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4 Movies You Didn't Know Were Remakes

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Published March 15th 2012
4 Movies You Didn't Know Were Remakes

They say there's nothing new under the sun, and that's especially true of the movie industry. If it's not a clichéd Hollywood blockbuster with the same plot as the last ten Hollywood blockbusters, the chances are pretty high that it's a remake.

Some remakes are well known – like the films mentioned in this article by Natasha Stewart – but others are not so well known. This usually occurs when the original is a little known foreign film, or was released so long ago that there are very few people alive who remember.

The following are films that many of you might be surprised learn are remakes. If you enjoyed the more recent incarnation, grab a copy of the original and compare.


The favourite film of young men around the world has barely an original component at all. The 1983 American film is a contemporary remake of the 1932 film Scarface: The Shame of the Nation. The basic story is the same – a confident and ambitious criminal rises through the ranks of a crime syndicate, but his cockiness and ruthless methods lead to his downfall – but with era appropriate differences – for example, the crime syndicate of the 1932 version deal in bootleg grog, while Al Pacino's 1983 manifestation is a cocaine dealer.

But even the 1932 release is a copy, adapted from the book of the same name by Ben Hecht. Ben Hecht, in turn, based his novel on the life of notorious crime boss Al Capone.

12 Monkeys

I didn't quite follow 12 Monkeys the first time I saw it, so when I found out it was a remake of a French short film, La Jetee (The Jetty), I sought out a copy in the hopes that it would make the recent version clearer. It didn't. But they're both decent science fiction efforts.

La Jetee is a 28 minute black and white film that was made by looping still photos together. Pretty cool. 12 Monkeys is a full length feature directed by Terry Gilliam, my second favourite Monty Python member, and starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. They are both set in future dystopias and follow the efforts of a prisoner who travels back in time to rescue the future.

Fatal Attraction

Glenn Close wasn't the first bunny boiler – Fatal Attraction was adapted from a 1980 British telemovie, Diversion. Rumour has it that more than a dozen different directors passed on the project, as they were worried about the film's similarity to Clint Eastwood's 1971 directorial debut, Play Misty for Me. If that's true, I'm sure they came to regret it; Fatal Attraction made more than $150 million dollars at the box office and was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.

It's next to impossible to find a copy of Diversion, so check out Play Misty for Me instead. Jessica Walter (whom modern day audiences might recognise as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development) received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Evelyn Draper, the original bunny boiler.

The Vanishing

Jeff Bridges, Keifer Sutherland and Nancy Travis star in this 1993 American movie about a man obsessed with the disappearance of his girlfriend. When his girlfriend's kidnapper pays him a visit, he agrees to relive his girlfriend's ordeal in order to learn what happened.

The Vanishing was remade from a Dutch film called Spoorloos ('Traceless'). The plot is similar, but the ending to the Dutch film is much bleaker. Although both versions were directed by George Sluizer, the Dutch version received critical acclaim, while the American version was almost universally panned.
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Why? Because the original is nearly always better
Your Comment
'Fatal Attraction' is not a remake to "Play Misty For Me' . True that they are similar, but there are hundreds of films that are similar to one another and that does not qualify them as remakes. I'm not even sure that '12 Monkey's' qualifies as a remake considering that it is more an adaptation that an out and out remake. Factual missteps, the author of this article needs to spend more time researching source.
by kdprs (score: 0|5) 3294 days ago
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