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Old 04-19-2013, 12:05 AM
Absolute Absolute is offline
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Have two movies ever been made from the exact same script?

The first time I read a movie script, I was surprised by how little detail is provided by the scriptwriter, and how many of the artistic decisions made in creating a movie are made by people other than the creator of the story. I guess I expected it to be much more like a novel.

It made me wonder - have there ever been two movies made from the exact same script, but by different directors, etc.? It would be really interesting to see how much they differ.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:49 AM
Gordon Urquhart Gordon Urquhart is offline
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Psycho (1998) was a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho (1960); the remake credits Robert Bloch, the writer of the original novel (who was also credited for the 1960 version) and Joseph Stefano, the writer of the 1960 screenplay, for its screenplay.

I've never understood why Gus Van Sant, who's capable of so much more, decided to (quite literally) remake the original; Van Sant is capable of directing really good movies -- not just literal remakes.

Last edited by Gordon Urquhart; 04-19-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:53 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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There was a remake of Psycho several years ago (IMDb says 1998) that I heard was intended to be a shot-for-shot recreation of the original. Never saw it, so I can't say if they held to that standard. And most of what I've heard about it is that it wasn't very good.

If you're willing to consider the small screen, there was a British TV show called Coupling that was remade in the U.S. The first episode (and probably more) used the same script as the original.* The interesting thing to me was to see how the actors played it. The original Jane had a certain direct obliviousness. She's say the wrong thing so instantly that there just seemed like there was no point in even questioning it. The new Jane would stop and think about what she'd been told, and then, of course, give the same answer. It was interesting how that changed the character.

Not for the better, however. The remake only lasted a few episodes.



* I think this was done with The Office, as well.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:58 AM
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There have been several Shakespeare plays that have been made into more than one film version.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:07 AM
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I dunno, that Sam Taylor guy keeps messing with things....
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:12 AM
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It would be really interesting to see how much they differ.
I have often thought the same thing. If you could give them a script from a movie that wasn't well known and that they had never seen, so they'd go in cold, and that they had to adhere to the script and dialogue exactly to get the closest match possible, and if it was from an earlier era, like the 70s, when the sensibilities of filmmaking are so different to today, it would be fascinating to see what theyc ome up with.

A similar experiment would be to give multiple directors a short film script, dialogue only, and let them go and make whatever movie in whatever setting they wanted from it.

Last edited by GuanoLad; 04-19-2013 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gordon Urquhart View Post

I've never understood why Gus Van Sant, who's capable of so much more, decided to (quite literally) remake the original; Van Sant is capable of directing really good movies -- not just literal remakes.
Well, the literalness is the key. You know how Warhol made art out of doing the same thing over and over again, making endless numbers of silk screened images of celebrities with different colored backgrounds, commenting on the very act of mass-production? Well, Van Sant is a big Warhol fan: think of his Psycho as an attempt to do something similar, to see if such a literal adaptation could be done. It couldn't. Movies have moving parts that are impossible to replicate (Van Sant: "Even with the movie to look at, I couldn't get certain shots the way Hitchcock did.") It's a failure, sure, unwatchable even, but it was a legitimate attempt at art instead of hackwork.

I personally think that it would be more artistically interesting to just take the original film and then project it with candy-colored tints.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:16 AM
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Not quite the same thing, but once upon a time many films were shot twice, once in English, and once in Spanish for distribution in Mexico. The English version was shot during the day, and the Spanish version done at night on the same sets. The Bela Lugosi version of Dracula was done this way. Some have said the Spanish version was superior.

Last edited by TriPolar; 04-19-2013 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:25 AM
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The two versions of Michael Haneke's Funny Games are nearly identical - almost shot-for-shot and word-for-word. I think his justification for the English remake was that his reason for making the (first) German one was as a critique of US cinema or something, so making it in English was his original intention anyway.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:51 AM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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All of the Rambo movies?
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:46 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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There was a Saturday Night Live sketch soon after the Gus Van Sant remake of Psycho about someone making a shot-for-shot remake of the movie Turner and Hooch, the point being that a shot-for-shot remake is a pretty ridiculous notion.

Last edited by Wendell Wagner; 04-19-2013 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:00 AM
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Didn't Hitchcock himself do this with one of his early movies?
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:05 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Not quite the same thing, but once upon a time many films were shot twice, once in English, and once in Spanish for distribution in Mexico. The English version was shot during the day, and the Spanish version done at night on the same sets. The Bela Lugosi version of Dracula was done this way. Some have said the Spanish version was superior.
The Spanish version is superior in some ways, but they use different actors. I've seen it with a commentary track, which says that the actor playing Dracula saw the rushes from the earlier-in-the-day Lugosi filmning and was supposed to mimic him, but basically failed. So while some of the cutting and composition are better, the acting is not. I don't know whether this counts as "same script" since it's in Spanish.

Better example is that Laurel and Hardy made several of their films (early 1930s) in both English and Spanish. They were famous silent stars (where the same film could be used with different language cards, of course) so couldn't be replaced. They didn't know Spanish but learned (or had cue cards) phonetically. These look pretty much the same, but of course they were shot simultaneously with same directors etc.

I don't know of any other remake that uses the same script. However, I think it's clear that there's more to a film than the script. The script of CASABLANCA, for instance, seems dreadful dull.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:38 AM
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Didn't Hitchcock himself do this with one of his early movies?
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934 & 1956). Had the same writers credited, but there were some changes to the story, mostly in the locations and the addition of a song ("Que Sera Sera," which won and Oscar and became Doris Day's theme song).

Similarly, The Vanishing was a film by Dutch director George Sluicer. He remade it a few years later with an American version, which everyone agrees is terrible, but there was a different scriptwriter for that version (though it came from the same source material).
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:58 AM
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I think this was done with The Office, as well.
IIRC, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have required every version of The Office to use the same script (or a translation thereof) for its first episode.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:28 AM
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Better example is that Laurel and Hardy made several of their films (early 1930s) in both English and Spanish. They were famous silent stars (where the same film could be used with different language cards, of course) so couldn't be replaced. They didn't know Spanish but learned (or had cue cards) phonetically. These look pretty much the same, but of course they were shot simultaneously with same directors etc.
Not just in Spanish, either. The introduction to this clip says they did all of the dialogue themselves, without resorting to dubbing by other actors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHixa82-tk

The first time I was aware I had seen two movies made from exactly the same script was this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dawn_Patrol_(1930_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dawn_Patrol_(1938_film)

Sometimes they're made with different titles, but are almost identical shot-for-shot:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedtime_Story_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_R...oundrels_(film)

The main difference between the latter two was that the first was actually kind of sweet (it had a romantic ending), while the second heavily featured the Jerk Humor of Steve Martin (and the ending was, shall we say, somewhat different).

Last edited by terentii; 04-19-2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:31 AM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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IIRC, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have required every version of The Office to use the same script (or a translation thereof) for its first episode.
The first episode of the US adaption of Shameless followed the UK version fairly closely. I can't remember if it was exact, though.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:37 AM
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Quite funny: When KITN (Channel 29 in Minneapolis/St Paul) first came on the air in the '80s, it ran Bedtime Story with the promo "Marlin Brando and David Niven are dirty, rotten scoundrels." The night it aired, the station-break graphic was for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; it took them 45 minutes before someone in the studio realized they were watching a different movie and changed the graphic.

A real D'oh! moment.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:44 AM
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WTF is it with url's and parentheses?!?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daw...ol_(1930_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daw...ol_(1938_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedtime_Story_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_R...undrels_(film)
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:40 AM
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Samuel Beckett's only film, titled Film, was produced in 1964 and remade in 1979 from the same screenplay. (It contains one line of dialogue: "sssh!")
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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It made me wonder - have there ever been two movies made from the exact same script, but by different directors, etc.? It would be really interesting to see how much they differ.
Airplane! and Zero Hour.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:57 AM
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Not quite the same thing, but the strange case of Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: A Prequel to The Exorcist might count.

Paul Schrader had wrapped production on The Beginning and was working on editing and effects when the studio decided they didn't like what he'd come up with, fired him, and brought in Renny Harlin to finish the movie. Harlin recast several characters, reshot several scenes, and changed the ending, but ended up keeping much of Schrader's footage in the released version. Schrader eventually got the OK to release his cut of the movie the following year under the Dominion title - resulting in two movies with mostly the same screenplay, most of the same cast, and most of the same footage, but with majorly different plot points and wildly different climaxes.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:24 AM
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The Spanish version is superior in some ways, but they use different actors. I've seen it with a commentary track, which says that the actor playing Dracula saw the rushes from the earlier-in-the-day Lugosi filmning and was supposed to mimic him, but basically failed. So while some of the cutting and composition are better, the acting is not. I don't know whether this counts as "same script" since it's in Spanish.
I'd like to see the Spanish version someday. I recall the things you mentioned being discussed, Lugosi's counterpart didn't perform well, but the Spanish version director was supposed to have been superior to Browning.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:32 AM
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I'd like to see the Spanish version someday. I recall the things you mentioned being discussed, Lugosi's counterpart didn't perform well, but the Spanish version director was supposed to have been superior to Browning.
It's included as an extra on some DVDs of the Lugosi version.

Did the Chris Rock Death at a Funeral use the same basic script as the British version? I know both had the same plot, same jokes, same potty scene, and even had Peter Dinklage as the unexpected attendee who disrupts the funeral.

Last edited by Sampiro; 04-19-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:47 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I just watched the trailers of the two Death at a Funeral versions. Clearly there are some different lines. The plot is pretty close though.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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Of course this is the whole point of live theatre. You can see three different versions of Streetcar Named Desire (for example), each using the exact same script and all done capably, and one will seem a tragedy, one a dark comedy, and the other a tragicomedy.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:26 PM
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There was a remake of Psycho several years ago (IMDb says 1998) that I heard was intended to be a shot-for-shot recreation of the original. Never saw it, so I can't say if they held to that standard. And most of what I've heard about it is that it wasn't very good.

If you're willing to consider the small screen, there was a British TV show called Coupling that was remade in the U.S. The first episode (and probably more) used the same script as the original.* The interesting thing to me was to see how the actors played it. The original Jane had a certain direct obliviousness. She's say the wrong thing so instantly that there just seemed like there was no point in even questioning it. The new Jane would stop and think about what she'd been told, and then, of course, give the same answer. It was interesting how that changed the character.

Not for the better, however. The remake only lasted a few episodes.



* I think this was done with The Office, as well.
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Originally Posted by Flywheel View Post
IIRC, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have required every version of The Office to use the same script (or a translation thereof) for its first episode.

The first episode of the American office is not the same script. It is very similar and has many of the same plot points, but it is a new script. I guess you could say it used the same treatment.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:46 PM
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The 1992 version of The Last of the Mohicans was based on the screenplay for the 1936 version of the story, but there were changes, so not exactly the same.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:39 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934 & 1956). Had the same writers credited, but there were some changes to the story, mostly in the locations and the addition of a song ("Que Sera Sera," which won and Oscar and became Doris Day's theme song).
I'd say there were some changes. The climactic scene in the '34 version is the mother of the kidnapped child -- a champion biathlon competitor -- grabbing a police sniper's rifle and killing the criminal pursuing her daughter across the rooftops. Doris Day singing "Que Sera Sera" it ain't.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:05 PM
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A similar experiment would be to give multiple directors a short film script, dialogue only, and let them go and make whatever movie in whatever setting they wanted from it.
This reminded me of Betty's audition in Mulholland Drive. We see her perform it twice with exactly* the same lines, once rehearsing, and once in the actual audition. The audition script, in full, is as follows:

***

Her: You're still here?

Him: I came back. I thought that's what you wanted.

Her: Nobody wants you here!

Him: Really?

Her: My parents are right upstairs! They think you've left.

Him: So... surprise...

Her: I can call them... I can call my dad...

Him: But you won't...

Her: If you're trying to blackmail me... it's not going to work. You're playing a dangerous game here. *[This is the only line that changes. In the audition, she starts with the "You're playing..." line and then follows with "If you're trying..."]

Him: You know what I want... it's not that difficult.

Her: Get out! Get out before I call my dad... he trusts you... you're his best friend. This will be the end of everything.

Him: What about you? What will your dad think about you?

Her: Stop! Just stop! That's what you said from the beginning. If I tell what happened... they'll arrest you and put you in jail. So get out of here before...

Him: Before what?

Her: Before I kill you.

Him: Then they'd put you in jail.

Her: I hate you... I hate us both!

***

But even though the dialogue is nearly identical, she performs it in two very different ways. Here's the rehearsal, and here's the audition. It would be awesome to see two entire movies with the same dialogue but with such different plots and meanings.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:56 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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The first two Dalek stories in Doctor Who on TV were remade as movies. Mostly the same script, other than the first few minutes. But the original TV version feels darker, and the movies lighter. The way the Doctor is played is very different, too.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:21 PM
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Not just in Spanish, either. The introduction to this clip says they did all of the dialogue themselves, without resorting to dubbing by other actors
A recent version of this was The Lorax. Danny DeVito learned the script phonetically for the Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian language versions of the movie.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:26 PM
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Trey Parker and Matt Stone considered doing a shot-for-shot remake of the movie The Day After Tomorrow using puppets before coming up with Team America: World Police.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:45 PM
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The Prisoner of Zenda.
1937, black-and-white, starring Ronald Colman.
1952, color, starring Stewart Granger.
A few minor differences in staging, but the plot and dialog are nearly identical.
Originally a novel, then a stage play. I think the movie script follows the stage script fairly closely.

I have not seen the silent version of Beau Geste, starring Ronald Colman, but I have heard that the Gary Cooper version is a near shot-for-shot remake.

I think this was fairly common back in the 1940s and 1950s. The studio would re-shoot and old silent script with sound, or re-shoot and old black-and-white script in color. No sense in paying a writer to tinker with something that had already made money the first time around.

This is somewhat common when a film is adapted from a stage play. For example, the Bela Lugosi Dracula and the Frank Langella Dracula were both based on the Hamilton Deane/John Balderston stage play. (There were significant revisions, but both movies are closer to the play than to the novel.)
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:52 PM
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WTF is it with url's and parentheses?!?
vB apparently assumes that any punctuation at the end of a url belongs outside the /url tag and will put it there if you let it parse automatically.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:28 PM
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Not just in Spanish, either. The introduction to this clip says they did all of the dialogue themselves, without resorting to dubbing by other actors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHixa82-tk
Whoa! A mystery from my youth solved!

The Spanish version (in reality a dubbed version of the USA one! Unnecessary when a Spanish one was originally made, but the reason for that was the distracting accents in the original IIUC) I saw on TV in the late 70's had the short ending when L&H ran away from the prison being chased by police dogs.

"What an odd way to end that short", I thought, "I wonder if there were scenes missing". Well, I wonder no more, the actual ending, as the German clips show, was for them getting a pardon for rescuing people from a fire, but that sequence was removed because L&H took refuge in a plantation among black people... with a now very racist "black face" disguise.

Last edited by GIGObuster; 04-19-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:14 PM
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Semi-example: And Now for Something Completely Different, which consists of Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches remade for the big screen. Cf. (e.g.) Nudge Nudge and Nudge Nudge.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:14 PM
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"The Mark of Zorro" in 1940 and 1974. The 1940 version with Tyrone Power is one of my all-time favorites. The other one doesn't make the list.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:11 PM
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WTF is it with url's and parentheses?!?
The same thing happens with nearly any punctuation at the end of a URL. The software here just assumes that the punctuation is part of the sentence rather than part of the URL, as that is most often the case. Wikipedia is rather unusual in using parentheses in URLs.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:00 PM
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The Prisoner of Zenda.
1937, black-and-white, starring Ronald Colman.
1952, color, starring Stewart Granger.
A few minor differences in staging, but the plot and dialog are nearly identical.
Originally a novel, then a stage play. I think the movie script follows the stage script fairly closely.
Beat me to it, I came in to mention these two versions.

A bit of trivia. When Gone With the Wind was finished filming Darryl Zanuck wanted to test it in front of a film audience, so the cans of film were transported to a theater. The manager agreed to show the film, and it was announced to the audience(who was there for Beau Geste, with Gary Cooper) that a new Hollywood movie would be shown in it's place. The score for GWTW wasn't completed yet, so the opening sequence of the film had the title music from 1937's The Prisoner of Zenda.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:49 PM
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A few minor differences in staging, but the plot and dialog are nearly identical. Originally a novel, then a stage play. I think the movie script follows the stage script fairly closely.
I believe the same is true of A Man for All Seasons: the 1966 version with Paul Scofield and the 1988 made-for-TV version with Charlton Heston.

I must confess that until I saw the TV version, I had no idea the first movie was adapted from a play.

Last edited by terentii; 04-20-2013 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:15 PM
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Never Say Never Again is an acknowledged remake of Thunderball - same plot, same characters, but a few minor differences here and there.

Interestingly, it legally had to be pretty much the same film because Kevin McClory only had the rights to remake Thunderball and not come up with a new James Bond adventure of his own, as I understand it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:56 PM
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The Hal Hartley movie Flirt, starring Parker Posey, is made of three sections (set in New York, Berlin and Tokyo), each section using the exact same dialogue, but with very different meaning.

(It also features a fantastic line my best friend and I have been quoting at each other ever since we saw it: "Your problems are trivial".)
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:08 PM
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I believe the same is true of A Man for All Seasons: the 1966 version with Paul Scofield and the 1988 made-for-TV version with Charlton Heston.

I must confess that until I saw the TV version, I had no idea the first movie was adapted from a play.
In Heston's autobiography it is apparent he wanted the movie role so badly he could taste it, but when it went to Scofield he graciously accepted it, as he respected the guy. He also noted how Scofield actually bore a close resemblance to the Holbein portrait of More. Heston acted the play more than once on stage as well, and once his wife Lydia played opposite him as Lady Alice.
  #45  
Old 04-20-2013, 07:41 PM
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AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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See Post #4

Do screen adaptations of plays count? Like all the Shakespeare stuff over the years? Or will we not count those because of the "adaptation" part?

Just wondering...
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:42 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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"Titanic" seemed somewhat deja vu to me, one of the previous movies about the Titanic seemed to have been a big influence on the Leo/Kate version. Minus the shipboard romance, of course. Or maybe I'm all wet here.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:54 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Nick Knight was originally filmed as a vehicle for Rick Springfield, but it went nowhere. Then I happened to catch a show called Forever Knight with the same plot and dialogue but with different actors (except for one who made the second cut).
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