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Movie Double Features: 20 of the Best (and Weirdest) Combinations From Our Youth

Movie double features? Today the idea is pretty mind-boggling given the fact that pretty much any flick we’d want to watch is available at our fingertips for streaming by one service or another. But things were different in those ancient days before Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the rest. Even before Blu-rays, DVDS or VHS.

It was a time that would send chills down the spines of those unable to cope with the idea of catching a movie at the time of its release or fear not being able to do so until much later. That notion was an important part of moviegoing years ago, when fans of popular films either had to wait for a straight re-release of a particular film or, preferably, getting it back in the theater with a second film. Yes, we’re talking about the classic movie double features. And not the schlock that was frequently thrown on to Drive-In screens, but mainstream movies.

Maybe you’re a fan of Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, or James Bond films… whatever it might be, back in the day the odds were you would get the opportunity to see one of your favorites with a 50/50 shot of it being paired with something else you cared about. Sometimes you’d get double features that made absolutely no sense and you were left wondering who thought that was a good idea.

In either case, we’ve gathered up this look at 20 double features from yesteryear.

1. Come Blow Your Horn (1963) / All the Way (aka The Joker is Wild) (1957)

Double Features: Frank Sinatra
©Paramount Pictures

Frank Sinatra, or Ol’ Blue Eyes, is back. At least he was when these two films were paired up. The first is a comedy and the second has him as a mobster in the ’20s whose throat is slashed at one point. Weird combo.

2. Fun in Acapulco (1963) / Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)

©Paramount Pictures

There aren’t a lot of people who are going to claim the films of Elvis Presley are great works of art, but what we do get with this double feature are two doses of the King and the opportunity to see and hear him singing… a lot.

3. Diamonds Are Forever (1971) / Gold (1974)

Diamonds Are Forever and Gold

By the mid-1970s, Roger Moore had replaced Sean Connery as James Bond, but rather than double-featuring (think we just coined that term) each of their Bond films, they decided to take Connery’s last one, Diamonds Are Forever, and pair it up with Gold, a Moore non-007 film, but make it look like it was one.

4. Lady Sings the Blues (1972) / Mahogany (1974)

©Paramount Pictures

Perfect proof of Diana Ross at her acting and singing best in this pair of acclaimed films that prove why she was heralded as the star she was, Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany.

5. Go Ape!

The original Planet of the Apes was the Star Wars of its time, and in 1974 20th Century Fox decided to release all five films making up the film cycle at one time (which makes this one a kind of double feature and-a-half!). Those films are Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). Of course, then there would be Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes remake, the recent trilogy consisting of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), as well as the all-new entry, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024).

That’s a huge barrel of movie monkeys!

6. To Catch a Thief (1955) / Vertigo (1958)

Alfred Hitchcock Double Feature
© Universal Pictures

They’re always saying someone is a master of this or that, but when you hear that director Alfred Hitchcock was the Master of Suspense, you’d better believe it. Added into the mix are some great performanceds by Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, James Stewart and Kim Novak.

7. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) / Butterfield 8 (1960)

Elizabeth Taylor Double Feature

Before she became Elizabeth Taylor the icon, she was Elizabeth Taylor the actress, and this double feature is a perfect example of how she became who she became.

8. Dr. No (1962) / From Russia with Love (1963) / Goldfinger (1964)

James Bond Triple Feature

The 1960s was the true era of James Bond, and fans of 007 at the time who had missed the earliest films in their original release could, in 1971, head out to the movies for a triple feature of Sean Connery’s first three adventures, Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964).

9. The Odd Couple (1968) / Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Double Feature: The Odd Couple and Rosemary's Baby
© Paramount Pictures

In 1974 ABC had a Friday night line-up that began with The Brady Bunch and ended with a horror show called Kolchak: The Night Stalker. To advertise it they used the tagline, “You’ll laugh until you scream.” Always thought that was pretty brilliant. Too bad nobody thought of that for this double feature. The mis-matched humor of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger in The Odd Couple teamed up with the devil’s spawn of Rosemary’s Baby? Who thought that was a good idea?

10. Rocky (1976) / Rocky II (1979)

Double Feature: Rocky and Rocky II

Before we could stream ’em or watch a marathon on TV, this was actually a very cool double feature. Back then, of course, who thought they’d still be in production in the form of the Creed films? As to the first Rocky, it’s hard to remember all those sequels later, but it won the 1976 Academy Award for Best Picture. Yo, Adrian!

11. Psycho (1960) / War of the Worlds (1953): Double Features

Double Feature: Psycho and War of the Worlds
© Paramount Pictures

We know this one! It’s where Anthony Perkins dresses up like his mother and kills Martians with a kitchen knife. Isn’t that right? Not quite as gonzo as other double features, but definitely teetering close to the edge of them. They do have the benefit of both being well-made.

12. Young Frankenstein (1974) / Silent Movie (1976): Double Features

Double Feature: Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie
© 20th Century Fox

The first is spoofer Mel Brooks’ brilliant classic that takes on the old Universal Frankenstein films, the latter a humorous version of a modern silent movie. Nobody did movies spoofs better than Brooks. Young Frankenstein is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

13. Star Wars (1977) / The Empire Strikes Back (1980): Double Features

Double Feature: Star Wars
© Lucasfilm

The first two films in the series were re-released the week that the third film Return of the Jedi was released. Lucky fans could catch the double feature in the afternoon and Jedi in the evening. Can’t do that anymore!

14. Murderer’s Row (1966) / The Silencers (1966): Double Features

Columbia Pictures

The novels the character Matt Helm came from are gritty detective adventures, but Dean Martin and Columbia Pictures decided to spoof James Bond instead with a series of films “inspired” by the character. These two actually came out in the same year, which was unexpected. Can’t tell if Dean’s sleepwalking through it all, or is just having a really good time.

15. A Hard Day’s Night (1964) / Help! (1965): Double Features

Double Feature: A Hard Day's Night and Help

Now that’s a way to indulge in Beatlemania. The first film is brilliant, a fictional look at a day in the life of the band. The second is not so brilliant, kind of a spoof of James Bond with the Fab Four on an adventure. Both, of course, have awesome music and John, Paul, George and Ringo.

16. Superman: The Movie (1978) / Superman II (1981): Double Features

Double Feature: Superman: The Movie and Superman II
© Warner Bros

The first two films starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel are two of the most beloved put to film. Christopher Reeve is Clark Kent and the Man of Steel, with Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Gene Hackman as arch nemesis Lex Luthor and Marlon Brando as Superman’s daddy, Jor-El.

17. Valley of the Dolls (1967) / Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970): Double Features

Double Feature: Valley of the Dolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
© 20th Century Fox

Honestly, the first one is a way over the top melodrama about a trio of women starting out on their lives, while the second was supposed to be a sequel but, instead, became a spoof of the first. How do you spoof something that was so insane to begin with? We don’t know. We were hoping you had an idea.

18. Sabrina (1954) / Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961): Double Features

Double Feaure: Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's
© Paramount Pictures

If you ever wondered why Audrey Hepburn is still revered as a true Hollywood star, just check out these two classics and all will become apparent.

19. Living It Up (1954) / Pardners (1957): Double Features

Double Feature: Living It Up and Pardners
© Paramount Pictures

Remember when Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis didn’t hate each other? A lot of people did and do, which was something that Paramount Pictures was well aware of, getting the duo’s hit movies back into theaters as often as they could.

20. Saturday Night Fever (1977) / Grease (1978): Double Features

Double Feature: Saturday Night Fever and Greae
© Paramount Pictures

We round up our look at movie double features with this one: After the massive success of the R-rated Saturday Night Fever, Paramount had the…uh, brilliant idea of cutting out the naughty bits and making it PG. The fact that the film lost a bit of its edge didn’t seem to matter, and it allowed them to pair it up with John Travolta’s massive success of the following year, Grease.

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