I Spy (1965-1968): Ok, we know it was a TV show and not a movie, but this ground-breaking espionage drama was one of the first non-stereotypical pairings of a black and white man. So there!
Stir Crazy (1980): Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor made four memorable comedies together, but this was the funniest. Directed by Sidney Poitier, this road movie featured these comic legends as bumbling friends who wind up falsely accused of a string of robberies.
48 Hrs. (1982): Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte took the buddy formula into darker territory in this gritty action film about a bigoted cop (Nolte) who must rely on a hoodlum (Murphy) to catch a pair of fugitives.
Trading Places (1983): This rich/poor role reversal comedy was incredibly politically incorrect. But Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy were so funny together most audiences didn’t seem to notice or care.
White Men Can’t Jump (1992): As basketball court hustlers in this hit comedy (co-starring Rosie Perez), Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes had great chemistry and considerable sex appeal.
Seven (1995): So this is hardly a light, traditionally “buddy” film. But the characters Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play in this dark thriller do forge a hard won friendship before things take a tragic turn.
Men In Black trilogy (1997-Present): Tommy Lee Jone’s deapan energy was the perfect complement to Will Smith’s peerless comic timing in these sci-fi adventures. Little known fact: Smith’s role in the original was originally conceived for Chris O’Donnell. Remember him?
Rush Hour trilogy (1998-2007): Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan put a new spin on the ethic, mismatch buddy comedy with these action films, which made Tucker a household name and gave Chan’s career even more longevity.
Bringing Down the House (2003): Steve Martin and Queen Latifah made the ultimate odd couple in this culture clash hit comedy. Who can forget Betty White claiming she heard “Negro” in Martin’s house?
16 Blocks (2006): In one his most underrated films, Bruce Willis plays a burnt out cop who must transport a key witness (played by Mos Def) in a case against a fellow officer. Who knew Mos would have chemistry with Bruno?
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Lethal Weapon, the quintessential 1980s ‘buddy cop’ movie, turns 25 today. Looking back, it’s remarkable just how groundbreaking the action film (starring Danny Glover and pre-meltdown Mel Gibson) was. For once, an African-American played a stable family man opposite a far more unwieldy white character. The racial differences of the lead characters was almost never mentioned, and didn’t really matter. Of course Lethal Weapon wasn’t the first or the last Hollywood movie to pair mixed race leads to see if sparks would fly. Here our some our favorite duos in the buddy genre.