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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 04/ 6/2007

Friday List: Don't Remake This Movie

By Liz Kelly

There seems to be no escape from remakes. (AVCO Embassy Pictures)

Quite possibly you heard it: The sound of legions of faithful "Escape from New York" fans shuddering in unison after learning that "300's" Gerard Butler will star as Snake Plissken in a remake of "Escape from New York."

For those few uninitiated souls out there who somehow managed to make it to 2007 without experiencing "Escape," the 1981 original stands as an unparalleled masterpiece of B-movie fare. To compare it to its peers of the same era: If "Mad Max" was post-apocalyptic and edgy, "Escape" was post-apocalyptic and cheesy. If "Blade Runner" was a "cyberpunk vision of the future," "Escape" was the low-rent dream of kids turning off disco and turning on to leather jackets. If "Star Wars" was the ground-breaking first installment of George Lucas's storied trilogy, "Escape," too, spawned a mini-empire for director John Carpenter, who again worked with star Kurt Russell on "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Escape from LA." Sure, "Star Wars" may have had Sir Alec Guinness, but "Escape" had Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine.

When Russell himself heard news of the remake, he said: "Nothing is sacred in this business. I did Disney movies, they remade those. I did 'Stargate', they made that into a TV show... Having created the character [Snake Plissken], I know one thing. Snake Plissken is quintessentially American."

As I wrote back in March 2006, Hollywood's appetite for twice-baked hits seems to grow exponentially from year to year. Why take a chance on an untested script when a new treatment of proven hits like "Barbarella," "Wonderwoman" or "Hairspray" are only a greenlight away from box office returns?

Our mission today is to tell Hollywood that we consider some movies to be sacrosanct. We value them too much to see them reimagined by the magic of CGI effects or the interpretation of a new generation of actors. No matter how intriguing the idea of Steve Carrell as Maxwell Smart may be, I'm sure there are tons of new scripts out there waiting for him that don't involve trampling on the grave of Don Adams.

"Escape from New York" may not be your bag, but surely there is a movie you consider an untouchable -- a perfect 10 that should be locked in an eternal stasis, forever safe from the minds of lazy studio execs.

What movies do you consider too sacred to remake? Share your candidates below.

By Liz Kelly  | April 6, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Lawrence of Arabia

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

-ANYTHING by John Hughes - cannot have Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, etc. without the Brat Pack
-The Goonies
-Say Anything
-Wizard of Oz
-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - oh wait!
-A Christmas Story

Posted by: Betty | April 6, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

All movies should be on the "do not remake" list. Maybe then Hollywood will start putting out some decent movies.

Posted by: BF | April 6, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Do not remake:
Wizard of Oz ( it is the cast and the 1939 special effects that make this movie so great)

Gone With the Wind

Posted by: MGR | April 6, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Bringing Up Baby" - Grant and Hepburn can never be replaced.
It just reminds me of the horrible remake of "His Girl Friday" with Kathleen Turner and, I can't believe I'm writing this, Burt Reynolds.

Posted by: phan | April 6, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"When Harry Met Sally" or "Princess Bride"

You can't improve on perfection

Posted by: LEF | April 6, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

While there have been a few remakes I sort of liked (Parent Trap, Freaky Friday), I am generally against remaking a perfectly good movie. Movies that should NEVER be remade (but I'm afraid are or will be) include:
Working Girl, Dirty Dancing, White Water Summer, anything by John Hughes, the Explorers, Labyrinth, Ladyhawk, Romancing the Stone (don't even get me started on sequels), almost any American version of a French film and so many others. That said, I am okay with things being "inspired" by older stories. Like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate about You.

Posted by: MDW | April 6, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I ask this all the time: why why why do they remake good movies? Why not, instead, remake movies that suffered from the great idea/poor execution complex? That it, if you gotta indulge in a remake at all?

Posted by: Geoffrey | April 6, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

* It's a Wonderful Life
(now with Freddie Prinze, Jr., as he discovers how much Sarah Michelle Gellar loved him as he is guided by Paris Hilton trying to earn her wings)
* Toy Story
(Beloved Bratz dolls lie forgotten as there's a new Grand Theft Auto LeapFrog Edition in town!)
* Breakfast at Tiffanys
(Lindsey Lohan plays a woman on the run from herself when she meets Shia LaBeouf, leading to Lindsey's self-discovery of who she really is and what makes her truly happy)

Posted by: Ken | April 6, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I mean that Americans should not try to remake French movies: Les Visiteurs/Just Visiting; Trois Hommes et un Couffin/Three Men and a Baby; La Cage aux Folles/the Birdcage

Posted by: MDW | April 6, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree: If a story was great (either qualitatively or so 'bad' it makes cult status, e.g. Rocky Horror Picture Show), then leave it alone. ET reimagined? No, thanx! Kurt Russell is and will always be Snake Plissken.

The answer is simple: Boycott the remakes! Refuse to buy movie tix, refuse to buy (or even rent) the DVD. Sure, it's tempting to see just how BAD the remake is, but TPTB take any financial reward as a sign that they did the right thing. It'll show up on TNT or TBS for free eventually, watch it there if you really MUST revel in its' badness.

Posted by: KJS | April 6, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

2. Wizard of Oz
3. A Christmas Story
4. The Wild Bunch
5. The Quiet Man
6. Stripes
7. Some Like It Hot
8. Ride The High Country
7. Elmer Gantry
8. Anything by the Marx Brothers
9. Sunset Boulevard (they did it as a play, ouch)
10. Caddyshack
Hollywood can't help it. The place has declined and instead of developing originality and creativity, for the most part, they turn back to the tried and true. Loss costly in terms of development but it cheats the moviegoer.

Posted by: frieda406 | April 6, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

A Bronx Tale
The Poisedon Adventure (like Gwyneth it reached the pinnacle at the orginal)
Breakfast Club
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Adventures in Babysitting
New Jack City
Love Jones
Love and Basketball
Stomp the Yard - no redo and no variation of this please. I really liked this movie.
To Catch a Thief. Heck, any movie with Carey Grant
Pink Panther(I will never forgive Steve Martin and Beyonce). Heck, any movie with Peter Sellars
To Kill a Mockingbird
Any of the Herbie movies - darn you LiLo
Steel Magnolias
Ocean's 11 (the original) - it is way too late for this but I beg them to stop at 13. Really they should have stopped at the first one.

Off subject here but movies that should never have been done:
Scooby Doo- take your pick
Inspector Gadget
Mortal Combat
Batman with Val Kilmer or George Clooney. I'm a huge Batman fan but those two hurt me.
Transformers - yeah it's not out yet and it is based on a cartoon but I'm opposed to it anyway. The same holds true for the Fantastic Four and the Hulk.

Posted by: petal | April 6, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Completely forgot Working Girl.

Posted by: petal | April 6, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Any of the Back to the Future movies. Michael J. Fox *is* Marty McFly.

Posted by: ms | April 6, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The Sound of Music

The Way We Were

Posted by: miss jaunty | April 6, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse


Just wondering: who actually thinks these things are going to be any good? Any time I see that they're "making a new version of __________ with (insert current b-list actor or actress) in the leading role," I know it's gonna suck. I just know it. And it always does.

Who FALLS for this crap, anyway?

Posted by: Max | April 6, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Dirty Dancing!!!

Posted by: Sarah | April 6, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Clash of the Titans.

Posted by: petal | April 6, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Godfather I or II OR any attempt at a 4th installment.

Also, ROCKY should have never been touched.


Posted by: not bluto | April 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately i think they ARE remaking the Breakfast Club which is awful! And an Adventures in Babysitting remake - yuck.

Posted by: rerun | April 6, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Buckaroo Banzai
Streets of Fire

Posted by: wiredog | April 6, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Casablanca. Because it's a beautiful classic.

Soylent Green. Because it's just bad and Charleton Heston is in it. Hard to top "bad with Charleton Heston."

Posted by: LV | April 6, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This whole "remake" thing (or "reimaginging" as Tim Burton likes to call it) runs rampant in the horror genre. Texas Chainsaw, Psycho, The Hills Have Eyes, The Omen, The Hitcher, The Ring series, The Grudge, the list goes on & on unfortunately. They're also the biggest abusers of the uncessary sequel too.

Movies shouldn't be remade, there's too many starving screewriters out there for there to be a Gilligan's Island:The Movie or a "reimagining" of Planet of the Apes 2.

Posted by: Bored @ work | April 6, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Ocean's 11 was barely a remake...I watched some of the first one and other than character names, it scarcely seemed like the same plot.

95% of remakes AND sequels are really unnecessary.

Posted by: 23112 | April 6, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Napoleon Dynamite

It's recent, so theoretically this won't be an issue for many years, but Nappy D definitely belongs on this list. The reason that this amazing movie worked at all is the director's unique vision (let's make a John Hughes 80s movie set in the present day--brilliant) combined with the quirky performances of the actors (all the actors, from the title character down to LaFawnduh and the elderly farmers). If another director remade it with other actors I guarantee it would be a piece of crap.

Posted by: Pedro 2008 | April 6, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Many of those already listed.

War of the worlds. How often are we going to lug out this old chestnut?

Posted by: carmen | April 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'd heard they were re-doing "Adventures in Babysitting" - NO WAY! They could not hope to duplicate the 80s cheesy charm of the kid that tags along "'cause the babysitter's hot", the dorky little girl attached to a comic book hero, the cute but frazzled yet wholesome cheerleader/babysitter, the grungy D-L blues club (that would surely be slicker, or even razed, by now), and the priceless cameo by a bizarre youthful Vincent D'Onofrio as "Thor/Towtruck Driver". Wow. NOT happening. It would be either Disney-fied or just too hokey.

Back then you could sense the terror of suburb kids entering the forbidden - "The City". And are our cities now too spiffed up for such seamy adventures?

Further, this was part of John Hughes' series of love notes to his native Chicago and its environs. Unless you moved it to another city, it just wouldn't work. NOPE!

Posted by: Maritza | April 6, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Dirty Dancing
Imitation of Life, which actually is a remake, but leave the last one alone, you hear me?!!?! Mahalia Jackson singing at Annie's funeral is just CLASSIC
Wizard of Oz
A Christmas Story

I have more, but work calls...

Liz, I hope the next list is "Songs that should never be remade" My pic is "She's like the wind." Lumidee DESTROYED that song.

Posted by: They Better Not! | April 6, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly;
Raging Bull;
Animal House

Posted by: CB | April 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

i'll second the casablance nominations. while the story is compelling, and modern technology would make the moroccan setting (and even the paris flashbacks) breathtaking, you simply cannot replicate the chemistry and classiness of the original. there will just never be another bogey, so please don't even try.

can't even think of any remakes i have enjoyed

Posted by: cee_jay | April 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the reason Hollywood keeps remaking these movies (other than the fact that they are creatively near bankrupt) is that people keep going to see them!! If tomorrow, every single moviegoer stopped going to see any movie that was a remake, I guarantee that one year from now, there would not be one single remake in the works.

Since I know that won't happen, I say no remakes of movies less than, say, 20 years old. No remakes of classics, old (Casablanca, GWTW, Oz) or new (Harry/Sally, Princess Bride, Trading Places). Stop giving big screen treatment of old TV shows, they're usually garbage. NO video game adaptations! I know those last two aren't really "remakes" but same general principle.

Posted by: fft5305 | April 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Casablanca tops the list, followed closely by The Wizard of Oz, Lawrence of Arabia, and anything with Cary Grant.

In general, very few movies warrant remaking. Either they were good in the original incarnation, in which case they don't need to be redone, or they weren't, in which case they don't need to be redone.

A particular pet peeve is the American remake of foreign-language films. I keep waiting to hear that an American director plans a remake of The Lives of Others or Pan's Labyrinth.

Posted by: Arlington | April 6, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the comments so far have captured most of the movies I would forever ban from being remade.
My top few:
*Citizen Kane
*Wizard of Oz
*Star Wars (the original and still the best)
*Breakfast at Tiffanys (not as dark as the original short by Capote but Audrey Hepburn's a classic and the subtexts are there)
*It's a Wonderful Life
*The Godfather
and probably a hundred more I'm not thinking of right this second.
Good list topic!

Posted by: DB | April 6, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Another few:
*Roman Holiday (a remake would totally mess up the ending)
*Love Story
*Close Encounters of the Third Kind
*the Rocky Horror Picture Show
*Blazing Saddles
*Young Frankenstein

Posted by: DB | April 6, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree - no remake of "The Princess Bride"! You cannot improve perfection!

Posted by: Maritza | April 6, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone mentioned Ferris Bueller yet?

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by: Bored @ work | April 6, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree with all of these. I'd add Sixteen Candles to the list.

Posted by: jlr | April 6, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The potential remakes I fear are action-adventure movies that were big hits 25-30 years ago (see Mission Impossible 1-3, The Bourne Identity). I mean, I'm not sure there's really much of an audience for a remake of Love Jones or Stomp the Yard, but give Jerry Bruckheimer the chance to remake the Steve McQueen classic "Bullitt" and you know he'll be all up in that shizzle. And that would just be wrong. So here's the list:

The French Connection
Dirty Harry
The Outlaw Josey Wales

Posted by: VoR | April 6, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Please, please, please DO NOT remake this movie!

Posted by: gb | April 6, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The Warriors (I've heard this is in the works)
Logan's Run (this too)
The Omega Man
The Exorcist

Too late:
Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Dead
The Ladykillers

Posted by: Jaybob | April 6, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Wizard of Oz

I agree with whomever said that no movie should be remade - Hollywood might turn to decent books with fabulous potential.

Posted by: Micah | April 6, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

some reimaginings are better than others... battlestar for example, is good... jim carrey's grinch would be the other extreme.

Then there's Depp's Wonka - which was different... a terrible idea that, well, made for an interesting footnote of a film - but still came off poorly.

Sacrosanct film?

Probably lots... but one stands out:


Posted by: Quintilius Varus | April 6, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I forgot one:

Death Race 2000

Unfortunately, I think this one is in the works too ...

Posted by: gb | April 6, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

While I generally agree that some movies should never be remade or re-imagined -- and the lists that include fare like Casablanca and Gone With the Wind are spot-on -- it is also worth remembering that remakes are neither a new phenomenon or uniformly awful. For example, The Maltese Falcon was Hollywood's third try at the same movie. Glad they didn't stop with two. And while the original The Front Page is a minor classic, the remake His Girl Friday is a major classic. The problem today in Hollywood is less that they are recycling old ideas but that they lack the commitment to craftsmanship (except in special effects) to make them work.

Posted by: ScottF | April 6, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to be a contrarian here and say I welcome any and all remakes.

Ocean's 11 (and even 12) was an improvement of the Rat Pack's original (clearly, no one who criticizes the Clooney/Pitt version remembers Sammy Davis Jr.'s garbageman breaking into song).

The Magnificent 7 was vastly more watchable than the Japanese version (same goes for most of those samarai-inspired westerns), and even Scorcese's The Departed was an improvement.

Heck, I even liked the Thomas Crown Affair better the second time around, and I love Steve McQueen (someone earlier opposed remaking Bullit, but I think that's a story that is screaming to be remade).

The obvious moneymaker-remakes that make no attempt to improve, only rack up the July 4th ticket sales, are never any good. But you have to let the studios try. Maybe next week we should do movies that have been remade better/movies we'd like to see remade.

Posted by: OD | April 6, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: er | April 6, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Part 2 - Agree with all of the above, with the additions:

Risky Business
Animal House (Yeah, I know - I needed to repeat it for emphasis...)
Lost in America
Any of the Airplane! movies
Anything by Mel Brooks (sorry but no one else can achieve that level of whacked (with such an amazing core group of actors) but the man himself)

Posted by: LEF | April 6, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

ScottF beat me to it, and said it much better.

And for the record, the Transformers "remake" is going to be the greatest movie of all time.

Posted by: OD | April 6, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The Color Purple
Poetic Justice

Posted by: slm | April 6, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, slm, I just saw It again the other weekend. It REALLY needs to be remade... between the bad acting and the bad special effects (anyone remember the spider), it was a terrible rendition of a great story.

Posted by: HS | April 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I know these have all already been said, but I must reiterate:
The Wizard of Oz
Gone With the Wind
Mary Poppins (actually, I don't know if that has been said, but it needs to be)
The Sound of Music
and above all, The Princess Bride!!! You just can't expect magic like that to happen twice.

Posted by: gigi | April 6, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it should be pointed out that "Escape..." director John Carpenter's "The Thing" was also a remake--and it was better than the original, too.

Posted by: King Pigeon | April 6, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Mars Needs Women." It just wouldn't be the same without Tommy Kirk.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | April 6, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

No remakes!!! None, nada, not even the bad originals. Oh, and no making movies from old tv shows. This is not only lazy, but lacks any kind of creative-ness. I also agree with the poster regarding remaking foriegn films, I don't think people realize the number of "original" American movies that are actually French.

Posted by: st.louis | April 6, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree with a lot of what's here, but I wanted to add that not every book needs to be made into a movie (see The Daily Mix - "He's Just Not That Into You" as a movie?).

For every "The Godfather" or "Jaws", there's a "Bonfire of the Vanities" or "The Road to Wellville". Some books lose their punch when turned visual, and Hollywood needs to learn that.

I keep looking at the upcoming "Atlas Shrugged" movie and I'm torn. I love that book, but Ayn Rand's objectivist monologues don't really translate to spoken dialogue too well. And this book is all about the massive soliloquies...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 6, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I think st.louis doesn't realize that there are not an infinite number of stories out there. Shakespeare has already written every movie for us, it's just up to us to alter the settings and the degree of nudity.

I guess you just wanted to prove your Netflix list included more foreign films than the rest of us, but I don't care at all if the movie I'm watching is a remake of a French or Japanese or Indian movie. If it's better, or even if I can just watch it instead of reading the movie, I'm going to enjoy it more than the foreign original. I'm not someone who knocks foreign films, but I don't understand why Americanized remakes of films 99.9% of this country will never get the opportunity to see is such a bad thing.

Posted by: OD | April 6, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"I mean that Americans should not try to remake French movies: Les Visiteurs/Just Visiting; Trois Hommes et un Couffin/Three Men and a Baby; La Cage aux Folles/the Birdcage"

And don't forget:
La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return (which was also made into a TV show)

Posted by: CJB | April 6, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Great Escape

Posted by: JL | April 6, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

Can you imagine anyone else playing the 3 roles that Peter Sellers did so brilliantly?

Posted by: CJB | April 6, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The African Queen
Dr. Strangelove
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
On the Waterfront

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Cool Hand Luke
The Dirty Dozen
Weird Science
Towering Inferno (cheese galore)

Posted by: dmk | April 6, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

A Fish Called Wanda

just off the topp off my head...

Posted by: hey don't forget | April 6, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

the good the bad and the ugly IS a remake, you morons.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I am a huge Star Wars fan, but I really think the whole thing could be re-done with an overhauled script; better dialouge; greater emphasis on some compelling themes. I've thought about this for awhile and I feel like some stories that focus on universal themes (like Star Wars or Shakespeare) should be re-done every so often to introduce them to a new generation.

I guess the prequel movies are what brought the idea to mind. I love them, but I'll be the first to admit they were not very good (except maybe ep. 3). I think the basic story themes are compelling (son redeems his father; living with the consequences of your decisions; democracy vs. dictatorship). It is ripe for a talented writer to beef up (kind of like the Lord of the Rings - what would those movies have been without a decent script?)

I agree with many posters above that some movies that capture the feeling of a time period (John Hughes films or Easy Rider) should not be re-made.

I'll add to the list: Breakin'; Beat Street; Easy Rider; Casablanca; Indiana Jones; Guess Whose Coming to Dinner (should not have been remade); Animal House; Fletch;

Posted by: Tubbs | April 6, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Also Pulp Fiction and the rest of the Tarantino collection

Posted by: Tubbs | April 6, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Anything Mel Brooks
Anything Stephen Spielburg
Anything Alfred Hitchcock

Posted by: Gamer | April 6, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Everything already listed with special emphasis on
Princess Bride

Maltese Falcon (classic cheese)
Neverending Story (too late- AWFUL!!!)
Transformers... ok I want to see this, but what is with the awful accents in the new cartoon? Why is Optimus Prime now all of a sudden a big panzy?!?!

Posted by: Chris | April 6, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If you're going to mention "Mars Needs Women" then I must add "Queen of Outer Space" starring Zsa Zsa Gabor, "Forbidden Planet", and any John Agar SciFi movie. Oh I almost forgot, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die"

Posted by: smg | April 6, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

> Anything Stephen Spielburg

...who remade a film called "A Guy Named Joe" as "Always" (admittedly, not one of his best)

> Anything Alfred Hitchcock

Who made "The Man Who Knew Too Much" twice. And the second version is the better known one.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I would not mind the remakes so much, if as OD said there was some effort at craftmanship. However, most of the remakes -- especially of the B movies -- are WORSE than the original. Any story with good writing, good directing, good sets and decent actors would do well. But, when they take an older movie or tv show and "update it" by making it into a cheese-fest, I start looking for somewhere to hurt.

Posted by: ep | April 6, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

what is this you say about a breakfast club remake? who? when? why?

i'm completely biased, of course, but i don't think kids these days would even get it. they've got their own identity/angst problems.

sure, high school sucks is timeless theme. i went to a high school that was nothing like the affluent, lilly-white high school in suburban chicago in the film, and i got it. but i just think they'd have to change it too much for today's kids. and that would ruin it.

Posted by: what? | April 6, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

You folks have it all wrong.

There is nothing sacred in Hollywood or anywhere else that isn't for sale.

Anything that can be regurgitated, repackaged, and resold to the public can and will be.

Our past and our memories are available for sale, just like anything else. In fact, Hollywood knows we're more inclined to buy our own repackaged...*stuff* than something new.

Perhaps because we're familiar with our own smells, we may not recognize that what we're buying might *really* stink.

Sorry for getting so cynical, but I'm bitter about the fact that they turned the classic "Ghost Rider" comic into such a stinky movie.


Posted by: bc | April 6, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Have got to disagree with a few of the above:

To Kill a Mockingbird and Soylent Green - I think those could be sucessfully remade by updating the story to the present. The issues and themes are still as powerful and as relevant as they were when the films were originally made. But it would have to be done well, that goes without saying.

Also - Three Days of the Condor.

I'm sure Gerry will do great with whatever he is given, but I am not enthused with EFNY. I'm concerned it will be just gimmicky mindless violence without someone like Zack in control. Gerry deserves the paycheck I'm sure he will get for it and this is a business too.

But ideally I see him doing Robert Redford type roles, because of the similarity in intelligence, depth and intensity. Although Gerry would need to scale it way back from King Leo to do something like Three Days of the Condor!

Posted by: JustAGirl | April 6, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Charolette's Web

Why ruin a perfectly wonderful cartoon classic by throwing today's obnoxious "it" child actor trying to capitalize on her last few days before puberty? Plus we have a movie with a cute talking pig. There is no need to change the classic.

I apologize for this being posted about 6 months too late.

Posted by: golflies | April 6, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

And while we're at it -- Disney stop the stupid sequals!! What, they have no more original ideas that they have to make up sequals to their classics?? The same goes with the whole "Tink" and "Princess" concept. Ruined perfectly good characters by over-exposure.

Someone already mentioned them, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off and When Harry Met Sally are my "no remake" picks. And The Muppet Movie.

Posted by: Columbia, MD | April 6, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't really agree that some movies are too "sacred" to be re-done -- even though I personally would not be interested in seeing a remake of Gone With the Wind, Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, the 80's movies listed above, and many others. I would like to see Hollywood make more original movies in general, but if you don't like remakes and the like, as several other posters have said, vote with your feet and don't go see them. Even better would be to skip all of the movies that include the latest bunch of singers, models, reality TV stars, etc., turned "actors" and movies that include actors who typically star in crappy movies.

Posted by: MAL | April 6, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Any novel or play made into a movie is already a betrayal . . .So limit the list to those stories that did not begin life as a movie (so anything historical or biographical could be remade). Then think of perfect movies--not merely unique, but absolutely perfect. That makes my list very hard . . .I can only come up with The Deer Hunter right now.

Posted by: bkp | April 6, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

Can you imagine anyone else playing the 3 roles that Peter Sellers did so brilliantly?

Posted by: CJB | April 6, 2007 01:25 PM"

Shhh....some studio exec might hear you & think that Eddie Murphy could pull it off!!

Posted by: Bored @ work | April 6, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I didn't mean to criticize people who don't want their favorite movie to be remade in my previous post. I was really just complaining about how crappy movies are these days and that people still seem to go see crappy movies -- perhaps because there aren't that many other choices.

Posted by: MAL Again | April 6, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

OD said- "The Magnificent 7 was vastly more watchable than the Japanese version (same goes for most of those samarai-inspired westerns), and even Scorcese's The Departed was an improvement."

That's funny you say that about Seven Samurai, being that a good amount Kurosawa's works have INSPIRED (with SS being the main film) many writers and directors to create some of their greatest works (remakes and orignals). Mag 7 was in fact a great remake, but both have their own charm.
BC-spot on as always (I lurk in the Achenboodle from time to time.)
What they should do is rerelease movies that alot of people might have not seen due to age or availablity (not just the big ones like Star Wars.)

Posted by: Geist | April 6, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Any Humphrey Bogart films

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The Best Years of Our Lives


Posted by: lafred | April 6, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Smoky and the Bandit*
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Untouchables
The Sting*

*Bad sequels/prequels don't count - while seeking to capitalize on the fabulousness of the original, they don't seek to replace it entirely.

Posted by: Lala | April 6, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with a lot of others on this one:
Wizard of Oz
(Basically any movie made in 1939)
Anything with Cary Grant
Singin In The Rain
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Pillow Talk
St. Elmo's Fire
The Breakfast Club

Posted by: dgroves | April 6, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It was also completely unnecessary to redo Pride and Prejudice after the BBC already fixed the original versions. Once you've got Colin Firth, you can never go back.

Posted by: Caitlin | April 6, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

why hasn't anyone mentioned any Monty Python movies? They're sacred too. I would cry if I thought they were going to remake the Holy Grail...

Posted by: Eve | April 6, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

TRANSFORMERS IS A RE-MAKE! The original was Orson Wells final movie as Unicron. It also had Judd Nelson, Leonard Nemoy and Robert Stack. HOw many movies can you name with such star power?

1986 Man. COME ON!

Posted by: DC | April 6, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To "the good the bad and the ugly IS a remake, you morons": If you are going to be insulting, at least get your movies straight. "The good the bad and the ugly" is NOT a remake. Perhaps you confused it with "A fistful of dollars" which was a remake of Akira Kurosawa's film Yojimbo.

I agree EFNY should not be remade, especially with a non-American actor. I hope no remakes will be made for:

Princess Bride
Star Wars episode IV

Posted by: TEL | April 6, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

ON more thing: Cat on A HOt Tin Roof is a great movie because it is a great play with great actors (good film illiterates: Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor).

Posted by: DC | April 6, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I echo the John Hughes club: Pretty in Pink
Breakfast Club, Weird Science, St. Elmo's Fire
Also, Dirty Dancing
Say Anything
Some Kind of Wonderful
9 to 5 (wouldn't be the same without Dolly)
Pretty Woman (not that it's sacred really, just that I can't imagine anyone else doing justice to that part)

Posted by: Silver Spring | April 6, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Do not remake Jackass. Please. Please. Please.

Posted by: Tomcat | April 6, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Blade Runner, Dr. Strangelove, The Apartment, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Conversation, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Metropolis (original version), The Bridges at ToKo-Ri, Bridge Over The River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, American Graffiti, The Maltese Falcon, Things to Come, ChinaTown, Vertigo, Titanic (Cameron version), Psycho (I know it was but it shouldn't have), Duel (by Spielberg), Manchurian Candidate (again, it shouldn't have been), Snow White (original Disney version), Old Yeller, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (a great title!), and a bunch more. All I can remember at the moment.

Posted by: cody mccall | April 6, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

can't believe nobody has mentioned HARVY yet. you know, jimmy stewert, 7 foot rabbit? perfection and then some...

Posted by: ogden, utah | April 6, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

The Searchers
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Grapes of Wrath
Citizen Kane
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
The Godfather 1&2
Taxi Driver
The French Connection
A Solider's Story
Color Purple
Love Jones
Love and Basketball
Purple Rain

Posted by: Lisa1 | April 6, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that some of the movies were remade and people loved the remakes better? Face it, done well, a remake is fantastic. But, since we know Hollyweird would rather go for schlock over quality, do not remake ANY movie whatsoever. This includes beloved (or even not so beloved) TV shows.

Posted by: ep | April 6, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Liz - you're probably not still reading, but just in case.... How does one access your chat from 4/5? There are several links to your chat in various places, but none of them actually go there. Most just go to a generic chat page with info on lots of different chats -none of them yours.

Posted by: HELP! | April 6, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

It's basically the old studio system of the classic era (30s-mid60s) reborn. And don't kid yourself that the classic era never saw remakes or sequels. How many versions of Dracula or The Wolfman were there? We don't revere Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi for no reason.

And, to sort of echo OD's point, if you're going to hate on remakes, you sort of have to include Big Screen adaptations of small-screen fare ... like, oh, say, any of the Star Treks. You can't have it both ways. Either something's classic and untouchable, or it can be "reimagined" any number of ways.

Nor does this apply just to films. Broadway has been remaking plays AND films for decades and no one seems to have a problem with that.

And, to drill the argument down further, how many narratives, new or remade, are really just re-tellings of "Romeo and Juliet" or some other classic? Sure, it's blatant when Baz Luhrmann does it, but West Side Story commits the same "crime". Heck, Andrew Lloyd Webber remade a book of *poems*.

Don't get me wrong -- Point of No Return was an abomination. And I gladly yawned and stayed home when it was released. Of course, the international market loved it, and as most Hollywood execs would tell you, worldwide production beats domestic any day of the week nowadays.

But, some remakes and/or sequels ARE better -- or interesting/valuable because they mythologize, parodize, subvert, or otherwise comment on the original. Ocean's 11 is a great example, as raised by others. I think Seven Samurai is an amazing film, but Mag7 is pretty darn good too.

And you can't deny that, eg, Eddie Murphy bringing Jerry Lewis home to a completely new audience (not to mention crossing the blatant racial barriers of the 50s by doing so) is at least worth your respect, if not your actual appreciation.

Certainly, some movies "mean something" culturally -- In the Heat of the Night, or The Graduate, say -- that cannot and will not ever be translated, not matter how well the remake is remade.

But a heck of a lot of them only mean something to us as individuals, because we've built them up to mean so much to us. Is the Princess Bride REALLY that great? Will generations behind us see it in the same light that we currently see Some Like It Hot, or Duck Soup?

After all, it was adapted from the book. :)

Posted by: JB | April 6, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

1. Gone With the Wind
2. Young Frankenstein
3. The Wizard of Oz
4. Casablanca
5. A Fish Called Wanda
6. Ghostbusters
7. Some Like It Hot
8. It's a Wonderful Life
9. All About Eve
10. To Catch a Thief

Posted by: CaptainSkye | April 6, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Ogden, Utah and worry that Harvey looks re-makeable.

You've already listed my picks, you geniuses: esp. Cool Hand Luke and Some Like It Hot.

One more:
Philadelphia Story (that thing with Grace Kelly was forgetable, fortunately).

and, for that matter, not that they'll be tempted:

Posted by: toomuchcaffeine | April 6, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

A Place in the Sun - unremakeable

Posted by: Patony3 | April 7, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Pee Wees Big Adventure
Wizard of Oz
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Time Bandits
McCabe and Mrs Miller
Maltese Falcon

Posted by: AaroninSB | April 7, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

"When Russell himself heard news of the remake, he said: "Nothing is sacred in this business. I did Disney movies, they remade those. I did 'Stargate', they made that into a TV show... Having created the character [Snake Plissken], I know one thing. Snake Plissken is quintessentially American."

"Kurt, here's a check for 60,000 to appear for 5 minutes in this movie."

"Yes, please."

Posted by: anon2 | April 7, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind, Glory, The Color Purple.

Posted by: Judi Hershel | April 7, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I forgot: Rosemary's Baby and The Graduate, both brilliant books made into nearly as good movies, much like Mockingbird.

Posted by: Judi Hershel | April 7, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Harold & Maude
King of Hearts
Planet of the Apes (Ooops!!...too late)
How The West Was Won
To Kill A Mockingbird
Day For Night (La Nuit Americaine)
Dr Strangelove (or any Kubrick film)

Posted by: D-Waves | April 7, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Citizen Kane
Any good comedy
Any blockbuster adventure (Jaws, Star Wars, etc.)
Men in Black II (Unless they want to make it actually watchable.)
You get the idea.....

Posted by: Rich | April 7, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Duck Soup WAS remade, in 1991, as Brain Donors with John Tuturro. It was acutally quite funny, if you consider it as a separate movie altogether and not a remake of a classic.

The thing about The Princess Bride was that it was greater than the sum of its parts. All of these strange, wonderful pieces fit perfectly together into something that I don't think anyone could have imagined, just by looking at the cast and script. That's why it shouldn't be remade... it's more than a good story, more than a good cast; it's alchemy. Should absolutely never be touched.

Posted by: Jen | April 7, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Earth Girls Are Easy

Posted by: Rob | April 8, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"A Clockwork Orange" - I am afraid that some director, inspired by the original, will actually have the ego to think he can do it better. I'm very afraid!

Posted by: Synthaholic | April 8, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Fifth Element should NEVER be remade! It is perfect as is!

The same goes for Galaxy Quest!

Posted by: M | April 8, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I heard Michael Bay is going to be working in some capacity of the remake of "The Birds".....the end of the world has officially arrived.

Posted by: Burke | April 8, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Leave Forbidden Planet alone too. I've heard rumors they were going to mess with the prototype for the SciFi ensemble cast, and I'll be royally pissed if it ever comes to pass.

Posted by: James Buchanan | April 8, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Anything with Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn
African Queen
The Year of Living Dangerously
A Man for All Seasons
Anything with Peter O'Toole
Anything by Mel Brooks

In short, any movie that should not be re-made because the original captured the heart and mind of a viewer.
You cannot improve on perfection.

Posted by: M.H. | April 8, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I think they should remake Gone With The Wind. They might be able to make it watchable.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 9, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

i wish they'd never made jackass in the first place, but that's just me.

close encounters
twelve angry men
attack of the 50-foot woman (the one w/darryl hannah really sucked)
all cary grant
all bogey
all hitchcock
all mel brooks (producers was OK since mel did that himself)
to kill a mockingbird
in cold blood
breakfast at tiffany's
most foreign language films are better in the original language, even w/subtitles.

Posted by: b | April 9, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Big trouble in little china
Forest Gump

Posted by: Chris | April 9, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Withnail & I"

Can't really improve upon that little gem. I read recently where it might be revived on the London stage, with Jude Law as Withnail. I hope not.

Posted by: Chris in Columbus | April 9, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

John Waters has said that they should never remake good movies--only ones like Ice Castles.

That said, I don't think you can lump Hairspray into the remakes, because the Travolta pic is a film version of the Broadway musical based on the original film. Exactly what the last go around of The Producers was.

And, of course, Mel Brooks is readying Young Frankenstein as a Broadway musical, so there will be the inevitable film of that, presuming it is a hit, which it will be.

Posted by: Jack | April 9, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is kinda late so probably nobody will read it. I would like to see another spin-off:

"Escape from DC", except make it a reality program.

Just build a wall around the inner loop and blast anybody who gets out.

Posted by: SoMD | April 9, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

HS, here's a little fyi for you: IT was made with a few 3D scenes. Hence, the "fuzzy" images that you see throughout the movie.

Posted by: slm | April 9, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Movies never to be remade:
2-Wizard of Oz
3-In the Heat of the Night
4-Blade Runner
5-Any Marx Brothers Movie
6-Any Mae West Movie
7-Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
8-West Side Story
9-Raging Bull
10-Godfather I and II

Movies TO remake:
1-GWTW...make the South win!
2-Brokeback Mountain...every month
4-Godzilla vs King Kong
5-Towering Inferno
6-Any Mel Gibson movie
7-Any Tom Cruise movie

Posted by: John | April 10, 2007 7:44 AM | Report abuse

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