings

Keep 'em coming!
posted by gravelshoes at 8:45 AM on December 21, 2004

I've done the following double bills at my movie night get togethers:

-- Easy Rider and Electra Glide in Blue (or if you can't find it, Two Lane Blacktop)
-- Sunset Blvd and Veronika Voss
-- The Hairdresser's Husband and Monsieur Hire
-- The Graduate and The Pallbearer
-- It Happened One Night and Sullivan's Travels
-- The Philadelphia Story and His Girl Friday (or Bringing Up Baby)
-- Knife in the Water and Purple Noon
-- Capturing the Freidmans and Indictman
-- Paper Moon and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
-- Mean Streets and Laws of Gravity
-- Reservoir Dogs and The Getaway (original version)
-- Day of the Locust and Mulholland Drive
-- White Hunter Black Heart and The African Queen
-- 8 1/2 and Stardust Memories
posted by dobbs at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2004

Goodfellas and My Blue Heaven, which picks up exactly where Goodfellas leaves off.

Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove; straight and satiric versions of a similar story.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:58 AM on December 21, 2004

The Sweet Smell Of Success and Elmer Gantry
The Taking Of Pehlam 123 and Reservoir Dogs
Chinatown and LA Confidential
The Servant and The Go-Between
Double Indemnity and Blood Simple
Badlands and (not strictly speaking a great film, granted, but would work here) Natural Born Killers
Night Of The Hunter and Cape Fear (1963 version)
Once Upon A Time In The West and Once Upon A Time In America (assuming you've got a spare 6 hours)
The Wages Of Fear and The Wild Bunch
Brazil and Twelve Monkeys
posted by Len at 9:06 AM on December 21, 2004

In a Lonely Place / Breathless
posted by kenko at 9:18 AM on December 21, 2004

Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. Or any Kurosawa film followed by it's western remake.
posted by icontemplate at 9:36 AM on December 21, 2004

Excalibur and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
posted by Caviar at 9:55 AM on December 21, 2004

The 400 Blows and Pather Panchali would make a great double-feature.

As would His Girl Friday and Broadcast News.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:56 AM on December 21, 2004

A double feature I actually saw in a theatre and highly recommend: Casablanca and Play It Again, Sam.

On a side note, about 30 years ago my parents went to what was, for them, the worst double feature imaginable: Patton and MASH. Hey, they're both about war, right? My parents walked out disgusted after the first few minutes of MASH. On the other hand, you may find the contrast interesting.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:13 AM on December 21, 2004

What about Seven Samurai and Six String Samurai? Two movies every hipster should love.
posted by metaculpa at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2004

posted by kirkaracha at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

OK, two more:
posted by kirkaracha at 10:40 AM on December 21, 2004

I once showed The Minus Man followed by Super Troopers.

My justification was that the first film has actors who are usually funny (Owen Wilson/Janeane Garofalo) in creepy/serious roles, while the second film has characters who are normally pretty grim and unpleasant (Highway Cops) being funny.

Also, both films feature Brian Cox in a supporting role, but I only noticed that after watching.
posted by Luther Blissett at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2004

Actually, all films feature Brian Cox in a supporting role. Every one.
posted by Skot at 11:06 AM on December 21, 2004

Another time I showed The Lost Boys and Manic.

They're both films about kids misbehaving. More or less.

On preview: Skot- I couldn't stop laughing during his scenes in X-Men 2, because I'd just done that double-header a week before.
posted by Luther Blissett at 11:10 AM on December 21, 2004

The original Alfie shown after Saturday Night and Sunday Morning to restore its proper social context

The Warriors, Escape from New York, and Quick Change with maps of NYC as handouts

The Electric Horseman and Absence of Malice for Redford and Newman each playing a simple decent guy with the law on his tail falling for - and taking tricky advantage of - a sexy self-satisfied newswoman (and for the sheer greatness of Wilford Brimley)
posted by nicwolff at 11:22 AM on December 21, 2004

Grand Canyon and Sullivan's Travels. I take no credit for that pairing, I saw a really interesting lecture after viewing these back-to-back. Also, the first movie references the second (directly and indirectly).
posted by contessa at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2004

Although I enjoy most movies, for some unknown reason I haven't liked most movies about the Vietnam War that I've seen. The two that I did like, however, I liked very much, and I think they'd make a good double feature: Apocalypse Now/Full Metal Jacket.

I suppose Kill Bill vol. 1 and Kill Bill vol. 2 is a bit obvious (and maybe not the sort of thing you're looking for), but I'll still recommend them. I watched them back-to-back and enjoyed them immensely. Alternately, you could pair one part of that with one of the ca. 70s Kung Fu flicks which inspired it. Pair vol. 1 with one featuring Hattori Hanzo, or vol. 2 with one with Pai Mei. (Use IMDB's Character name search; it doesn't seem I can make a link to a specific character name search.) Or pair either part with a film featuring Gordon Liu or David Carradine. Sorry, I'm not familiar enough with them to recommend specific titles.

And although these don't qualify as great films (good, perhaps, not great), I've always wanted to do a double feature of Clueless followed by Clue. Absolutely no thematic connection that I'm aware of, other than the titles, but still.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:34 AM on December 21, 2004

The Seventh Seal / Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
posted by donth at 11:39 AM on December 21, 2004

Do The Right Thing and Night of the Hunter works if you're into the whole "pairing totally disparate movies based on one similar scene" thing. also, they're both fantastic movies in completely different ways.
posted by finn at 11:41 AM on December 21, 2004

(the scene in question, of course, being the Love/Hate speech Robert Mitchum's preacher gives about the words tatooed on his knuckles and the Love/Hate speech Radio Raheem gives about the words spelled out on his rings.)
posted by finn at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2004

Oooh, too easy (these were practically made for each other):

The Conversation / Enemy of the State
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:04 PM on December 21, 2004

A few more I thought of...

On the Waterfront/Raging Bull ("I coulda been a contender")

West Side Story/The Tempest (loose interpretations of Shakespeare plays; there's others, but these would be my two choices).

Food movies: there's lots; my recommendations are Like Water for Chocolate and Big Night. Babette's Feast is a close third and could replace either. (LWfC and BF are both non-English language; BN and BF are closer thematically, I think.)

Take a dark comedy (The Trouble with Harry, perhaps, or The War of the Roses for a more recent one) and following it, show Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?--which starts out as a dark comedy, then gets darker to the point that it's not even a comedy anymore.

Two movies already mentioned in this thread, but not paired with each other: Network/Natural Born Killers (media's effect on society).

softlord: semiweekly = twice a week; biweekly = every other week.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:51 PM on December 21, 2004

Boondock Saints / the Big Lebowski - lots of dialogue, funny, unlikely heroes ("taking it easy for all us sinners"), etc
Shaolin Soccer / Bend it Like Beckham - essentially the same movie, SS has more slapstick, BILB more drama
posted by littlegirlblue at 1:26 PM on December 21, 2004

I'll probably get shot for this, but... Hamlet (1990, starring Mel Gibson, dir by Zefferelli) and Strange Brew (the "Bob and Doug Mckenzie" comedy which, for the first half of the movie anyway, follows the plot of Hamlet).

Just because the titles sound nice together: Dead Ringers and Dead Calm or Happiness and Misery

"High School is Hell" double feature: Election and Welcome to the Dollhouse.
"High School is Hell 2: Revenge of the Nerds:" Heathers and Bowling for Columbine .
Robert Towne: Chinatown and Tequila Sunrise.
Cannabalism: Silence of the Lambs and Parents.
End of the World: 12 Monkeys and Dr. Strangelove.
Short Stories: New York Stories and Storytelling.
Bret Easton Ellis adapations: Less Than Zero and Rules of Attraction (American Psycho would also be an option).
John Holmes: Wonderland and Boogie Nights.
Salesmen: Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glenn Ross.
Tough Guys: The Wild Bunch and Resevoir Dogs.
Junkies: Permanant Midnight and Trainspotting.
Joel and Ethan Coen: Miller's Crossing and Fargo.
Generation X: Slacker (not Slackers) and The Dreamlife of Angels.
posted by Clay201 at 1:41 PM on December 21, 2004

Breaking Away and American Flyers.

Mama, mama the Italians are coming!
posted by fixedgear at 2:10 PM on December 21, 2004

Richard III, The Goodbye Girl, and Looking for Richard
posted by kirkaracha at 3:45 PM on December 21, 2004

Goodfellas and Casino. I thought this would be obvious, but apparently nobody's mentioned it yet.
posted by neckro23 at 4:22 PM on December 21, 2004

Debbie Does Dallas and Deep Throat, classic porn from the day when porn was hardly more than a hard R is now.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:55 PM on December 21, 2004

The Candidate & The Contender
posted by obloquy at 11:52 PM on December 21, 2004

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