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Ripe for Remake vs. Don't mess with a classic


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 01:05 AM

I was replying to another post earlier this week and it reminded me of how many old movies I thought would make great re-makes but then on the other hand I thought there are SOME films that are as powerful now as when the first flicker of light touched the celuloid of which they were made. Most everyone would probably agree that not a single frame of Gone with the Wind or the Wizard of Oz need EVER be remade. In MY opinion Van Zant's remake of Pycho was a waste of film because he neather enhanced nor out did Hitchcock's version in fact shooting it in color lessened the film's impact and let's face it Anne Heche and Vince Vanghn were adequite but paled next to Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Pyscho is a good example of a classic that shouldn't be messed with. Somewhat smaller films (at least in popularity) have elements that make the film unique and render it incapible of being adequitly remade such as Cagney's performance in White Heat or the chemistry of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca.

There are SOME VERY GOOD films that have gotten better though a remake. Scarface comes to mind. Paul Muni's version was good, Pacino's was better. Sometimes this is because of restrictions put on the filmmakes by the Haze commission, the Catholic League and other such entities at the time as well as the general public's moral tolerances of the times in which they were made when compared with our own. Sometimes something in the remake just plain kick's ass like Pacino's performance. (And comparing Pacino to a GREAT actor like Muni says a LOT about Pacino)

There are SOME remakes that have VERY little to do with the originals other than the most basic of plot elements and the title. The Fast and The Furious, and the Thing come to mind. Howard Hawks version of the Thing is in My opinion one of the best Sci/Fi movies of all times. John Carpenter's version was interesting but hard to REALLY call a remake per se'. That does NOT mean that I feel the film should not have never been made. It was well worth telling Carpenter's tale, but WASN'T the Thing.

I was interested to find out what films everyone though were ripe for remake and which ones should NEVER be remade, also what remakes worked for you as remakes, which should have never been made and finally, what film "remakes", that really weren't, worked for you and which didn't. Also as an optional element, if you feel like it, what would you change and what would you keep in your remade version of a classic film.

I actually think Thunder Road is due for a remake. I'll list more as I think of them. Your turn, Guys and Gals. Go for it. B)
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#2 David Venhaus

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 03:58 AM

Something that many people don't consider is what the source material is when someone calls something a remake. John Carpenter's "The Thing" is not a remake. The source material is from a book, it was not a remake of the earlier Hawk's film. It is just another adaptation and usually considered more faithful to the book than Hawk's version. If the original source material for a film is a another film then it is a remake. Just like the versions of "Lolita" are not remakes. It would be like saying that the Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films were remakes of the earlier Ralph Bakshi animated version. The recent "Dawn of the Dead" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" would be considered remakes since the earlier movies are the source material. A sad point in this is that the "Dawn of the Dead" remake gets a 30 million dollar budget and George Romero, a year later, can only get half of that to do another original zombie film.

I can't think of any films I would want to see remade.
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#3 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 06:55 AM

I don't want to see any re-makes. With all the world's literature and technology and the legions of screenwriters out there, it's a sad state of affairs that new stories can not be produced.
Of course certain classic story structures found in Greek mythology, the old testament, Shakespeare and folk tales will recur with the settings and details changed.
The re-makes of "Cape Fear", "Planet of the Apes" and "Solaris" come to mind as needless wastes of production budgets that could have been spent making NEW films.
Ditto for gratuitous, tongue-in-cheek movie versions of "classic" TV series such as 'The Honeymooners".
Oh please...
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#4 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 03:58 PM

The Scorsese 'Cape Fear' was badass... The same scene breakdowns and all, yet completely original from the Mitchum vehicle. All the inuendo, sexuality, etc. The "theatre" scene is awesome.

Anyhow I'm in the same boat. All we need to do is look at the new PSYCHO and reel in terror from that giant monstrosity! Funny, it was made pretty much shot for shot and yet it still has no soul to speak of. It's an absolute cosmic joke! How is it possible to make the same exact film and it sucks? Van Sant mastabatory cinema. Seriously.

They are also remaking 'Halloween'.....WTF? All John Carpenters films are being remade lately. I'm sure he doesn't care too much, he gets a fat check and knows his legacy will remain intact from the inevitible sucking of the new films.

I'm in favor of 'retracing' certain story lines, just not absolute remakes. A remake is a logical pretzel."Its so good we have to remake it! Its a classic!" But if it is in fact so good why remake it at all?

A film they should 'retrace' is the Zulu war films made by UK studios. "Zulu" is awesome and that basic premise would make an equally awesome film with todays filmmaking prowess....You could have a hundred war films based on Normandy and they'd all be different. I guess thats what I'm trying to say.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:47 PM

Something that many people don't consider is what the source material is when someone calls something a remake. John Carpenter's "The Thing" is not a remake. The source material is from a book, it was not a remake of the earlier Hawk's film. It is just another adaptation and usually considered more faithful to the book than Hawk's version.
I can't think of any films I would want to see remade.


I did not realize that sir, as I rarely read :D But I don't think remakes is nessesarily bad. There have been some terrific remakes and I think the world would be a poorer place without them but some do suck, The same goes for TV put up on the big screen. many are horrible but SOME are great, Star Trek comes to mind. B)
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#6 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 09:52 AM

I thought the remake of "Mr. Deeds" updated nicely and even outdid the original in many ways, even though I was originally horrified at the thought of Adam Sandler in a remake of that film.
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