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Needing the One You Hate: Frenemies from Casablanca to The Eagle

Posted January 07, 2011 to photo album "Needing the One You Hate: Frenemies from Casablanca to The Eagle"

Esca, the Celtic Slave, and Aquila, the Roman master, may appear an unlikely team in The Eagle, but the plot of enemies turned friends is a classic cinematic trope.

Slide 1: Roman/Celt
Slide 2: Apolitical/Collaborator | Casablanca (1942)
Slide 3: The Heiress/the Reporter | It Happened One Night (1934)
Slide 4: Sober/Drunk | The African Queen (1951)
Slide 5: Black/White | The Defiant Ones (1958)
Slide 6: Old/Young | True Grit (1969)
Slide 7: Cop/Crook | 48 Hours (1982)
Slide 8: Prisoner/Keeper | Midnight Run (1988)
Slide 9: Hippie/Straight Dude | Flashback (1990)
Slide 10: Finn/Russian | The Cuckoo (2002)
Slide 11: Old Man/Korean Kid | Gran Torino (2008)
Slide 6: Old/Young | True Grit (1969)

Slide 6: Old/Young | True Grit (1969)

Many unlikely pairings are brought together by chance, happenstance or plain bad luck, but in the case of True Grit, the classic 1969 movie based on Charles Portis' novel (and recently remade by the Coen brothers), the partnership is by design. After her father is murdered, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) hires grizzled, drunken U.S. Marshal Reuben "Rooster" J. Cogburn (John Wayne) to track down and bring to justice the man responsible, Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey). For $100, the one-eyed, famously tough Cogburn helps Mattie, and the two have to overcome gender and generational divides in order to become traveling companions. On the road, though, it becomes clear that Mattie is tougher than her young years might suggest, and that Cogburn has a (well-hidden) softer side. “Wayne's most touching sequences are with the young girl Mattie (Kim Darby), “ writes critic Emanuel Levy in his overview of the movie, “especially when he tells her how, as a young man, he had single-handedly charged a whole gang of outlaws. In another scene, he tells Kim of his past, his broken marriage and his son who did not like him.”