Top 10 Movie Rivalries

Script written by Niki Neptune. There’s nothing like an ongoing feud to keep the blood boiling. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 movie rivalries. Whether it’s caused by opposing views, intense dislike or just general hatred, some of these conflicts are the motivating force for some of these characters; it’s the reason they get out of bed every morning and what they dream about at night. And while a few may take it to dangerous levels, it’s not always about literally murdering the competition. However, you won’t see any superheroes on this list, because we’ve already got you covered there with the Top 10 Comic Book Rivalries. And you won’t see any cartoons, because we’ve already got the Top 10 Cartoon Rivalries as well. Special thanks to our users offbeat08, lukeedwardsimmons and 92synergy for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Movie Rivalries


There’s nothing like an ongoing feud to keep the blood boiling. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie rivalries.

Whether it’s caused by opposing views, intense dislike or just general hatred, some of these conflicts are the motivating force for some of these characters; it’s the reason they get out of bed every morning and what they dream about at night. And while a few may take it to dangerous levels, it’s not always about literally murdering the competition.

However, you won’t see any superheroes on this list, because we’ve already got you covered there with the Top 10 Comic Book Rivalries. And you won’t see any cartoons, because we’ve already got the Top 10 Cartoon Rivalries as well.

#10: Harry Potter vs. Draco Malfoy
“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)

These wizards may’ve grown up together, but they weren’t the best of friends – far from it, actually. When you consider that Draco pretty much hated Harry at first glance, it makes sense that Harry wouldn’t like him in return – plus, Mr. Potter’s a pretty good judge of character. But their schoolyard hate-fest eventually progresses to a much more serious and dangerous enmity. As the un-anointed princes of good and evil, their rivalry is representative of a much larger battle. And we know how that turned out.

#9: James Hunt vs. Niki Lauda
“Rush” (2013)

What’s life as a professional racer if you don’t have a rival? The blonde versus the brunette. The Englishman versus the Austrian. Passion versus precision. Life couldn’t have possibly been faster for either one of these gentlemen, as they struggle to one-up the other over the course of their professional rivalry on the racetrack. Through devastating accidents and marital woes, their relationship kept their eyes on the road and the desire to win at the forefront.

#8: Cady Heron vs. Regina George
“Mean Girls” (2004)

What started out as a clique infiltration ended up turning into a social coup d’état. It’s the daughter of anthropologists versus the school’s reigning queen bee and leader of the Plastics, and it would seem they both underestimated each other. These two leveraged their popularity and their growing, personal awfulness in an attempt to take each other down. But it reaches a fever pitch and their rivalry is soon taken to new heights.

#7: Happy Gilmore vs. Shooter McGavin
“Happy Gilmore” (1996)

Friendly competition isn’t really the word to describe the relationship between these two. Especially not when one of them is willing to buy the other’s grandmother’s house as leverage to force his hand in a golf competition. With the pro golfer versus the unconventional amateur, the completion is fierce, if not a little aggressive. And considering this is an Adam Sandler flick, it’s also a little ridiculous.

#6: Nina Sayers vs. Lily
“Black Swan” (2010)

The world of ballet isn’t all pirouettes and tutus. The pressure to land, or even to keep a role can bring out both the best and worst in people. These battling ballerinas are no exception. These two dancers are like the halves of one whole: the innocent and virtuous versus the reckless and seductive. What starts out as a simple professional battle for superiority eventually devolves into a violent confrontation with no true victor.

#5: Marty McFly vs. Biff Tannen
“Back to the Future” (1985)

Being transported back in time to witness your father being harassed by a boneheaded bully can be tough. Having that bully become a constant source of antagonism to you as you attempt to introduce your parents so you can be born is pretty much a doozy. Having your father’s bully become your arch nemesis is truly a unique circumstance. And then having his family members harass you across 130 years of history may be worst of all.

#4: Roy Munson vs. Ernie McCracken
“Kingpin” (1996)

Most sports rivalries don’t end up with someone losing a hand, but that’s how this one originated. Once a bowling phenomenon but now one-handed thanks to Big Ern’s dastardly con, Roy sets out to get revenge on the man who left him, and his hand, to the dogs. Along the way, he mentors an Amish bowling protégé in the hopes that he’ll rise through the ranks and eventually embarrass his arch-rival in a high-stakes bowling tournament. Revenge is a dish best served cold. And by an Amish guy.

#3: Robert Angier vs. Alfred Borden
“The Prestige” (2006)

Being a magician requires knowing the secrets to tricks that defy belief. But sometimes, those tricks can turn deadly. Though they started off as friends, the rivalry between these two magicians borders on obsessive, with each one constantly on a hunt to expose or embarrass the other. They eventually reach a point of desperation where they’ll try anything to conclude their back-and-forth, but nothing can put an end to the tricks and twists in this relationship.

#2: Maverick vs. Iceman
“Top Gun” (1986)

When you’re a brash, bad-boy naval aviator who can’t be tamed, no straight-laced, over-achiever is going to stand in your way. It’s a competition to be the best, even if being the best ends in a fatal training accident because you can’t chill out a little. And really, these two probably could’ve skipped the whole aggressive conflict thing and gone straight to the friendship. At least that way fewer people would’ve gotten hurt. And maybe there would’ve been more volleyball.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Sidney Deane vs. Billy Hoyle “White Men Can’t Jump” (1992)
- Ferris Bueller vs. Ed Rooney “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)
- Achilles vs. Hector “Troy” (2004)
- Pete LaFleur vs. White Goodman “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story” (2004)
- Brian Clough vs. Don Revie “The Damned United” (2009)
- Ron Burgundy vs. Veronica Corningstone “Anchorman” (2004)

#1: Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed
“Rocky” (1976)

It’s not every day that a debt collector gets a shot at the heavyweight title. And considering that the reigning champ doesn’t even consider the underdog a threat, it makes the rivalry that much more intense, at least on one side. But with a little luck and a lotta training, maybe the underdog can go the distance. It’s not until Rocky and Apollo are in the ring that the gloves come off, so to speak, and they’re allowed to battle it out.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite movie rivalry? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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