10 Legendary Rivalries That Left Their Mark On History

Published on May 28, 2024

Credit: Birmingham Museums Trust

Some people are just not made to get along together. And when circumstances pit them against each other or force them to compete, personalities clash and it can lead to bitter confrontations. From bitter rivalries in the world of art to heated conflicts between scientific minds, these feuds have fascinated and entertained generations for centuries.

Let’s delve into the story behind 10 feuds that, in one way or another, left their mark on history.


Hamilton and Burr

Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art

The infamous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804 was the culmination of one of the most recounted feuds in American history. Stemming from political disagreements and personal animosity, the confrontation ended tragically. Despite Hamilton’s intentions to avoid harming Burr, his rival showed no restraint, and he ultimately succumbed to a fatal bullet wound days later.


Edison and Tesla

Credit: Zach Lucero

The rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla in the late 19th century was likely exaggerated by the press, but they certainly had their fair share of differences regarding the best type of electric current for widespread use in cities and large industries. Edison was a proponent of direct current (DC) electricity, a somewhat safer but more expensive and inefficient system due to the dissipation of energy over long distances. Tesla, on the other hand, favored alternating current, more efficient over long distances. In the end, alternating current won, but we still use direct current for some applications.


Van Gogh and Gauguin

Credit: Alina Grubnyak

For a long time, art historians believed that genius painter Vincent Van Gogh had cut off his own ear during one of his many bouts of depression. But recent research claims that Van Gogh’s severed ear was likely the work of his fellow painter Paul Gauguin. During their brief cohabitation in Arles, France, the duo had many violent altercations, and since Gaughin was a fencing ace - and carried a sword with him - art historians speculate that he could have sliced Van Gogh’s ear during one of their arguments.


Ali and Frazier

Credit: Nemesia Production

Legendary boxing heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier engaged in a fierce rivalry both inside and outside the ring. Initially on good terms with each other, their epic trilogy of matches, including the iconic "Thrilla in Manila," captivated the world and further intensified their rivalry. They called each other names and tried to humiliate each other at every opportunity. Despite Ali's attempts to bury the hatchet years later, Frazier refused to reconcile, still angry with Ali’s "cheap" tactics and unnecessary abuse.


Jobs and Gates

Credit: Julian Hochgesang

The fierce competition between tech titans Steve Jobs and Bill Gates defined the early days of the personal computer revolution. Although they initially tried to work together, Gates didn’t think much of Job’s vision, and their relationship went south. In later years, both believed that the other was ripping off their product in one way or another and made bitter remarks about each other’s products. However, they also found opportunities to briefly reconcile and support each other’s ideas, proving that despite their differences, there was also mutual admiration.


Waters and Gilmour

Credit: Parker Coffman

The feud between Pink Floyd bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour epitomized the tensions of creative collaboration and individual ambition. When Waters, who viewed himself as the main creative force behind Pink Floyd, left the group in 1984, a bitter legal battle over the use of the band’s name ensued. Despite a couple of brief collaborations, the strained ex-bandmates never reconciled, and to this day have shown no interest in working together again.


Parker and Cattrall

Credit: Jakob Owens

The on-screen rivalry between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall in "Sex and the City" mirrored real-life tensions between the actresses. Behind-the-scenes conflicts and personal animosities added drama to the beloved television series and its subsequent adaptations. Apparently, most of it was caused by differences in their salaries, as Parker received a substantial raise when she was given an executive producer credit on the show. In response, Parker and other cast members shunned Cattrall, and to this day the two still refuse to speak to each other.


Adolf and Rudolf Dassler

Credit: Christian Wiediger

Sibling rivalry reached new heights in the feud between Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, founders of Adidas and Puma, respectively. After their joint success in manufacturing the shoes of Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, their already fragile relationship became strained and they went separate ways. Their rivalry ended up literally dividing the small German town of Herzogenaurach, as their factories were placed on opposite sides of the Aurach river that crossed the town. Their animosity translated into rivalries between their sponsored football teams and even the employees of their respective companies.


Harding and Kerrigan

Credit: Rod Long

The notorious feud between figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan gripped the world during the 1994 Winter Olympics. The inherent tension between the two competitors for the Olympic gold was further escalated by the press' frequent comparisons of each other’s styles. When Harding's ex-husband orchestrated an attack on Kerrigan, injuring her knee, the scandal rocked the skating world and became a sensationalized media spectacle, forever tarnishing Harding's reputation.


R2-D2 and C-3PO

Credit: Lyman Hansel Gerona

Amusingly, the charming comic relief duo of the "Star Wars" franchise, brought to life by actors Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels, reportedly had a strained relationship off-screen. Daniels was a classically trained actor and believed that his co-star, who came from a circus background, was not up to his standards. Meanwhile, Baker took offense to Daniels' high and mighty attitude around the set, a sentiment that was backed by many cast members.


Where Magic Happens.

Published on May 28, 2024

Credit: Jakob Owens

Let's face it. Not all of us have the talent of Meryl Streep , the chin of Kirk Douglas , or that Magnum gaze of Derek Zoolander . We may never get to star in a movie or even be in one. But we can explore the actual locations where some of the most famous films were shot.

With a little luck, we'll find some close to home. And for a moment, we can feel surrounded by the magic of cinema too.


Hollywood Boulevard - Los Angeles

Credit: Aman

Whether you're short on time, budget, or both, there's only one place you should choose: Hollywood Boulevard . With over 130 movies and TV shows, including 'Chinatown' and 'Lethal Weapon' , this iconic street in the already heavily photographed Los Angeles is the most filmed location in America.

No matter when you visit, the chances of stumbling upon a film shoot are enormous. And who knows, if you cross the street at the right time, you might just become part of the next movie classic!


Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles.

Credit: Venti Views

Are you a lover of the classics? Or perhaps you prefer science fiction. Maybe you're more of a musical person?

Whatever your answer, your destination remains the same. Nowhere else will you feel as close to the stars as the Observatory , situated atop Griffith Park , with its astonishing views across the valley.

From 'Rebel Without a Cause' , the classic icon featuring James Dean, to the menacing presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the 'Terminator' , or the celebration of the love between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in 'La La Land' , hundreds of stars and films had the Griffith Observatory as the perfect location.

A unique setting from which you can enjoy all the magnificence of Hollywood.


Nakatomi Plaza – Los Angeles.

Credit: Matt The Artist

Yes, it exists. The famous Nakatomi Plaza is not (just) a model. You can discover it in Century City , Los Angeles.

While you might not hear Bruce Willis's memorable one-liners while crawling through the ventilation ducts, you can at least enjoy the Fox Plaza skyscraper facade, which served as the main setting in 'Die Hard' (1988).

By the way, unlike its fictional counterpart, the original building has not suffered any damage during the production of this film.


Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse – New York.

Credit: Phillip Ritz from New York, NY, USA

If you're in Manhattan and need help, who ya gonna call? Of course, the city's most beloved "Superstars of the Supernatural."

And if they don't return your call, perhaps you can head over to the Tribeca neighborhood at 14 North Moore Street , where Hook & Ladder Company 8 operates. It's a former fire station converted into the "Ghostbusters" headquarters for the 1984 fantasy comedy.


Katz’s Delicatessen – New York.

Credit: Harry Knight

With so many incredible locations to discover in New York, you may want to recharge your batteries at a traditional venue. And what better way to do it than at this century-old deli on East Houston Street in Manhattan , where you can taste their delicious pastrami on rye?

Although since Meg Ryan showed her extraordinary expressive skills to Billy Crystal in the film "When Harry Met Sally" (1989), thousands of enthusiastic diners have sat at the same table where the famous, and noisy, scene was filmed, often ordering "I'll have what she's having."


Public Garden Bench – Boston, MA.

Credit: Logan Hughes

This is an easy one. While there are numerous bench scenes in movies, this particular bench in Boston Public Garden hosts one of the most emotional conversations in film history between Matt Damon and Robin Williams , in the movie 'Good Will Hunting' (1997).

Identifying this site is quite simple; it's usually adorned with flowers and memories since the passing of Robin Williams in 2014.


Devils Tower – Wyoming.

Credit: Mick Haupt

This volcanic monolith, located in the Black Hills of Crook County in northeastern Wyoming , has been a sacred site for indigenous communities and holds the honor of being designated America's first national monument in 1906. It is certainly worth a visit.

No doubt, that was what some friendly little gray aliens thought when they decided to use it as a parking lot in the world-famous Steven Spielberg film 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977). Since then, they say, its fame has only spread throughout the galaxy.


The Bridges of Madison County - Iowa.

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If you decide to explore this location amidst the stunning landscapes of Winterset, Iowa , there are two things you cannot forget to bring with you: a good camera and an adequate amount of tissues.

One of the most emotional and bittersweet masterpieces of cinema came to us from the skilled hands of Clint Eastwood and the unforgettable gaze of Meryl Streep .

The unique Madison bridges , originally numbering 19 and with six still standing, await all those who dare to relive a true love story.


The Exorcist Steps – Georgetown.

![]( https://lh7-us.googleusercontent.com/kDgSQ_46cJQjjiGR6SHLyjzX93s2BelXY6C5mWGL5XvlunaoDhUUzrxhsz0GGX5LRF9bCY2UVxHVyDA1iGR16g5W2EExJHzpZDaFMk0wzver0imJcMPXz3c-yOo6Qf8YTICOlAk_a21CyWD1lS7Wd3o0wjYECoSY?cropProperties=%7B%7D " Lenka Reznicek , CC BY 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons")

Long before Joaquin Phoenix's Joker revealed Shakespeare's steps to the world with his iconic dance, turning it into an instant meme to the delight of thousands of Instagrammers who test his movements, and the patience of Bronx neighbors, there was another famous staircase.

A much scarier one.

This is the staircase where the shocking climax of what conceivably is the most terrifying film in history takes place: 'The Exorcist' (1973). Filmed in numerous locations in Georgetown , the 75 steps of 3600 Prospect Street , renowned as a Historic Landmark in 2019, are the most iconic.

Would you dare to go down them?


Astoria, Oregon.

Credit: luke flynt

If in the 80s you were one of those children who dreamed of discovering an old map that would lead you to a pirate treasure and the adventure of a lifetime with your best friends, the beautiful settings of Astoria, Oregon , are your next destination.

There, you can tour not only the spectacular locations of The Goonies (1985), including the Jail (now the Oregon Film Museum), the house of the Goonies, Ecola State Park (lair of the infamous and hilarious Fratelli), and the dazzling views of Cannon Beach.

Moreover, you will also find an entire town that celebrates its most famous movie and even has its day: every June 7, Astoria celebrates The Goonies Day .

So prepare your backpack, your camera, and your sense of adventure. The magic of cinema is waiting for you!

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