Top 10 Friendships in Classic Movies

So yesterday was National Best Friends Day, but I thought it was today *everybody rolls eyes at Carol*, so bear with me, this is a day late. Anyway, in this Top 10 Countdown, I will pick my favorite friendships in classic movies.


– The friendship has to have some degree of relevance to the story or character development

– The two characters have to have more than 15 minutes worth of screen-time together

– Family relations or couples will not count


Here we go!

10 – Don (Gene Kelly) and Cosmo (Donald O’Connor), Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Funny, adorable and boy, can they dance! They have been best friends since their days as vaudeville performers, so they go way back. They make a fantastic duo and their friendship is one of the highlights of the film for me.

9 – Bunny (Katharine Hepburn) and Peg (Joan Blondell), Desk Set (1957)

What a wonderful friendship they have. Inside jokes, drinking, laughing, sharing, plus they work together… These two are not only #FriendshipGoals but also #CoworkerGoals, if there’s such a thing. Probably not.

8 – Dennis (Dennis O’Keefe) and Tony (Alfred Ryder), T-Men (1947)

In noir world, relationships of any kind are fast, fickle, and often fake and you must never take them for granted. Which is why Dennis and Tony’s friendship, however brief, is so poignant. It was the only thing they had. Their job made them do things they had to be prepared for, but probably never really were. The few moments they share are like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise incredibly heavy film noir.

7 – Baxter (Jack Lemmon) and Dr Dreyfuss (Jack Kruschen), The Apartment (1960)

This is an interesting one, because it’s purely based on the fact they live next to each other. But nonetheless, they have a very amicable relationship, great banter and they always seem to be there for each other.

6 – Terry (Katharine Hepburn) and Jean (Ginger Rogers), Stage Door (1937)

In a movie where friendships are actually the main focal point, it was difficult to pick just one. In the end, I had to go with Terry and Jean’s friendship, because it was always such a love-hate type of relationship, with its ups and downs, and it came out on top in the end. 

5 – Margo (Bette Davis) and Birdie (Thelma Ritter), All About Eve (1950)

I was torn between Margo and Birdie, and Margo and Karen, but I decided to go with Birdie in the end. She is the only person who can see through Eve the entire time and is always trying to warn Margo about her. She is also the only one who can tell Margo off when she’s being an idiot and because she’s her assistant/maid, she’s always taking care of her.

4 – Walter (Fred MacMurray) and Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), Double Indemnity (1944)

The only ‘I love you too’ that ever meant anything in noir world. Regardless of the film’s plot and outcome – no spoilers, although, who in the world hasn’t seen it?! – they were always close and their friendship was real.

3 – Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Sam (Dooley Wilson), Casablanca (1942)

Louis would probably get jealous if he read this post, but I just have to include this particular friendship instead. It is probably the oldest relationship in the movie, and the one that never changes throughout. At the end of the day, Rick will come back to Sam, and Sam will play ‘As Time Goes By’ for Rick.

2 – Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), Some Like It Hot (1959)

Even though they had to join a female band because they were trying to avoid getting killed, it still sounds like a really fun thing to do with your best friend. I love their moments together, they are funny as hell, have incredible chemistry and I just want to go party with them.

Before I reveal my number 1 pick, here are some honorable mentions:

– Jim (James Dean) and Plato (Sal Mineo), Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

– Lily (Marlene Dietrich) and Hui Fei (Anna May Wong), Shanghai Express (1932)

– Aunt Elizabeth (May Robson) and Major Applegate (Charlie Ruggles), Bringing up Baby (1938)

– Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Louis (Claude Rains), Casablanca (1942)

– Margo (Bette Davis) and Karen (Celeste Holm), All About Eve (1950)

– Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) and Maggio (Frank Sinatra), From Here to Eternity (1953)


1 – Dorothy (Jane Russell) and Lolerei (Marilyn Monroe), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Even though you could argue that the film’s themes are a bit shallow and outdated, you can’t deny that the friendship between Dorothy and Lorelei is real and pretty much the driving force of the film. Dorothy’s protectiveness over Lorelei, and Lorelei’s adoration of Dorothy in a world full of men and diamonds is what gets them 1st place on my list.


There you have it! Happy belated Best Friends Day!

46 thoughts on “Top 10 Friendships in Classic Movies

  1. Wow these are excellent choices! Well, I haven’t seen T-Men and Stage Door so I can’t say for them but I’m pretty sure they are worthy of this list too. 😉 I think my own list would definitely include Charters and Caldicott!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀
      Yeah, I didn’t want to include series of films (like Bing and Bob, or Laure and Hardy), because there are a lot of great ones, so I just decided to stick with one movie. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. annsblyth

    I love these picks! I didn’t even think of Prewitt and Maggio, but now that I do they’re probably my favorite. Another friendship that I really like is that of Myra and Kitty in Waterloo Bridge (1940). They’re definitely two ladies who stuck it out together through thick and thin! Of course any of the Martin and Lewis or Hope and Crosby films come to mind too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀
      Yeah, I was trying to stick to just one movie, instead of a series of movies, but yeah, Martin and Lewis, and Hope and Crosby is great!


  3. Love the choices! I love Stage Door and Desk Set, so I am really glad you highlighted the Kate Hepburn friendships in those movies! I totally love your #1 choice – girl power at its finest (ok, after Spice Girls girl power. Big part of my childhood haha).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike

    Nice idea and good choices Carol!! Can’t wait for 10 more next year- will have to check out ” T Men”- my list of films that you mentioned and I haven’t seen is getting longer 👍👍

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Mike Noonan

        Carol, got to see ” T Men” already- thank you ” you tube”. Enjoyed it – very engrossing. See why you liked Due to your love of film noir. Also nice to see a non western from Anthony Mann and an early performance of June Lockhart.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great list! Romances and rivalries often get more attention than portrayals of solid friendship, but these friendships are so wonderful to watch. My favorites from your list would have to be Bunny/Peg and Walter/Keyes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh…great choices. The complex friendship in Double Indemnity is a surprising and satisfyingly good choice. But Gentleman Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot contain iconic friendships in iconic films and are two personal favorites of mine. Who couldn’t love Lorelei and Dorothy, two beautiful women in a very pretty, and funny, film. Great number one pick!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. oahu420

    Hi Carol, I’m a long time reader but first time commenter.I just wanted to say that I truly enjoy your posts. Also I wanted to nominate a friendship from one of my favorite films, Jimmy Cagney and Pat O’Brien in “Angels With Dirty Faces”. Childhood friends take different paths, Cagney the criminal and O’Brien a priest. The final scene when Cagney pretends to be a gutless coward as he is led to the electric chair (at the request of his friend the priest) so that the Dead End Kids would stop idolizing him is epic. thanks again and keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Great choice. I have to re-watch that one, it’s been about 5 years since I last saw it. I might do an update of this list in a few months.
      Thank you so much for your words! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. caracoleta07

    What a lovely article… 🙂

    One thing I have to say about number 10: “Dignity. Always dignity” eheh

    You broke me with number 4… That ending scene is everything

    Liked by 1 person

  9. filmswiths

    What a fantastic List. I couldn’t agree more with Don and Cosmo. Their friendship is one of the many reasons I love the film and it’s a friendship I try and mirror with my own friends. They’re hilarious and sweet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very nice list! Especially #9 and #4. A few that I’d like to include would be Lauren Bacall and Hoagy Carmichael in _To Have and Have Not_, Ben Kingsley and Ian Charleson in _Gandhi_, and Fred Astaire and Edward Everett Horton in just about anything.

    Liked by 1 person

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