Top 10 Morgan Freeman Twosomes

Morgan Freeman is a great actor. But The Shawshank Redemption and Driving Miss Daisy star loves to play opposite another strong actor. Here’s his best double-team roles…

Morgan Freeman is a great actor. That’s a fact. However, while watching one of his more underrated films alongside Gene Hackman in Stephen Hopkins’ Under Suspicion I realised he prefers a partner in crime; a co-star to share the limelight. Rarely has Freeman ever taken the leading role without a talented co-star, preferring instead to go fifty-fifty with another actor or take the backseat to other front men and women. It is this sharing of screen time that interests me the most. He’s certainly provided some of his best performances alongside other established stars. Of course it helps when those co-stars include such greats as Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Tim Robbins, Christian Slater and Jessica Tandy.

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10. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (…with Kevin Costner)

Morgan Freeman joins Robin Hood aka Kevin Costner to steal from the rich and give to the poor.

9. Nurse Betty (…with Chris Rock)

Chris Rock joins Morgan Freeman as a pair of hitmen who cause well-meaning waitress Renee Zellweger to suffer a fugue state after witnessing them murder her husband. Neil LaBute’s dark comedy is one of the best films of 2000.

8. Kiss The Girls (…with Ashley Judd)

Morgan Freeman is Detective Alex Cross in this entertaining adaptation of the James Patterson novel. Here he shares screen time with the gorgeous Ashley Judd as the pair try to track down and capture a sadistic murderer.

7. Hard Rain (…with Christian Slater)

It is Morgan Freeman against Christian Slater in a film by the writer-producer team that brought us Speed. When a natural disaster sees the small town of Huntingburg, Indiana flooded with several feet of rainwater, armoured truck driver Tom (Slater), is ambushed by Freeman’s gang while transporting $3 million in cash. What entails is a thrilling game of cat and mouse.

6. The Bucket List (…with Jack Nicholson)

Freeman stars opposite Jack Nicholson in this bittersweet story that follows the exploits of two terminally ill men who plan to fulfil their dreams before they “kick the bucket”.

5. Under Suspicion (…with Gene Hackman)

A couple of powerhouse performances from Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman are the centrepiece of this taught thriller set mainly in the office of a police captain. Based on the 1981 French film Garde à vue, Freeman has to unpick Hackman’s various alibis as circumstantial evidence points to him being the culprit in a violent murder. As the film is dialogue-driven and set predominantly in one location, it is the performances of the two leads actors that comes to the fore.

4. The Shawshank Redemption (…with Tim Robbins)

In The Shawshank Redemption, Frank Darabont’s theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, Morgan Freeman plays Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, a smuggler serving a life sentence in Shawshank State Prison. There he befriends Tim Robbins’ Andy Dufresne who has found himself serving two life sentences for the alleged murder of his wife and her lover. The pair strike up a friendship lasting more than two decades in this film that has become an audience favourite.

3. Driving Miss Daisy (…with Jessica Tandy)

Morgan Freeman stars opposite the delightful Jessica Tandy in Bruce Beresford’s Driving Miss Daisy. Tandy, an aging widow in Georgia strikes up an unlikely friendship with Hoke Colburn (Freeman) after she is forced to take on a chauffeur after an automobile wreck.

2. Unforgiven (…with Clint Eastwood)

Morgan Freeman steps back in time as Clint Eastwood’s aging ex-partner in the Oscar-winning Unforgiven. Widely appreciated as one of the best Westerns ever made, Eastwood stars and directs the film which, he says, sums up his feelings to the genre. Freeman joins the iconic Hollywood legend on a vengeful mission to kill the men who assaulted a prostitute. However, Sheriff Little Bill Daggett, played by the brilliant Gene Hackman, stands in their way.

1. Seven (…with Brad Pitt)

Morgan Freeman is the star of the show alongside one-half of Brangelina Brad Pitt. In David Fincher’s terrific thriller, Freeman plays the nearly-too-old-for-this shit Detective William R. Somerset. The toughened cop who has seen most things during a long career in the force but has to kerb the more youthful exuberance of new partner Detective David Mills (Pitt) in this perennially dark city of sin.

Written and compiled by Daniel Stephens.

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See also: Annette Bening | Jeff Bridges | John Candy | Charlie Chaplin | Chevy Chase | Tony Curtis | Robert De Niro | Robert Downey Jr. | Richard Dreyfuss | Clint Eastwood | Michael J. Fox | Whoopi Goldberg | Tom Hanks 1984 to 1989 | Tom Hanks 1990 to 2010 | Dustin Hoffman (Films) | Dustin Hoffman (Performances) | Steve Martin | Eddie Murphy (Characters) | Julia Roberts | Adam Sandler | Arnold Schwarzenegger | Christian Slater | Meryl Streep

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Nice Dan. I knew Seven would be number one, it had to be. Not only is that one of his best performances, it’s probably one of the best written characters as well. He’s so calm, so smooth and ready for anything….until John Doe has the box delivered.

    I think Shawshank should be number two but how can you argue Unforgiven.

    I’d also personally place Deep Impact in there somehow. I’m not sure who the other “star” would be but take your pick (Tea Leone. Robert Duvall etc) but I just love him in that film.

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    le0pard13 Reply

    Wonderful list of pairing with this actor, Dan. There’s a couple I’ve spotted I’ll have to catch up on. Well done.

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    Jaina Reply

    When I saw Shawshank in 4th place I was beginning to worry. For me, that’d be higher. But in at #1 with him and Brad Pitt in Se7en? Perfect! Definitely his best tag team combo.

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    Rodney Reply

    The top 4 for me are nearly interchangeable in any ranking – they’re ALL awesome films, and all awesome performances. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Shawshank over Seven, but it’d be a photo finish and I’d never be able to justify it other than simple gut-feeling love for that movie.

    Didn’t like Kiss The Girls though. I saw it in cinemas and came away feeling totally “meh”. I might have to re-watch it soon and repparaise that feeling, though.

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    Candice Frederick Reply

    great list! I especially like, seven, shawshank, kiss the girls and unforgiven.

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    Evan Crean Reply

    Top notch list. I normally hate Kevin Costner, but I love Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I remember watching that tons of times as a kid. Freeman is a big reason for it being so awesome, although Christian Slater and Alan Rickman also help.

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    Pete Reply

    Great idea for a list! But Shawshank behind Driving Miss Daisy is damn near blasphemous! Love it that Seven took the number one spot but think Shawshank would probably be my number 2. And I’ve got a damn bif soft spot for Robin Hood too!

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    Blandine Etienne Reply

    Two I would include are
    Million Dollar Baby: love the curmudgeonly friendship between he and Clint Eastwood. When he peers at Clint above his glasses, it kills me every time.
    An Unfinished Life: again great rapport with Robert Redford.

    Great list 🙂

  9. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    @Blandine: Good additions Blandine, it just goes to show how good he is alongside other actors. You could say he’s one of the best co-stars in Hollywood! 🙂

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    Dan Reply

    @Dan: There’s a lot of love for The Sgawsgank Redemption which I understand but I’m glad you agree with my number one choice! I agree about Deep Impact even if I’m not too fond of the film itself.

    @le0pard: thanks Micheal.

    @Jaina: I’m not surprised about the love for Shawshank but I personally prefer Seven.

    @Rodney: yeah, Kiss the Girls isn’t the greatest thriller in the world but it looks a lot better when we put it up against the poor follow up.

    @Evan: yeah, some great characters help make Prince if Thieves so enjoyable.

    @Pete: maybe Prince of Thieves is like Titanic, everyone says they’re rubbish but have a secret soft spot for them.

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    Scott Lawlor Reply

    you are so right, he does seem to like being put with a strong actor, seems to feed off them. SE7EN is still my fave

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    ruth Reply

    I don’t know if Ashley Judd is a strong actor. I’d swap that with Street Smart, Morgan’s earlier film that actually nabbed him a Best Supporting Oscar.

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    ruth Reply

    Ooops forgot to add that he co-starred with Christopher Reeve in Street Smart, quite an underrated film IMO.

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    Dan Grant Reply

    Robin Hood, imo, is a fantastic film and part of it is because of the strong cast. Costner, Slater, Freeman and Hans Gruber….that is an epic cast right there. Freeman is excellent in it as Aziz, he is one of my fave actors.

    And I love what he says about England:

    “Does this cursed country have no sun?”


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    Dan Grant Reply

    Sorry…Azeem for Freeman in RHPOT….my bad.

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    Alex Withrow Reply

    AWESOME list! Somerset and Mills are a great combination. Terrific chemistry between the two actors there. Nice work!

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    Sam Fragoso Reply

    What an observation. I hadn’t thought of that before hand, but Freeman is great with a fellow actor or actress.

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