If you're like me, sometimes watching one film is not enough. Once in a while, film binging is essential, at least in my world. I will watch one movie, and then I feel this urge to watch another. So far, there is no known cure for this affliction. While I don't often plan out my double feature days, I will occasionally make sure that the films I watch have some connection to each other. The connection of the films usually ranges from interesting remakes or films that had the same art director. For your next rainy day (or any day for that matter) if you want to watch a double feature, I recommend these pairs:
Touch of Evil (1958) and The Player (1992):
While Touch of Evil and The Player don't seem like they would go together, it's one of my personal favorite film combinations; and aren't the best combinations in life comprised of total opposites? The opening shot of Touch of Evil is one of the most iconic in film history. It is a continuous tracking shot going down on a street in a Mexican border town. It perfectly sets up the looming suspense. Now, the reason why it is a perfect companion to The Player is the opening shot. In The Player, the opening is the same tracking shot from Touch of Evil, but instead gives a tour of a Hollywood studio, and during the shot, the characters discuss the opening shot from Touch of Evil, while that same shot is happening. It's very meta, and for a film nerd like me, it's amazing to watch. If both movies are on your 'watchlist,' why not watch them together? I guarantee you that it is one of the best double feature combinations out there.
Love Affair (1939) and An Affair to Remember (1957):
An Affair to Remember is a well-known tearjerker, frequently mentioned in pop culture. Most famously in Sleepless in Seattle when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks decide to meet at the top of the Empire State Building, just like Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but without as much tragedy. What many people don't know is that before Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr pledged their devotion to each other, Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer had done the same thing eighteen years earlier. Love Affair was released in 1939, considered to be one of the greatest years in film history, and was directed by Leo McCarey, who also directed An Affair to Remember. Love Affair was a big hit when it was released and showed off the amazing on-screen chemistry between Dunne and Boyer, who would go on to star in more movies together. However, for some reason, the film hasn't had quite the same staying power that An Affair to Remember has. Like most of the film-watching population, I had heard of and seen An Affair to Remember first, but when I learned about the original Love Affair, I immediately watched it. What's great about this double feature pairing is that it goes beyond simply watching an original and it's remake: Leo McCarey directed Love Affair, then some time later, decided he wanted to make the film all over again. I guess he felt that it was a story worth telling again, with a modern update. While the story remains the same between two films, the filmmaking and styles and look of each film are quite different, making it easy to forget that the story and director are the same. Dunne and Boyer, Grant and Kerr--each screen pair brings a different kind of banter and spark to the screen, and all of four of them did some of the best work of their careers in these two movies.
What about you, readers? What double features do you enjoy watching?
If you decided to follow any of my double feature suggestions, please let me know what you think.