In the film business, a good idea is gold. all else bows before it. Which explains the abundance of movie remakes that are regularly flung upon us. though studios think remakes are great for business, in reality they’re only good for one thing: To encourage us to revisit the (usually far superior) original. Here are our picks of what happens when movie remakes get it wrong.
The Michael Caines
The Italian Job (1969/2003)
Get Carter (1971/2000)
Michael Caine built his career on these three films, and became a national treasure through his outstanding acting ability and cockney charm. So why oh why would someone like Mark Wahlberg (The Italian Job) or Sylvester Stallone (Get Carter) try to fill those much-adored shoes? Jude Law can almost be forgiven for his attempt at playing a New York-based Alfie. almost, but not quite.
The B Movies
In The 50S, the world was on the brink of nuclear destruction. Japanese filmmaker Ishirô Honda harnessed the resultant fear in a cautionary tale about the dangers of nuclear war. The movie was re-edited and unleashed on America in 1956. But worse was to come when director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) made a shlockfest out of it in 1998. Shame on Matthew Broderick (Election, The Producers) for undertaking this disaster of a disaster movie.
The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
In the early days of Hollywood, if you needed someone to play a scary monster, Boris Karloff was your man. Karloff struck fear into the hearts of audiences with every grimace. The sight of Sting trying to act made 1985’s The Bride another truly frightening experience.
Apparently director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) doesn’t like watching movies in black and white. so he remade Psycho, shot for shot, in colour. Anne Heche struggled to wrap her lungs around Janet Leigh’s magnificent scream. Scary!
Cape Fear (1962/1991)
Why is it that suspense and terror were much more satisfying 60s? Even Martin Scorsese, Jessica Lange and Robert de Niro couldn’t save Cape Fear from drowning in its own murky waters. Though cameos from the film’s original stars, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, were a welcome touch.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946/1981)
With a screenplay by playwright David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross) and star turns by Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange, this remake of the 1946 film-noir classic should have been a pleasure to watch. It wasn’t.
The Box Office Fluff
The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
At least America’s sickly sweet trio, Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan And Tom Hanks, had the decency to change the name of their movie, before twisting the plot to turn on the latest craze – email. This remake hasn’t aged well, and it wasn’t very good in 1998 either. We’re sold on the Jimmy Stewart original.
The original British black theological comedy glowed with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, two of our finest comedians, playing the devil and his loser mate. When Cook’s witty and biting screenplay was rewritten by Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Caddyshack), it became bland, politically correct and palatable for an american teen audience. the final nails in the coffin were Elizabeth Hurley’s (Austin Powers) attempt at playing a sultry devil, while Brendan Fraser (The Mummy) did his best Dudley Moore. Pure evil.
The Parent Trap (1961/1998)
As a set of young teenaged twins trying to restore harmony to their parents’ marriage, 60s Disney darling Hayley Mills was adorable. the same cannot be said for her 90s equivalent, Lindsay Lohan, who tried to take the parent trap across the pond in the other direction.
Freaky Friday (1976/2003)
As if one aberration wasn’t enough, Lohan was back at it a few years later, trying to match Jodie Foster’s performance as a teen who switches bodies with her mom.