The buddy film is a film genre in which two (or on occasion, more than two) people—often both men—are put together. The two often contrast in personality, which creates a different dynamic onscreen than a pairing of two people of the opposite gender. The contrast is sometimes accentuated by an ethnic difference between the two. The buddy film is commonplace in American cinema; unlike some other film genres, it endured through the 20th century with different pairings and different themes.
A buddy film portrays the pairing of two people, often the same sex, historically men. A friendship between the two people is the key relationship in a buddy film. The two people often come from different backgrounds or have different personalities, and they tend to misunderstand one another. Through the events of the buddy film, they gain a stronger friendship and mutual respect. Buddy films often deal with crises of masculinity, especially related to class, race, and gender. American Masculinities: A Historical Encyclopedia explains, "[Buddy films] offer male movie–going audiences an opportunity to indulge in a form of male bonding and behavior usually discouraged by social constraints." Ira Konigsberg wrote in The Complete Film Dictionary, "Such films extol the virtues of male comradeship and relegate male–female relationships to a subsidiary position."
The Los Angeles Times in 2001 called the genre "a necessary escapist fantasy", writing, "It's one of the few arenas where men can openly express their feelings for each other, even though men on screen today seem less comfortable with each other than ever before." In buddy films, the two men are markedly different, and their relationship with each other is challenged by events in the film. The two are often different enough that one is aggravated by the other. The interaction between two men also differs from the interaction between a man and a woman, which shapes a film's dynamics. Robert Kolker writes in A Cinema of Loneliness, "The buddy complex views sexuality as an obstacle to manly acts. But this denial of sexuality carries a covert admission of the possibilities of homosexuality, which, of course, is inadmissible." Kolker says the main characters typically have relationships with female secondary characters who are relegated to the background. In the 1962 Italian film Il sorpasso (English title: The Easy Life), the characters Roberto and Bruno spend time together and grow emotionally attached. Sergio Rigoletto writes, "Their statements of emotional proximity are... always quite oblique... in doing so they comply with the dominant social conventions according to which the love between two men cannot be clearly spoken in films." While the characters do not have sex with women in the film, they express desire for heterosexual adventures. Women in the film are secondary characters and possess traits that negatively contrast them with the male–male relationship.
A female buddy film is similar to a buddy film except that the main characters are female, and it is centered on their situation. The cast may be mainly female depending on the plot. "The female buddy film is a recent trend in mainstream cinema. However, Thelma and Louise in the early ‘90s had a similar popular impact to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, paving the way for onscreen female friendships such as those in Waiting to Exhale and Walking and Talking, and the relationship between Evelyn Couch and Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes,."
Buddy films are often hybridized with other film genres, such as road movies, Westerns, comedies, and action films featuring cops. The "threats to [the] masculinity" of the male–male relationship depend on the genre: women in comedies, the law in films about outlaw buddies, and criminals in action films about cop buddies.
The buddy film is more common to cinema in the United States than cinema in other Western countries, which tend to focus on male–female romantic relationships or an individual male hero. Film historian David Thomson observes that buddy films are rare among British and French films, "You just wouldn't see three Englishmen behave the way American men do, who are truly happiest when they are together with other men." Portrayal of male bonding in the United States traces back to 19th-century author Mark Twain's characters Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as a "good boy-bad boy combo", as well as Huck Finn and the slave Jim in Twain's 1884 novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Vaudeville acts in early 20th century United States often featured male pairs.
From the 1930s to the 1960s in the United States, male comedy duos often appeared in buddy films. Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello were popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Laurel and Hardy starred in films like Sons of the Desert (1933), and Abbott and Costello starred in films like Buck Privates (1941). Another comedy duo was Wheeler & Woolsey, who starred in Half Shot at Sunrise (1930). Bing Crosby and Bob Hope starred together in the 1940 Paramount Pictures film Road to Singapore, which led to other 1940s buddy films that the Los Angeles Times described as "escapist wartime fantasies". Hope and Crosby starred together in a series of films that lasted to the 1960s. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were a popular duo in the 1950s, and Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon were famous in the 1960s, starring in the hit 1969 film The Odd Couple.
A major departure from the more comic buddy films of the era was Akira Kurosawa's 1949 Japanese film Stray Dog, starring Toshirō Mifune and Takashi Shimura. It was a more serious police procedural film noir that served as a precursor to the buddy cop film genre.
Richard Pryor (left, pictured in 1986) and Gene Wilder (right, pictured in 1984)
Throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, the feminist movement and "a widespread questioning" of social institutions influenced buddy films. The films explored male friendships more dramatically and encouraged individualism—particularly to be free from women and society. Critics like Molly Haskell and Robin Wood saw the decades' films as "a backlash from the feminist movement." Philippa Gates wrote, "To punish women for their desire for equality, the buddy film pushes them out of the center of the narrative... By making both protagonists men, the central issue of the film becomes the growth and development of their friendship. Women as potential love interests are thus eliminated from the narrative space." The buddy films of these decades were also hybridized with road movies. The decades' buddy films included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Easy Rider (1969), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), and Dog Day Afternoon (1975). The Los Angeles Times said films like Scarecrow (1973) and All the President's Men (1976) reflected the "paranoia and alienation" felt in the era. Beyond Hollywood, a notable buddy road movie of that era was the Bollywood "Curry Western" film Sholay (1975), which was the highest-grossing Indian film of all time.
Biracial buddy films emerged in the 1970s and 1980s; Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder initiated the movement with Silver Streak (1976) and Stir Crazy (1980). Eddie Murphy was a key actor in biracial buddy films, starring in 48 Hours (1982) with Nick Nolte and in Trading Places (1983) with Dan Aykroyd. Throughout the 1980s, the individual roles in biracial buddy films are reversed. The "racial other... is too civilized" while the white man "is equipped for survival in... the urban landscape".
The 1980s was a popular decade for action films, and the genre that "blended masculinity, heroism, and patriotism into an idealized image" was hybridized with buddy films. Following the Civil Rights Movement, black advancement was also reflected in more common biracial pairings. In this decade, the buddy cop film took the place of the buddy road movie. Action films with biracial pairings include the 1982 film 48 Hours starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte and the 1987 film Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. American Masculinities writes, "The African-American character is typically the sidekick to the white hero and isolated from the African-American community. He thus offers his skills and bravery for the preservation of mainstream (white) cultural values." Another combination of the action film and the buddy film in the 1980s and another biracial reversal was the 1988 film Die Hard in which Bruce Willis's heroic character John McClane is supported by the black cop Al (played by Reginald VelJohnson).
In the early 1990s, the masculine figure in films became more sensitive, and some buddy films "contemplated a masculinity that required sensitive relations between men". Such films included The Fisher King (1991) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994). The decade also saw new approaches to the genre. The 1991 film Thelma & Louise featured a female pairing of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, and the 1993 film The Pelican Brief featured a male–female platonic pairing of Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. The 1998 film Rush Hour featured a nonwhite male pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, which the Los Angeles Times said symbolized color blindness in American cinema.
Biracial buddy films continued in the 1990s and 2000s and were combined with different genres, such as White Men Can't Jump (1992), Bulletproof (1996), Gridlock'd (1997), National Security (2003) and The Bucket List (2007).
Also in the 1990s and 2000s, John Woo's Hollywood films imported the wuxia "themes of loyalty and trust" from his previous Hong Kong-produced films to create different takes on male bonding. Kin–Yan Szeto writes in The Martial Arts Cinema of the Chinese Diaspora, "[In] his third Hollywood film, Face/Off... Woo manages to deploy and politicize themes of homosociality with the possibility of contesting hegemonic masculinity that consolidates kinship and family." Woo's 2001 World War II film Windtalkers depicted two buddy pairs, with each pair indicating inequality through ethnicity (white American soldiers protecting Navajo code talkers but ready to kill the talkers to protect the code). Szeto explains, "Woo uses the twin buddy pairs to explore the shifting meanings and multiple possibilities in interracial bonding, rather than simply recuperating and empowering dominant positions for white heterosexual men."
In addition to being a masterful precursor to the buddy cop movies and police procedurals popular today, Stray Dog is also a complex genre film that examines the plight of soldiers returning home to post-war Japan.
Amrita Puri (born 20 August 1983) is an Indian film actress.
After auditioning for a few films, Puri made her film debut with a supporting role in the romantic comedy Aisha (2010), which earned her Filmfare nominations for Best Female Debut and Best Supporting Actress. She had her first commercial success three years later with the male buddy film Kai Po Che! (2013).Bharani (actor)
Bharani is an Indian film actor who has appeared in Tamil language films. After making his debut in Balaji Sakthivel's college drama Kalloori (2007), he made a breakthrough with his role as an eccentric Madurai-based youngster in Samuthirakani's buddy film Naadodigal (2009). He has since appeared in leading and supporting roles in films including Thoonga Nagaram (2011) and Netru Indru (2014).Bromantic comedy
A bromantic comedy is a comedy film genre that takes the formula of the typical "romantic comedy" but focuses on close male friendships.Buddy Buddy
Buddy Buddy is a 1981 American comedy film directed by Billy Wilder that stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on the 1973 French language film L'emmerdeur, which screenwriter Francis Veber had adapted from his play Le contrat.
The film proved to be the last directed by Wilder, who in later years said, "If I met all my old pictures in a crowd, personified, there are some that would make me happy and proud, and I would embrace them ... but Buddy Buddy I'd try to ignore." .Buddy cop film
A buddy cop film is a film with plots involving two people of very different and conflicting personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime and/or defeat criminals, sometimes learning from each other in the process. The two are normally either police officers (cops) or secret agents, but some films that are not about two officers may still be referred to as buddy cop films. It is a subgenre of buddy films. They can be either comedies or thrillers.
Frequently, although not always, the two heroes are of different ethnicity or cultures. However, regardless of ethnicity, the central difference is normally that one is "wilder" than the other: a hot-tempered iconoclast is paired with a more even-tempered partner. Often the "wilder" partner is the younger of the two, with the even-tempered partner having more patience and experience. These films sometimes also contain a variation on the good cop/bad cop motif, in which one partner is kinder and law-abiding, while the other is a streetwise, "old school" police officer who tends to break (or at least bend) the rules. Another frequent plot device of this genre is placing one of the partners in an unfamiliar setting (like a different city or foreign country) or role (like requiring police field work of a non-cop, rookie, or office-bound "desk jockey"). In these cases, they are usually guided by the other partner.
In his review of Rush Hour, Roger Ebert coined the term "Wunza Movie" to describe this subgenre, a pun on the phrase "One's a..." that could be used to describe the contrasts between the two characters in a typical film.The cliché was satirized in the film Last Action Hero. While the movie in itself was a buddy cop film (i.e. pairing a fictional cop with a real world boy), the film's police department obligatorily assigned all cops a conflicting buddy to work with, even to the extreme of one officer being partnered with a cartoon cat.
A subgenre of the buddy cop film is the buddy cop-dog movie, which teams a cop with a dog, but uses the same element of unlikely partnership to create comedic hijinks. Examples include Turner & Hooch, Top Dog and K-9.By hook or by crook (disambiguation)
"By hook or by crook" is an English phrase meaning "by any means necessary".
By hook or by crook may also refer to:
By Hook or Crook (1918 film) starring Evelyn Greeley
By Hook or by Crook (1980 film), a Hong Kong kung fu film
By Hook or by Crook (2001 film), an American queer buddy filmalsoBy Hook or Crook, a multiplayer board gameDetective Chinatown
Detective Chinatown (Chinese: 唐人街探案) is a 2015 Chinese comedy-mystery buddy film directed by Chen Sicheng and starring Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran. It was released in China on 31 December 2015. A sequel, titled Detective Chinatown 2, was released in February 2018.Detective Chinatown 2
Detective Chinatown 2 (Chinese: 唐人街探案 2) is a 2018 Chinese comedy-mystery buddy film directed and written by Chen Sicheng, starring Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran. A sequel to 2015's Detective Chinatown, the film was released in China on February 16, 2018. It has grossed over US$544 million worldwide, making it the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time in China.A sequel, Detective Chinatown 3, is set to be released on January 25, 2020.Drive Hard
Drive Hard (originally titled Hard Drive) is a 2014 Australian direct-to-video action buddy film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and written by Chad Law, Evan Law, and Smith. A professional thief (John Cusack) takes a former race car driver (Thomas Jane) hostage and forces him to drive his getaway car.Female buddy film
A female buddy film is a type of buddy film in which the main characters are females, and the film's events center on their situations. The cast may is often mainly female, depending on the plot. "The female buddy film is a recent trend in mainstream cinema. Thelma & Louise with its darker themes, remains one of the most notable female buddy films to date and had a similar popular impact as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the early 1990s. Similar films also paved the way for onscreen female friendships such as that between Evelyn Couch and Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes. Other popular duos include those in Waiting to Exhale and Walking and Talking."Jonathan Rosenbaum has praised Jacques Rivette's 1974 film Céline and Julie Go Boating as an example of the genre and wrote that he knows "many women who consider Céline et Julie vont en bateau their favorite movie about female friendship." Dennis Lim sees the influence of Rivette's film in other female buddy films, such as Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan and David Lynch's Mullholland Drive. It was also influential on and referenced in Erick Zonca's 1998 film The Dreamlife of Angels.The genre is crossed with the buddy cop film in the 2013 comedy The Heat, in which a brash police officer (Melissa McCarthy) is teamed with a straightlaced FBI agent (Sandra Bullock).Hunted (film)
Hunted (U.S. The Stranger In Between) is a black-and-white British film directed by Charles Crichton and released in 1952. Hunted is a crime drama in the form of a chase film, starring Dirk Bogarde, and written by Jack Whittingham and Michael McCarthy. It was produced by Julian Wintle and edited by Gordon Hales and Geoffrey Muller, with cinematography by Eric Cross and music by Hubert Clifford. Hunted can also be seen as an unusual example of the buddy film genre.
The film won the Golden Leopard award at the 1952 Locarno International Film Festival.Kartik Aaryan
Kartik Aaryan (born Kartik Tiwari on 22 November 1990) is an Indian actor who appears in Hindi films. Born and raised in Gwalior, he relocated to Navi Mumbai to pursue an engineering degree in biotechnology. He simultaneously dabbled in modelling and made attempts to start a career in film. After struggling for three years, Aaryan made his acting debut in 2011 with Pyaar Ka Punchnama, a buddy film about the romantic tribulations faced by three young men, which was directed by Luv Ranjan and co-starred Nushrat Bharucha.
Aaryan went on to play the romantic interest of the lead female characters in Akaash Vani (2013) and Kaanchi: The Unbreakable (2014), but these films failed to propel his career forward. He subsequently collaborated with Ranjan and Bharucha in two more buddy films, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2015) and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018), both of which were commercially successful but received criticism for their misogynistic themes. The latter proved to be a breakthrough for Aaryan, and he followed it by starring in the romantic comedy Luka Chuppi (2019).
In addition to his acting career, Aaryan endorses several brands and products, and has co-hosted two award ceremonies.My Buddy (film)
My Buddy is a 1944 American crime film directed by Steve Sekely and written by Arnold Manoff. The film stars Don "Red" Barry, Ruth Terry, Lynne Roberts, Alexander Granach, Emma Dunn and John Litel. The film was released on October 12, 1944, by Republic Pictures.Nang Nak
Nang Nak (Thai: นางนาก) is a romantic tragedy and horror film directed by Nonzee Nimibutr in 1999 through Buddy Film and Video Production Co. in Thailand, based on a legend. It features the life of a devoted ghost wife and the unsuspecting husband.Naughty @ 40
Naughty @ 40 (also known as/earlier titled as Excuse Me Please) is a 2011 Hindi adult comedy film directed by Jagmohan Mundhra, while produced by Anuj Sharma under Gangani Multimedia Corporations and also distributed by Srishti Creations.
The film stars Govinda and Yuvika Chaudhary in the lead roles, with Anupam Kher, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Shakti Kapoor, Sanjai Mishra and Smita Jaykar in supporting roles. The film is a remake of the 2005 Judd Apatow buddy film, The 40-Year Old Virgin.Richard Donner
Richard Donner (born Richard Donald Schwartzberg, April 24, 1930) is an American director and producer of film and television. After directing the horror film The Omen (1976), Donner became famous for directing the first modern superhero film, Superman (1978), starring Christopher Reeve.
Donner later went on to direct movies such as The Goonies (1985) and Scrooged (1988), while reinvigorating the buddy film genre with Lethal Weapon (1987) and its sequels. He and his wife, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, own the production company The Donner's Company, most well known for producing the X-Men film series. In 2000, he received the President's Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Film historian Michael Barson writes that Donner is "one of Hollywood's most reliable makers of action blockbusters".Rubin and Ed
Rubin & Ed is a British independent comedy-buddy film written and directed by Trent Harris and released in 1991.Soldier in the Rain
Soldier in the Rain is a 1963 American comedy buddy film directed by Ralph Nelson and starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen. Tuesday Weld portrays Gleason's character's romantic partner.
Produced by Martin Jurow and co-written by Maurice Richlin and Blake Edwards, the screenplay is based upon a 1960 novel by William Goldman and concerns the friendship between an Army master sergeant (Gleason) and a young country bumpkin buck sergeant (McQueen). The music is by Henry Mancini.
The film was released five days after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, which hindered its box office take.
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