Premakes (Little Known Original Versions of Famous Films)

Version, may not be the right word, but I’m looking for stuff like the 1974 TV film Houston, We’ve Got A Problem which dealt with the ground crew during the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.

Astronaut Jim Lovell called this mixture of actual audio transmissions from Apollo 13 and many fictional ground crew personnel “in poor taste.”

And for the record, they get the famous quote wrong as well. IIRC, astronaut Jack Swigert first says, “We’ve got a problem, here.” Lousma (from Houston) asks for a repeat. Lovell then comes on and says, Houston, we’ve had a problem."

But have does sound better than “had” and “got,” I suppose. Present tense, immediate!

Back to topic: Many Dopers know there were two attempts at The Maltese Falcon before Huston (hmm, Bogart yelling at the director, “Huston, we have a problem!”) got it right in 1941. A 1931 version and a 1936 version (the latter called Satan Met A Lady). Mnay Dopers know, but not many of the average public filmgoers.

James Bond first appeared on film in 1953.


Sir Rhosis

Bedazzled, the original (1967 with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and Raquel Welch) is hilarious.
The Y2K version (with Elizabeth Hurley) sucks but it has scantily clad eye candy (EH) in it.



If you count silent films, there were versions of Frankenstein and The Wizard of Oz long before the sound versions, just to name a couple.

Not to mention Dracula.

I’d love to see the Edison “Frankenstein”–I understand after all these years of only seeing that still of the creature with a big-ass seaweed-looking hairdo, that they actually found an extant copy of the film.

I’ve tried to watch the Larry Seamon “Oz” films–found them pretty godawful.

Sir Rhosis

“His Girl Friday” was based on the play “The Front Page” which had previously been made into a film. The play and the first movie (as well as the '70’s remake of the same name) were based around two male characters. What’s the point?


They did a silent Dracula? Damn, every post to this thread means a film I’m gonna be looking for.

Well, I was already familiar with Manhunter, and consider it superior to the later version of Harris’ Red Dragon.

Sir Rhosis

Lucas’s THX 1138, which I haven’t seen, was like an early Star Wars, with similar droids, was it not?
James Cameron made a student film series, Xenogenesis, that I’ve only read about that showed that he had a lot of his concepts in his head from the beginning (the terminator, the liquid metal shape from abyss and t2, and even the concept for how Ripley fights the mother alien!)
Tarantino got the basic plot and 3 or 4 distinct scenes in Reservoir Dogs from the Asian movie City on Fire that came out 5 years before, but I honestly don’t care.
The Brendan Fraser Mummy movies have nothing to do with the old ones.

The 1910 Edison Frankenstein was found in the 1970s. It’s been available on home video (currently out of print). I saw it not long ago. Aside from the print quality being miserable, it wasn’t much of a movie either. Edison’s directors were behind the times, and the whole movie is told in long shots, without close ups. The only part of interest is the creation scene, in a fiery vat. A dummy version of actor Charles Ogle was set afire, and then the footage was run backwards to show the monster being created out of fire.

As for there being a silent Dracula, well, yes and no. Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorized version of Dracula, with the names of the characters and the locations changed (e.g., Count Dracula to Count Orlock).

How about the one-reel version of Ben-Hur made in 1907?

Oh, okay, the reference was to Nosferatu. That film, I’m aware of. I thought the poster meant a more literal silent version of Stoker’s novel.

“Ben-Hur” in 1907? Damn, again, this thread is paying off in knowledge for me!

Sir Rhosis

If I’m not mistaken, Lucas’ theatrical THX 1138 was, itself, a remake of one of his short student films.

Sir Rhosis

I found a d/l of Edison’s Frankenstein…but you gotta pay.

Little Shop of Horrors was originally a Roger Corman picture in 1960 (IMDB), probably most notable nowadays for having a young Jack Nicholson in a bit part.

I’ve yet to see either, but The Ring was, as I understand it, the American remake of the Japanese Ringu, but I don’t know how well known it was before the American success.

*Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House = The Money Pit

Bedtime Story = Dirty Rotten Scoundrels*

If Mr. S were here I’m sure he’d be able to add a few more, but that’s what I’ve got off the top of my head.

The Thin Red Line (1998) was made before in 1964.

Cross-dressing classics Some Like It Hot (1959) and Victor/Victoria (1982) are remakes of the French Fanfare d’amour (1935) and the German Viktor und Viktoria (1933).

The TV sitcom Green Acres (1965) was an adaptation of the radio sitcom Granby’s Green Acres (1950).

The story of the singing Von Trapp family was first dramatized on screen in the German Die Trapp-Familie (1956). The sequel Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika (1958) could also be considered a chronological sequel to The Sound of Music (1965).

Ringu was the highest grossing horror film in Japan. I thought I had read that Ju-On: The Grudge had topped it, but I can’t find any sources now for a cite.