50 Incredible Actor-Director Partnerships

Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott

The Director/Actor Partnership: Director Budd Boetticher was meant to make Seven Men From Now with John Wayne. Wayne was busy with The Searchers , though, and instead recommended Randolph Scott.

It was the beginning of a beautiful working partnership, the duo going on to make six more classic Westerns.

Collaborations: Seven Men From Now, The Tall T, Decision At Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Westbound, Ride Lonesome, Comanche Station.

If You Only Watch One: The Tall T , in which ruthless outlaws kidnap a former ranch foreman.

Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale

The Director/Actor Partnership: Together, Nolan and Bale revitalised the Batman franchise - and they made it look easy.

"He’s one of the best around. He’s out there, yeah," says Bale of his director. Just because they're out of the Batman business, don't expect them not to collaborate again in the future…

Collaborations: Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises.

If You Only Watch One: The Dark Knight , which may involve a (welcome) surplus of Joker, but really upped the stakes for Batman, played deftly by Bale.

Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks

The Director/Actor Partnership: They've collaborated both as actor/director and producers (on TV dramas Band Of Brothers and The Pacific ), so they must be doing something right.

When he's directing Hanks, Spielberg's shown skill in harnessing the actor's typically nervy energy and fuelling it into something unique.

Collaborations: Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Band Of Brothers, The Terminal, The Pacific.

If You Only Watch One: Saving Private Ryan , in which Spielberg makes Hanks feel the hurt - a lot. Tough, uncompromising and gripping.

The Coens & Frances McDormand

The Director/Actor Partnership: Frances McDormand loves the Coen Brothers so much that she married one of them (Joel).

Their work has varied from dark dramas to kooky comedies.

Collaborations: Blood Simple, Fargo, The Man Who Wasn't There, Burn After Reading.

If You Only Watch One: Make it Fargo , which nabbed McDormand an Oscar for her portrayal of a pregnant but gung-ho cop.

David Cronenberg & Viggo Mortensen

The Director/Actor Partnership: "David's the Academy's invisible man. He's the most talented invisible man in Hollywood, if you will," Viggo Mortensen said of Cronenberg in 2011.

True, the great director's been snubbed by the Academy since forever, but that hasn't stopped him making some fantastic dramas with the former Aragorn.

Collaborations: A History Of Violence, Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method.

If You Only Watch One: Eastern Promises. Cronenberg has a tight grip on the potentially moribund drama, while Mortensen is genuinely fearless in the face of balls-out scrapping.

Tim Burton & Johnny Depp

The Director/Actor Partnership: "They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky." Alright, they didn't do The Addams Family together, but that show's lyrics are apt for this goth-obsessed duo.

They're also a lot like family - Burton and Depp have made eight films together, all of them either box office smashes or critical darlings.

Collaborations: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Alice In Wonderland, Dark Shadows.

If You Only Watch One: Edward Scissorhands is a charming goth fairytale, and Depp does wonders with barely any words.

Pedro Almodvar & Penelope Cruz

The Director/Actor Partnership: He's called her his muse, she's called working with him as like a dream. Together they've only made five films (though Cruz only cameo'd in their most recent).

"There are no limits to the heart that she puts into her work," Almodóvar praises his star. "Once she's in contact with the spirit of the character, it's very impressive how far she goes with it."

Collaborations: Live Flesh, All About My Mother, Volver, Broken Embraces, I'm So Excited!

If You Only Watch One: All About My Mother , a riveting drama that investigates some pretty controversial issues. Groundbreaking at the time.

Ridley Scott & Russell Crowe

The Director/Actor Partnership: "He's angry all the time and I'm angry all the time as well," is how Ridley Scott sums up his relationship with Russell Crowe.

Together, they've created some of the most combustive cinema of the past few decades - though they've also produced at least two damp squibs.

Collaborations: Gladiator, Body Of Lies, A Good Year, American Gangster, Robin Hood.

If You Only Watch One: Watch their first collaboration, Gladiator . It's got quotable lines aplenty, some of Scott's most gorgeous lensing ever, and some truly thrilling scraps.

Steven Soderbergh & George Clooney

The Director/Actor Partnership: This duo met when they were down in the dumps - Clooney had made Batman & Robin , Soderbergh's King Of The Hill was a flop.

Together, though, they rejuvenated each other with films like Out Of Sight and Ocean's 11 . "We love working together," Clooney said while promoting The Good German. "I'm a fan and I steal ideas from him now."

Collaborations: Out of Sight, Ocean's Eleven, Solaris, Ocean's Twelve, The Good German and Ocean's Thirteen.

If You Only Watch One: Ocean's 11 , a Las Vegas romp that's as smart as it is charming.

James Cameron & Sigourney Weaver

The Director/Actor Partnership: James Cameron loves a headstrong woman, and he got exactly that in the form of Sigourney Weaver, who he turned into a full-on warrior in Aliens .

"What’s so amazing about Jim is that he doesn’t write this pompous sci-fi crap," Weaver said around the time of Avatar 's release. "He grounds his characters. You care about them. It’s all about people. The moment you first see Jake, this young man in a wheelchair, unable to walk, it breaks your heart. You’re in his pocket."

Collaborations : Aliens, Avatar.

If You Only Watch One: It has to be Aliens . Cameron expands on the xenomorph mythology while also creating a subtle parable of motherhood as alternately monstrous and nurturing.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.