The topic of movie remakes is one that often provokes a debate with film lovers. Some feel as if remakes are a chance to redeem the flaws of the original with a different cast and director whereas others believe that they ruin the legacy of the first and make a mockery of its success. But despite our love-hate relationship with them, remakes, or reboots as they are also known, are well truly here to stay. Here is a list of some of the most successful remakes that have hit the big screen:
Scarface is considered to be one of the greatest crime films of all time but many do not know that it is in fact a remake. The original, released in 1932, starred Paul Muni as Tony and is remarkably similar to the 1983 reboot in terms of violence due to it being released during the Pre-Code era of Hollywood. This was a brief period of time between the introduction of sound in film and the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines, which although introduced in 1930, were not properly enforced until 1934. This meant that films released during 1929 and 1934 were rife with violence, sexual innuendo, profanity and drug use and Scarface was no exception. The original movie is often favoured by critics but the remake certainly made more of an impact on popular culture by giving us one of the most quoted lines in movie history: “Say hello to my little friend!”
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s The Thing was slated by critics upon release but has since established itself as one of the biggest cult films of its generation and one that is quintessentially 80s. Many attribute its failure to the untimely release of Steven Spielberg’s E.T just two weeks prior, which painted extraterrestrials as timid, childlike beings and not flesh-eating monsters. The Thing was brought to life by special effects and although this succeeded in creating one of the scariest monsters the industry had ever seen, many people feel that this ruined the original story which was so innocently portrayed by Christian Nyby in 1951 in The Thing from Another World. If you want an idea of just how dedicated FX artist Rob Bottin was to creating the perfect monster, just know that he worked seven days a week for over a year before being hospitalised with exhaustion when production was over. Or you could just watch the film and see his hard work for yourself because it is one of those films that should be on everybody’s list.
Oceans Eleven (2001)
The last reboot on our list is one which has always beaten its predecessor which is surprising considering the original by Lewis Milestone starred Rat Pack members and Hollywood royalty Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop. The remake, directed by Steven Soderbergh, spawned two sequels and was named the “coolest damned thing around” whilst the 1960 version is still seen as a failed attempt at getting several Rat Pack members together for one film.
– Erin Smith, Correspondent (Film)