Nancy, Anne and — who was that other one? — oh yes, Steven Spielberg aren’t the only siblings in film. In fact, the list is longer than you might imagine.
1. Joel and Ethan Coen
If there’s one constant in the Coens’ collaboration, it’s the consistent high quality of their work: “Barton Fink,” “Fargo,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” “The Big Lebowski,” and, of course, their truly Jewish film, “A serious Man.” Another factor sets them apart: their work ethic. Since 1984’s “Blood Simple,” they’ve made over 20 films, in almost all cases, writing, editing, producing and directing themselves.
2. Auguste and Louis Lumière:
The brothers Lumière invented advances in both moving picture cameras and film, including the use of sprockets, which made it all possible. In 1885 in Paris, they were the first to charge admission for a screening or 10 short films, all less that 50 seconds.
3. Tony and Ridley Scott:
Tony joined his older brother Ridley at Ridley Scott Associates making commercials. Both brothers went on to extraordinarily successful careers. Tony’s first hit was “Top Gun,” and he went on to direct 15 others, including “Crimson Tide,” “The Last Boy Scout” and “Enemy of the State.” He committed suicide in 2012. Ridley has been more successful that his younger brother. His list of blockbusters includes “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Gladiator,” “Thelma and Louise” and “Black Hawk Down.” His reach also extended to TV, where he produced “The Good Wife,” among other shows and TV movies.
4. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan:
Christopher Nolan is the director (and usually screenwriter) of several of the most popular films of the 21st century. These include the Batman trilogy, “Inception,” and last year’s hit, “Interstellar.” Jonathan Nolan co-wrote screenplays for “The Dark Knight,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar.” He also created the TV show “Person of Interest.” And it was Jonathan’s short story “Memento Mori” that was the bases for brother Chris’s break-through hit, “Memento.”
5. David and Jerry Zucker:
The pair collaborated with Jim Abrahams on three slapstick comedies, including “Airplane,” “Top Secret!” and “Ruthless People.” They went on to successful individual careers that include “The Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” franchises (David) and “Ghost” (Jerry).
6. Albert and David Maysles:
Called the kings of documentaries, the brothers Maysles helped advance cinéma vérité techniques in such ground-breaking films as “Gimme Shelter” (about the Rolling Stones’ ill-fated Altamont concert) and “Grey Gardens” (about mother and daughter recluses in a derelict mansion in an exclusive neighborhood in East Hampton). Younger brother David died at age 45 of a stroke. Albert continued making films until recently.
7. Paul and Chris Weitz:
Talk about bloodlines: The Weitz boys are the progeny of the late designer John Weitz and actress Susan Kohner. Both currently write and direct films. Before going their separate ways they made several films together, including “American Pie” and “About a Boy.” Individually, the brothers worked on, most notably, “Little Fockers” (Paul) and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” (Chris).
8. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne:
Born in Liège, in the French-speaking part of Belgium, the brothers Dardenne made about 60 documentaries together before moving into feature films. Their movies — “La promesse” and “Rosetta” ¬— concentrate on the lives of working people. Their most recent, “Two Days, One Night,” opened last month in the United States to rave reviews. It stars Marion Cotillard who returns to work after a lengthy illness. The factory owner offers workers a choice: forego a bonus and save her job. She has two days to convince her fellow employees to vote for her.
9. Peter and Robert Farrelly:
The Farrellys have combined for almost a dozen comedy films, most of them popular and funny in a lowest-common-denominator kind of way. They are responsible for the funny “There’s Something About Mary,” and much less funny “Dumb and Dumber” as well as the recent sequel, “Dumb and Dumber Two.” My favorite: “Fever Pitch.” Perhaps that’s because someone else — Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel — wrote it.
10. Andy and Lana Wachowski
The Wachowskis big with their second film, “The Matrix.” They’ve been pretty much on a roll ever since, including that film’s two sequels. Other movies have included “Speed Racer,” based on the Japanese anime series, and “Cloud Atlas,” which made me feel sorry for Halle Berry, and “Jupiter Ascending,” which will be out next month.
11. Albert and Allen Hughes:
Twins, Albert and Allen Hughes got their start directing rap videos. They moved on to a series of frequently violent films, including “Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents” and “From Hell. The last required some re-working to avoid a dreaded NC-17 rating and reportedly generated disagreement between the brothers about how much violence to portray on screen. More recently, they worked on the post-apocalyptic film, “The Book of Eli.”
12. Anthony and Joe Russo and Angela Russo Ostot:
The brothers Russo have a long television resume (“Arrested Development” and “Community” among other shows) but have scored film successes as well, including “You, Me and Dupree,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and “Captain America: Civil War,” due in 2016. Sister Angela has worked mostly on TV, as a writer and producer of “V” and “Happy Endings.”