Films are full of pairings, from romantic to sibling. But occasionally you get a twosome who are just fun to be around because they are complete BFFs (or perhaps sometimes frenemies). The perfect buddy pairing can make a good movie great, and get us to start singing Randy Newman's "You've Got A Friend in Me."
So who are the greatest Hollywood film pals of all time? Here are our 13 favorites.
1. Paul Newman & Robert Redford
The pair appeared in two movies together, "The Sting" (1973) and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), and always seemed to be having the time of their lives. The pair's enduring handsomeness and overwhelming charisma made them a perfect pairing. (And if you'd like to see "Cassidy" again on the big screen, it'll be in theaters briefly on Jan. 17 and 20 only, via Fathom Events/TCM Big Screen Classics.)
Recommended: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
2. Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd
Sure, they've only ever paired up on screen for the "Back to the Future" series of movies (1985-1990), but Lloyd's wild-eyed mania and Fox's wide-eyed incredulity are a winning combination that's out of this world.
Recommended: "Back to the Future"
3. Bud Abbott & Lou Costello
The comedy duo who brought you "Who's On First" started out in radio in 1938 and shifted into movies and eventually television. A pair of opposites, they pretty much set in stone the buddy combo in a string of films that had them running from monsters and women alike.
Recommended: "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948)
4. Tina Fey/Amy Poehler
There aren't a lot of classic female film duos, but Fey and Poehler (who first started working together on "Saturday Night Live") do set a very high bar. Like Wilder and Pryor, the pair swap straight/funnyperson slots and have collaborated together in everything from skits on the show (who can forget Fey's Sarah Palin and Poehler's Hillary Clinton) to movies like 2008's "Baby Mama" to repeat hosts of the Golden Globe Awards.
Recommended: The newly released "Sisters"
5. Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau
The original "Odd Couple" (1968) who became "Grumpy Old Men" (1993), Lemmon and Matthau made 11 films together in which Lemmon tended to play the strait-laced, uptight half and Matthau the looser, wilder half. They were friends in real life, and are buried near each other in Westwood, California.
Recommended: "The Odd Couple"
6. Bing Crosby & Bob Hope
Really, you could throw Dorothy Lamour into this mix; the trio made a number of movies together between 1940-62 that were usually titled "Road to...." like "Road to Bali," "Road to Morocco," etc. Crosby had a successful singing career aside from his movie appearances, and Hope had carved out his own comedy niche, but when the pair came together (and added Ms. Lamour) all kinds of high jinks (and songs!) ensued.
Recommended: "Road to Morocco" (1942)
7. Kristen Wiig & Maya Rudolph
Another pair of "SNL" vets who've gone on to bigger and better things together, Rudolph and Wiig are terrific, goofy foils. Though they weren't the stars of the show in 2010's "MacGruber," they were perfectly set up as a bride and her disappointed BFF/maid of honor in "Bridesmaids" the following year.
8. Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor
In many pairings, there's a straight man and the one who delivers the yuks. In the case of Wilder and Pryor, who made no fewer than five films together (including 1976's "Silver Streak" and 1980s "Stir Crazy"), one was often a kind-hearted, innocent naif (Wilder) and the other his willing-to-do-anything foil (Pryor), and both were just as adept at landing the jokes.
Recommended: "Stir Crazy"
9. Jackie Chan & Chris Tucker
Chan was a big international film star thanks to his martial arts chops, but he took it to a new level when he paired up with the wacky Tucker for the "Rush Hour" series of films (1998-present). Interracial buddy setups have been around for a while, but two nonwhite actors pulling in blockbuster box office certainly has had Hollywood sitting up and taking notice, and with good reason.
Recommended: "Rush Hour" (1998)
10. Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis
Take a future member of the Rat Pack (Martin) and the precursor to Jim Carrey (Lewis) and there was nothing this pair wouldn't do. They started out with ad-libbing and improv in clubs in the 1940s, got their own radio show not long after and broke through into TV and film with a pairing that lasted about 10 years, until Martin decided he didn't like playing second fiddle to Lewis' antics.
Recommended: "Scared Stiff" (1953)
11. Rebel Wilson & Anna Kendrick
In the alternate universe where a capella is the new rock 'n roll, the ladies of the Barden Bellas are as big as Adele, and Wilson and Kendrick are two of the brightest stars in the pack. With two films in the "Pitch Perfect" franchise with a third expected along swiftly, we're happily fist-pumping for another encore from these two ladies.
Recommended: "Pitch Perfect" (2012)
12. Ice Cube & Kevin Hart
An insightful, strident rapper and an insightful, strident stand-up comedian might not seem to have been exactly the right pairing, but clearly Hart and Cube (aka O'Shea Jackson) hit all the right notes when they came together for 2014's "Ride Along." They did so well they just returned to theaters with the follow-up, "Ride Along 2"!
Recommended: "Ride Along" (2014)
13. Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi
The former "Saturday Night Live" cast members were clearly on to something special with their modern-day take on the Abbott/Costello dynamic. Aykroyd's straight-face (but hidden lunacy) was just the thing to temper (and underscore) Belushi's anything-goes good-hearted insanity, but alas the pairing was cut short after just three movies (including 1979's "1941," 1980's "Blues Brothers" and 1981's "Neighbors") when Belushi passed away in 1982.
Recommended: "Blues Brothers"
Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.