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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 9: Hippie/Straight Dude | Flashback (1990)

Slide 9: Hippie/Straight Dude | Flashback (1990)

Dennis Hopper riffed on his Easy Rider hippiepersona in the enjoyable comic thriller Flashback, in which he played an aging 60s radical, Huey Walker, who has been finally caught for a 20-year-old crime he did not commit. (In a nice in-joke, Hopper's character at one point refers to the era-defining movie, saying, “It takes more than going down to your local video store and renting Easy Rider to be a rebel.") The man charged with bringing the ponytailed, shaggy bearded Walker to trial is straight-laced, conservative young FBI agent John Buckner (Kiefer Sutherland), a model professional who seems diametrically opposed to Walker in every way. It's not long, however, before the two have to work together after they fall foul of corrupt lawman Sheriff Hightower (Cliff De Young) – and it is revealed that Buckner is in fact the son of hippies, and was brought up on a commune with the name Free! Also in 1990, Hopper appeared in another film about unlikely pairings, playing opposite Jodie Foster in the flawed but fascinating Catchfire, which he directed but subsequently disowned. The decidedly offbeat plot revolves around a solitary hitman (Hopper) who is hired by to kill a conceptual artist (Foster) after she witnesses a mob slaying, but ends up taking her hostage and, against reason and all odds, winning her heart. Hopper removed his name from the film as director after it was re-cut, and crucial scenes showing the shift in the relationship between the two protagonists were removed.