1) Two of a Kind (1983)
Everyone knows John Travolta and Olivia Newton John from Grease… most of us forgot their reteaming on Two of a Kind, a weird fantasy comedy… apart from the hit song “Twist of Fate”. The film is terrible (they really shouldn’t have been so snobby about Grease 2 if this is what they did instead… and actually Xanadu is better than this) but the two stars still have great chemistry.
2) Backfire (1964)
Jean Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg were one of the coolest couples on screen with Breathless (1959). They reteamed with this far-less-well-known movie in which they both still look pretty cool. The film’s existence is ideal useless trivia to annoy people with now that the Jean Seberg biopic has come out.
3) The shit Tracy-Hepburn films
Everyone knows (well, every film buff knows) the classics/near-classics from Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn – Woman of the Year (1942), Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) and Desk Set (1957)… Not as many know the self-righteous misfire of Keeper of the Flame (1943) or the miscast disaster that was Sea of Grass (1947). Very few people know Without Love (1945)… absolutely, resolutely, and incredibly unmemorable…
4) Later Hayworth-Ford movies
Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth were so amazing in Gilda (1946). For various reasons, they are so mediocre in The Loves of Carmen (1948), Affair in Trinidad (1952) and The Money Trap (1964)…
5) Fresh Horses (1988)
The late ‘80s weren’t an easy time for many of the Brat Packers. Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy followed up their still-beloved teaming Pretty in Pink (1986) with this little remembered drama based on a play. Good on them for trying though. Support cast includes Ben Stiller and Viggo Mortensen!
6) Blue City (1986)
Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson had appeared in two ‘80s classics, Breakfast Club (1985) and St Elmo’s Fire (1985), playing a couple in the latter, so were offered the leads in… an action thriller based on Ross D. McDonald’s novel. Walter Hill co-wrote this. The music score is genuinely great. Nelson isn’t entirely comfortable in the role, to put it kindly.
7) Later Errol Flynn-Alexis Smith movies
Errol Flynn was marvelous with Alexis Smith in Gentleman Jim (1943) – their scenes are a delight – but for whatever reason their later two collaborations, San Antonio (1945) and Montana (1950) lacked any chemistry. This scene from Montana is nice though.
8) Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967)
Shelley Fabares and Elvis Presley teamed wonderfully in Girl Happy (1965) – for me she was his best partner apart from Ann Margret – but their other two teamings are no way near as good.
9) Money Train (1995)
Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. The great on-screen team of White Men Can’t Jump (1992) actually still have chemistry in this follow up which otherwise exemplifies bloated dumb ‘90s action. J Lo is good though.
10) Later episodes of Buck Rogers the 25th Century (1979)
This is cheating because it’s a TV series and what’s more, I’m talking about the same TV series but stick with me… in the pilot (released as film in Australia), Buck (Gil Gerard) has incredible chemistry with Princess Ardala (Pamela Hensley), setting up a great love triangle – easy going Buck caught between power hungry sensual Ardala and uptight Wilma. Very clear motivations and characters, and all well acted. Later in the show they brought back Ardala three more times – “Escape from Wedded Bliss”, “Flight of the War Witch” and “Ardala Returns” – and it never worked as well, mostly because the writers forgot the simple motivations and characterisations. Poor old Wilma was disempowered and shunted to the side where she held Buck’s water while he had adventures and was thus no threat to Ardala (this was reportedly due to Gil Gerard’s sooking over the prominence given to Wilma on the show). They also forgot Ardala’s motivation was to use Buck politically to get an edge on her 23 siblings, not just because she found him hot. Pamela Hensley was everything you wanted in a silly ‘70s sci fi epic and on one hand the producers knew it (they kept bringing her back) but on the other they didn’t know how to exploit it.