Your Favorite Film: Could it be remade? Why or why not?

In my Alien thread, I argue that the Ridley Scott film could not be remade successfully due to the excellence of a lot of characteristics of the original film. While the story itself is not all that remarkable, the direction style, acting, music/sound effects, and, don’t laugh but, the way it revolutionized our popular notions about The Other, and that some Others don’t love us because we’re human/civilized/Americans/whatever (which, during an era of Star Wars and Close Encounters, was quite a new concept) all contributed to a sum greater than each of its parts.

Tell me why your favorite film could/could not be remade successfully.

The Blues Brothers. Can’t be done again. Exhibit A.

But seriously: here’s why. (and yes, I know that was technically a sequel and not a remake but it copied so many of the original plot elements that I think it counts).

  1. Casting. Who do you get to be in the film? Everyone from the first film is either dead or a shell of their former self. Even if you did a scene-perfect remake, who would you possibly cast in this movie? Who would you get to be the musicians? It would be a mess.

  2. The length. Dan Aykroyd’s script for this movie was huge. The original cut was 3 hours long (The directors cut is 2 1/2, the theatrical release was 2:10 or so). Studios are very wary of long movies these days. Unless you are Martin Scorsese (for example), good luck getting an expensive, long movie made (or released as one film).

  3. The logistics. Ok, wrecking a lot of cars won’t be a problem. But how about the sets? Where are you going to find a mall that is about to be demolished that will be perfect to film a car chase in? What venues could you get to film the musical scenes? Most importantly, how on earth will you convince the city of Chicago to allow you to shut down most of downtown for a Sunday morning, and film hundreds of people running through Daley Plaza?

The Manchurian Candidate, not a chance in hell, and yes, they’re doing it as we speak. :smack:

Dinner at Eight (1933) could not be remade, because it was an all-star film (John & Lionel Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Billie Burke, Wallace Beery); neither could Grand Hotel (1932), for the same reason (the Barrymore again, Garbo, Crawford, Beery).

With today’s inflated star salaries, there is no way you could cast, say, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike Myers, Hugh Jackman, Susan Sarandon, Will Smith and Nicole Kidman all in the same film.

My favourite film is quite a recent one; Amelie.

Who would you find to replace the impish, yet powerfully sexy Audrey Tatou in the lead role?

What possible improvement could be made in the actual filming? - so much are has gone into the composition of the scenes that they are just perfect.

And the plot (and various sub-plots) are faultless.

The first time I watched it, I half-heartedly wished for an English-language version, but there would be no way to do this without utterly ruining it; I’d much rather learn to be completely fluent in French than see this movie remade or dubbed in English.

‘are’ => care

My two favorites are A Man for All Seasons and The Seven Samurai. People have tried remaking both, with unencouraging results.

AMFAS starred Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More. I think he was made for the role. Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey, Leo McKern as Cromwell (losing in the courtroom, in a most un-Rumpole-like way), Shaw as Henry VIII. And Fred Zinneman directing. Everything about it felt right, down to the opening credits.

Twenty-some years later Charlton Heston remade it for cable TV. Vanessa Redgrave, who played Anne Boleyn in the film, came back for the meatier part of More’s wife. John Gielgud was in it, too, as was Heston, of course. I like Heston, and he’s done some original and interesting things through the years, but I don’t think this could hold a candle to the original film.

As for Seven Samurai, it was remade as The Magnificent Sevenp, of course (the title that Seven Samurai was originally released under in the States. And why do they have to remake samurai epics as westerns?). But they cut it down and coalesced roles. A classic, but not on the same level as SS. Then there was Battle Beyond the Stars (with Robert Vaughn back reprising his role in a poor SF version), and even A Bug’s Life. But none of these are SS.

Man, I started this exact same thread like a week ago, and it got ZERO responses.

As I keep telling my friends, one of my faves- Blazing Saddles could never be made today. The uproar over the racial overtones would be deafening, and they’d need to tone it all down, which, IMHO, would subtract from the humor greatly.

Doctor Strangelove.

Not only because Sellers and the Cold War are gone, but Kubrick’s style can’t be duplicated or improved upon.

I’ve always felt that good films shouldn’t be the ones that are remade. It’s the films that had potential to be good – an interesting concept, a good script, whatever – but that failed for one reason or another, that weren’t very good; these are the films that should be remade. Therefore, by my definition, I don’t think any of my favorite films should be remade. The original Ocean’s Eleven is an example of one that was a good choice – robbbing several Vegas casinos at once is a great concept, IMO. But the original was saved only by the presence, style, and star-power of the Rat Pack. It was hurt by a lackluster script, a robbery itself that wasn’t particularly clever, and the fact that while its stars had charisma to spare, at many points they were just walking through the movie. Whether Soderbergh’s remake succeeded is certainly debatable (I personally thought his version was a lot of fun; if less than perfect, still a vast improvement on the first), the original was a perfect candidtate for a remake.

I doubt any great film could be successfully remade.

Neither could Alien, for that matter. After all, it was just a dead teenager movie in space, with a particularly stupid group of characters involved.

Psycho couldn’t be remade and why would you want to?
The remake was pretty pointless.

My favorite movie, Faraway, So Close! (In Weiter Ferne, So Nah!), is pretty much tied to a particular place and time. Although that’s not really why it’s my favorite. I suppose a remake along some of the same themes could work, but it’d still be lacking.

The movie is the sequel to Wings of Desire (Der Himmel ueber Berlin), which was very much a movie about Berlin in the mid-80’s. It was released in 1987, when a united Berlin was still only a hope. After the wall came down two years later and not just the city but the national and international scene changed, director Wim Wenders revisited the characters in the new Berlin (1993).

The first movie received more critical praise and is undeniably the best vision of Berlin, with the wall. I’ve heard the second criticized as being a faulty vision of reunified Berlin, but I’d argue that wasn’t the full intent. Berlin (and Germany) was for 50 years defined by 70 miles of concrete, but once the wall fell, the city had the chance to create a completely new character; thus the

Two of my favorites are currently being remade.

THE LION IN WINTER is being recast with Patrick Stewart and the ubiquitous Glenn Close, and the miniseries “reimagining” of Dr. Zhivago (complete with lots more sex, I’m told- that’s good, because while I knew Yuri and Lara spent a lot of time together and had a daughter, I wasn’t sure if they were sexually active so this clears it up) premieres this week on PBS.

A favorite movie that I think a great remake could be made of is Bell, Book and Candle, the 1958 comedy in which a witch (Kim Novak) falls in love with a mortal (Jimmy Stewart) in Manhattan; her family includes a beatnik warlock brother (Jack Lemmon) and daffy aunt (Elsa Lanchester). A remake with Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks (perhaps with HIM as the warlock), a grunge warlock (Steve Buscemi) and daffy aunt (Carol Burnett) set in modern day San Francisco would be cool.

Why would you want to even consider remaking your favorite movie?

If it’s your favorite, DON’T CHANGE IT! This seems like a no-brainer to me.

Yes, but this thread is about why you think it couldn’t be remade (i.e. what attributes of your favourite film that you consider unsurpassable), so there’s still a point posting stuff here.

my favorite movie is <i>Desk Set</i>, but i dare to expand on that movie and i personally feel that none of Kate and Spence’s movies could ever be redone…simply because of casting. No one would do either of those actors justice.

i just feel that no classic movies should be redone…just like when you turn books into movies, it usually doesn’t work.

(and jennifer love hewitt should have NEVER played audrey hepburn!!! grrr)

Oops, I cut off the rest of my post. I got distracted and didn’t preview properly.

All I was going to add was that there was no need, and no way, to make a ‘definitive’ post-wall Berlin movie, and I don’t think Faraway, So Close! was trying to be that (Maybe Wings of Desire isn’t trying to be the definitive pre-wall Berlin movie, but it is). It nonetheless was made in a time when what would happen in Berlin was more uncertain, and definitely includes some elements of reunification (like ‘cleaning up’ the past), so it couldn’t be remade.

Nonetheless City of Angels was ‘inspired’ by those two, although it attempted to be more inspired by the first one (which most definitely couldn’t be remade). It wasn’t necessarily destined for failure, but there’s really no need to remake the films with those themes; perhaps an angels movie set in another time focusing on some other aspect of humanity would be more likely to work.

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. We don’t have character actors that match the cameos in that movie let alone the stars.