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Top 10 Lovers-On-The-Run Movie Couples

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
These are the most iconic lovers-on-the-run movie couples! For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic couples who took audiences on a wild and dangerous ride. The film's overall quality is somewhat important, but the focus is on the characters themselves. We’ve included couples like Herbert I. & Edwina McDunnough in “Raising Arizona”, Sailor Ripley & Lula Pace Fortune in “Wild at Heart”, Annie Laurie Starr & Bart Tare from “Gun Crazy”, Clarence Worley & Alabama Whitman in “True Romance” and more!
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Top 10 Lovers-On-The-Run Movie Couples


Trouble comes in two. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Lovers-On-The-Run Movie Couples.

For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic couples who took audiences on a wild and dangerous ride. The film's overall quality is somewhat important, but the focus is on the characters themselves.


#10: Mickey & Mallory Knox
“Natural Born Killers” (1994)


With a story by Quentin Tarantino but heavily altered by the director, Oliver Stone, this black comedy satirizes the media's glorification of crime and violence, as the mass murdering lovers are elevated to the status of rock stars. Opening with an incredibly disturbing massacre in a diner, Mickey and Mallory are controversial due to being almost treated as heroes, with the deranged couple setting out to liberate America from the villainous media. Admittedly, a killing spree might not have been the best way to go about things.


#9: Herbert I. & Edwina McDunnough
“Raising Arizona” (1987)


Leave it to the Coen brothers to produce one of the funniest lovers-on-the-run films of all time. Hailing from different walks of life, a goofy but charming robber named Herbert proposes and marries Edwina, a police officer who used to take the criminal's mugshots. Unable to have or adopt a child, the energetic couple opts to "borrow" one from a wealthy furniture tycoon, but Herbert's past associates quickly start making life difficult for Hi and Ed. Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter deliver highly entertaining performances as the central lovers, while "Raising Arizona" is bolstered by the Coen brothers' trademark black humor.

#8: Sailor Ripley & Lula Pace Fortune
“Wild at Heart” (1990)


Despite being one of David Lynch's tamer productions, the director's over-the-top neo-noir comedy is comfortably among the subgenre's weirdest entries. Somewhat similar in tone to "Twin Peaks," Sailor and Lula are two lovers who simply want to listen to speed metal, sing Elvis Presley songs, and occasionally rob a store or two. Sadly, Lula's mother loathes Sailor and puts out a hit on the suave lover. Packed with violent outbursts and overwhelmingly cruel characters, Lula and Sailor's idealized romance is the only light in an otherwise pitch-black world.



#7: Annie Laurie Starr & Bart Tare
“Gun Crazy” (1950)


Most lovers-on-the-run stories revolve around a bad boy luring the girl-next-door to a life of crime. However, some films flip this cliché on its head. An oldie but a goodie, "Gun Crazy" features a quintessential femme fatale in Annie Laurie Starr, a circus sharpshooter with a passion for blood and mayhem. As the trigger-happy woman's partner in crime and husband, Bart frequently attempts to be the voice of reason, but Laurie is a force of nature who cannot be tamed. "Gun Crazy's" couple might bring out the worst in each other, but they sure are fun to watch!



#6: Robert ‘Bob’ Hughes & Dianne
“Drugstore Cowboy” (1989)


A cult classic with a fantastic cast and an even better director, Gus Van Sant's drug-filled road trip incorporates the best elements of the subgenre into a thrilling but fatalistic package. Married and leading a gang of addicts who rob pharmacies and hospitals, Bob and Dianne's intense but fleeting romance is thinly held together by drugs, and "Drugstore Cowboy" knows better than to glamorize its central couple. Tragic but often laugh-out-loud funny, "Drugstore Cowboy" packs an unbelievable punch, and shines an honest spotlight on Bob and Dianne.



#5: Eddie Taylor & Joan ‘Jo’ Graham
“You Only Live Once” (1937)


Oh yeah, the love-on-the-run narrative has been a part of cinema since before World War II. A classic Hollywood drama, "You Only Live Once" blends romanticism with fatalism and a touch of German expressionism, which comes as no surprise considering Fritz Lang was the director. Wrongly convicted for murder and sentenced to death, Eddie escapes from prison and goes on the run with his pregnant wife. Intermittently sappy but always charming, the couple's scenes radiate passion and love, but the cold hand of the law is never far behind.



#4: Clarence Worley & Alabama Whitman
“True Romance” (1993)


Based on a script by Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott's surprisingly romantic crime film features an in-love couple on the run from the police and the mafia. A call girl hired as a birthday present for Clarence, Alabama feels an instant connection to the Elvis fan, so the pair promptly get hitched and make a wild dash for Los Angeles. Boasting one of cinema's more innocent couples, especially for this particular subgenre, "True Romance" is pure wish-fulfillment, but there is no denying Clarence and Alabama are the living embodiment of cool.



#3: Ferdinand ‘Pierrot’ Griffon & Marianne Renoir
“Pierrot le Fou” (1965)


An art film created by one of cinema's masters, Jean-Luc Godard's influential project is usually mentioned due to its unique editing style, but the main couple is also really fascinating. Bored by the good life, Ferdinand abandons his family and goes on a wild crime-filled romp through France with ex-girlfriend Marianne. Seeking excitement rather than money, "Pierrot le Fou" flip-flops between shocking criminal acts and Ferdinand discussing poetry or philosophy with Marianne. A toxic but freeing romance, "Pierrot le Fou" is revered as a classic for a reason.


#2: Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow
“Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)


If there is a single couple known by everyone, Warren Beatty's Clyde and Faye Dunaway's Bonnie would be them. Loosely based on the Barrow gang's exploits during the Great Depression, "Bonnie and Clyde" moves at a frantic pace and was a shocking film for its day. Despite the titular duo's many crimes, Clyde and Bonnie's youthful zest for life and willingness to challenge the status quo makes it impossible to not root for the lovers. Really, what has yet to be said about Arthur Penn's masterpiece? "Bonnie and Clyde" - the film and couple - are legendary.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Bowie & Keechie
“Thieves Like Us” (1974)


Aileen Wuornos & Selby Wall
“Monster” (2003)



Carter ‘Doc’ & Carol McCoy
“The Getaway” (1972)


#1: Kit Carruthers & Holly Sargis
“Badlands” (1973)


Murder never looked this beautiful or was so haunting. Terrence Malick's debut flick, "Badlands" shares many similarities with "Bonnie and Clyde," but Kit and Holly's relationship is far more one-sided and unsettling. An impressionable and lonely 15-year-old, Holly is easy prey for the charming and far more experienced Kit, and the teenager becomes completely dependent on the older man. Nothing about their relationship suggests Kit genuinely cares about Holly, but the dude craves attention and is not above shedding blood to find it. Once the romance's initial high starts to fade, Kit and Holly's relationship becomes slightly terrifying.




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