10 Most Dangerous Rivalry Movies

Tupac Shakur (born June 16th 1971) was murdered on September 13th 1996, by fans of Biggie Smalls – some say Biggie himself sent the assassins. In the movie Notorious (2009), based on the life of rapper Christopher Wallace (Biggie), the rivalry between Tupac and Biggie is presented as a misunderstanding that eventually brought about the death of two of the biggest names in rap music.

Rivalry (in the movies, and sometimes in real life) brings violence, vengeance and in some cases death. I’m not talking about a guy who cuts you off in traffic or takes the last pack of Skittles just a second ahead of you. I’m talking about real hate, and what we call at Jinni “uninhibited rivalry.” I hope that after reading this post you’ll see that forgive and forget is much better than rivalry and vengeance. That said, I have to admit that these themes produced some of the best movies ever. Here are 10 famous favorites from the movies, showing just how diverse rivalries can be.

10. “You Killed My Family, Now Prepare To Die” Rivalry
Lady Snowblood (1973)

After watching the first 10 minutes of Lady Snowblood you’ll start calling Quentin Tarantino a thief. But that’s okay, in art everybody steals from everybody, you just have to know who to steal from and what. (Or as io9 says, “Rip-Off, Don’t Remake.”) Tarantino knows, of course. If you haven’t seen Kill Bill, see Lady Snowblood first. If you have seen Kill Bill (more likely) watch Lady Snowblood anyway: It’s one hell of a movie, and you’ll enjoy counting the similarities…

9. Musical Rivalry
Amadeus (1984)

In a lavish 18th-century parlor in Austria, an elderly man is found by his servant with his throat slashed. The wound is self-inflicted, and the man is the little-known composer Salieri, contemporary and adversary of the now-famed, but once reviled, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Later, from his cell in an insane asylum, Salieri tells a priest the story of his uncontrollable jealousy of Mozart, confessing it drove him to actually kill the brilliantly gifted but troubled young man.

8. “Dishonor Among Criminals” Rivalry
Point Blank (1967)

Lee Marvin stars as the lethal Walker in director John Boorman’s stunningly stylized daylight noir, Point Blank. Mal Reese (John Vernon), Walker’s partner in crime, shoots and leaves him for dead on desolate Alcatraz Island just after they’ve pulled off a huge heist. For good measure, Reese also makes off with Walker’s perfidious wife, Lynne (Sharon Acker). A couple of years later, while touring Alcatraz, Walker is approached by a man who offers to help him get his cut of the take by leading him to Reese and Lynne in exchange for information about the mysterious organization that now includes the thief’s ex-partner. Walker agrees.

7. Funny Rivalry
Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story (2004)

Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn) owns the decrepit Average Joe’s gym, which has been losing clients ever since the glitzy Globo Then La Fleur learns that if he doesn’t come up with $50,000 in 30 days, he’ll be bought out by White Goodman (Ben Stiller), Globo Gym’s preposterously vain spokesman. One thing leads to another, and La Fleur finds himself with a ragtag team preparing to take on White in a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament…

6. Magical Rivalry
The Prestige (2006)

Robert Angier and Alfred Bordon (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) were young magician apprentices together, but became bitter rivals as their careers diverged and a terrible accident killed Robert’s wife. In the subsequent years Robert has become wildly jealous of Alfred’s superior talents, so in a last ditch attempt to steal some artistic ground he sends his assistant, Olivia (Scarlett Johansson), to infiltrate his rival’s lair and steal the secret to a spectacular trick called “The Transported Man.”

5. Sophisticated Rivalry
The Count Of Monte Cristo (1998)

I didn’t read the book by Alexander Dumas before watching this mini series and I don’t intend to. I just can’t believe The Count of Monte Cristo can get any better than this series. Whether book, movie, play, pantomime act or The Blue Man Group’s version, nothing can outdo this 1998 masterpiece. Some might say that watching it today feels a bit dated. To them I say: @#!%^&*!. No matter what Gerard Depardieu did in the past or does in the future, to me he will always be Edmond Dantes - the Count of Monte Cristo.

4. Western Rivalry
Once Upon a Time In The West (1968)

Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti), the power-hungry owner of a railroad company, hires Frank (Henry Fonda), a gunfighter without a conscience, to kill anyone who stands in the way of the railroad’s completion. After Frank murders a landowner, his widow Jill McBain (Claudia Cardinale) hires two killers of her own. Using techniques previously unseen in the genre, Sergio Leone utilizes close-ups, color, and Ennio Morricone’s trademark score to create a tense and somber meditation on death that is widely considered to be one of the best westerns in cinematic history.

3. “Cops and Robbers” Rivalry
Heat (1995)

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino (now dueling on Screen Junkies’ list of terminally typecast actors) finally got together onscreen in this riveting story about an intense rivalry between expert thief Neil McCauley (De Niro) and volatile cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino). McCauley will stop at nothing to do what he does best and neither will Hanna, even though it means destroying everything around them, including the people they love. Heat is a truly epic story of fatal rivalry.

2. Bloody Rivalry
Kill Bill (2003)

You can say that Quentin Tarantino is childish or suffering from Napoleon syndrome, but you can’t say his movies aren’t the coolest thing ever. Music by Ennio Morricone and RZA, Uma Thurman as a beautiful female assassin looking for revenge in a yellow Bruce Lee outfit, amazing swordfights between The Bride and O-Ren (Lucy Liu), the unbelievable fight between The Bride and 88 of O-Ren’s soldiers, the transitions between color, animation and black and white… Kill Bill is a unique and unforgettable rivalry movie.

1. “You Killed My Pigeons, Plus You’re Not Nice To My Master” Rivalry
Ghost Dog (1999)

It’s my favorite movie of all time. I love it and I don’t even care if it doesn’t love me back. If I had to bring only one movie to a deserted island (one with a DVD and television on it, and electricity obviously) it would definitely be this one. With all due respect to The Crying Game and The Last King Of Scotland, Forest Whitaker was never more impressive. Jim Jarmusch creates a clever, sad, funny (watch out for the parts with Ghost Dog and Raymond the ice cream guy) and original work of art. It’s an impossible combination of a gangster/samurai/Spike Lee movie that looks nothing like anything you’ve ever seen.

So the next time someone steps on your toe and kicks you in the face, assume he did it by accident and don’t hold a grudge. But keep in mind: if he does it repeatedly, he might be doing it on purpose. In that case - Congratulations! You’ve got yourself a rival.

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