Rivalry is often not a pleasant relationship but most times it breeds respect and recognition amongst the rivals. I do watch sports a lot and see that the rivalries there are short lived at players do laugh and hug each other after the match with clashes that occur during the games forgotten. But some rivalries that bother outside sports are sometimes very detrimental.
The movie whose rivalry touched my heart and which shows a kind of mutual respect among both rivals is '300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE'. This movie was acted to show the period in times past when the Persian king, Cyrus invaded Greece, the home of the iron hare warriors, the Spartans and also the birthplace of democracy, Athens. The movie was portrayed to run simultaneously with '300 SPARTANS'.
When the Persian King Cyrus invaded Greece, his first port of call was Athens, the home of democracy but he was surprised with a warm welcome from the Athenians led by Themostocles. Before they could settle down to camp and get the cramp off their feet, the Athenians attacked them and a last lone arrow shot by Themistocles catch Cyrus in the chest and it led to his death. His son Xerxes took over him and after hearing his father on his dying bed say "Only the gods can defeat the Greeks", Xerxes after being urged by the Greek-born Persian General, Artemisa, sold his soul to darkness and he was transformed into a fearsome being, emerging as a 'god-king' and he invaded Greece for revenge.
He came with a large army and first of all sent emissaries to the different nations in Greece to succumb to his threat and be subjects under him. The two most notable nations in Greece then were the 'Athenians and the Spartans'. Which the Athenians were a people who valued democracy and diplomacy, the Spartans were a people of war, breed to becomes hardened soldiers. This difference in opinion made these two leading nations in Greece, rivals. The Athenians view the Spartans as a nations of dictators who impose their will with force will the Spartans see the Athenians is 'feeble women' who are weak and scared of combat.
This rivalry was partially healthy and unhealthy (the later only existed before the invasion, in the movie). When Persian invaded Greece the second time, the Athenians came to the Spartans to join forces with them and fight but the Spartans saw the Athenians as inferior and refused joining hands with their rivals to fight, instead they decided to fight on their own. In the sister movie, '300 Spartans', king Leonidas, the Spartan king even turned the offer of alliance made by the Arcadians to join forces and fight their common enemy, the Persians.
This rivalry between the Spartans and other Greek occupied nation almost amounted to the annihilation of the the Greeks as it even led to the death of King Loenidas of Sparta with his 300 soldiers.
But the later part of the war saw the entire Greek nation putting aside their rivalry and joining forces to attack the remaining Persian navy as the Athenian assault led by Themistocles had wrecked a great havoc to the Persian navy earlier.
This rivalry at first served to boast up the individual Greek nations to work towards being strong as one nation strive to be the best and attain respect. The strength being borne out of their rivalry helped to make them a hard nut to crack after their alliance.
All images were taken as screenshots from the movie