Proof That Two’s Better Than One: Cinema’s Best Collaborations

Fans were recently thrilled to hear that Martin Scorsese will be re-uniting with long time muse, Leonardo Di Caprio on his next film, Killers of the Flower Moon.

Shortly after, news spread that director, Martin McDonagh will also be re-teaming with his faithful Irish sidekick, Colin Farrell on their next flick, The Banshees of Inisheer.

All this news of collaborations got me thinking, who are some of the most iconic cinematic duos?

De Niro/Scorsese

For me, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese define the gangster genre. Ever since the two joined forces in 1973 for Mean Streets, they’ve been churning out some of the best crime flicks ever created, including Goodfellas, Casino and now The Irishman.

Their repertoire doesn’t end there. Raging Bull proved they could do sports dramas, Taxi Driver made character studies look easy, The King of Comedy highlighted dark humour and they even ticked off musicals with New York, New York!

From the nine films De Niro and Scorsese have done together, they share a whopping eight Oscar nominations, confirming their spot at the top.


Martin Scorsese went from directing the greatest actor of one generation to directing the greatest actor of the next when he cast Leonardo DiCaprio in 2002’s, Gangs of New York. The fact Marty’s played such a big part in the careers of two of the greats is a testament to how good he is as a director.

This duo has worked on five films together. Most significantly, The Aviator, producing Leo’s first Oscar nomination for best lead and The Departed, granting Marty his first and only Oscar win as director. On top of this, Marty boasts an impressive four more Oscar nominations when collaborating with Leo.

If the swag of awards and nominations doesn’t cement them as one of the greatest partnerships, perhaps The Wolf of Wall Street’s iconic Quaalude scene will?

Bill Murray/Wes Anderson

Weird, quirky and fun are the adjectives that instantly spring to mind when describing these two comedy legends.

After graduating from SNL, Murray was long known for his slapstick style. Over the years he’s continued growing as an actor, eventually finding his niche within Anderson’s wild and wonderful worlds.

Murray’s deadpan humour contrasts and compliments Anderson’s wacky vision, making it easy to understand why Anderson admits he, “always writes with Bill in mind.”

This laugh out loud duo have made nine films together and August’s The French Dispatch will make it ten.

Greta Gerwig/Saoirse Ronan

These two unbelievably talented ladies have only done two films together but judging from the success of Lady Bird and Little Women their prospective future together is bright.

Gerwig and Ronan were both nominated for Oscars for their work in the latter films, giving them a 100% strike rate whilst collaborating! Gerwig champions female leads, writing stories about fierce females, battling with their place in society. Ronan brings the characters to life, making them relatable and loveable.

Their partnership puts women to the front, creating culturally important stories and movies that are just damn good viewing. I hope we get to see much, much more out of them in the future.

Michael Caine/Christopher Nolan

The only thing I love more than Christopher Nolan is Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine.

Nolan’s one of the few contemporary auteurs, consistently manipulating time as a narrative element to keep mainstream audiences on their toes. Caine’s a superstar in his own right but together they’re changing cinema forever.

First, they revolutionised The Dark Knight in Batman Begins then they managed to make magic cool in The Prestige and then they fried my teeny, tiny little brain in Inception.

Nolan says Caine adds a maturity to his sets, while Caine jokes he’ Nolan’s, “lucky charm.” Judging from their long list of hits, he might be right.

Time will tell when they re-unite on July 21st in Tenet.

The Cohen Brothers

Growing up with two brothers, I know how difficult it can be seeing eye to eye with your siblings, let alone working with them and that’s what makes this partnership so special.

Joel and Ethan have made careers out of writing, directing and editing indie blockbusters with truly memorable characters. The self-proclaimed Dude in The Big Lebowski, the sweetest homicide detective you’ve ever seen in Fargo and the stone-cold killer in No Country for Old Men are just a few of many that come to mind.

My personal favourite Cohen motif is the twisted sense of humour that ties their entire body of work together. They have a wicked tendency to make you laugh when you shouldn’t. Like a naughty kid in class.

With a career spanning over 36 years, 25 film credits and 15 Oscar nominations, these brothers should not only be praised as two of the greats but also for not killing one another in the process.

Uma Thurman/ Quentin Tarantino       

Tarantino and Thurman began their friendship while filming a small indie flick you may have heard of called, Pulp Fiction.

While on set they developed the foundations for a new movie. It’d star a strong, sword wielding woman, seeking justice after her ex-husband betrayed her.

The woman ended up being Beatrix Kiddo and the film turned out to be two, Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2.

Since the overwhelming success of all three films, Tarantino’s techniques have been questioned, but it’s hard to argue he didn’t get the absolute best out of his “muse.” Thurman went from an unrecognisable cocaine fiend to an arse kicking super queen and was nominated for 3 Golden Globes in the process. Tarantino added a further 3 nominations for good measure, taking their tally to six.

You might not remember the critical acclaim, but you’ve certainly felt the impact they’ve had on pop culture. Seriously, try going to a Halloween party without seeing Mia’s black bob or Kiddo’s yellow jump suit.

John Williams/ Steven Spielberg

These two are responsible for some of the most recognisable and emotionally stimulating moments in the history of cinema.

You know their films because the music and images harmonise perfectly, inducing vivid memories. I’m talking Jaws ruining summer vacation, E.T. flying a bike through the night sky and Indiana Jones swinging on jungle vines.

Williams and Spielberg have been engraining iconic cinematic moments into the minds and hearts of movie lovers for over 46 years. They’ve created real movie magic, evoking nostalgia and that’s why they’re one of my favourite cinema collaborations ever.