Hollywood loves to remake movies. Sometimes it’s a good idea, but more often than not it feels like the worst idea ever. Usually the reason it doesn’t work is because the filmmakers lose sight of what is actually important in the movie. A good example of this trend is the upcoming Great Gatsby remake, which may or may not fall on its face when it attempts to make the story a romance, which it is not.
Lists are awesome. I love lists. So, let me present another list. This time it is a list of classic films I cautiously wish to see re-made.
Streetcar Named Desire: I adore this movie. It broke so many boundaries when it first came out. The original was considered way too sexy for its time and Marlon Brando displayed a daring amount of delicious-man-muscles. But, because of the time period and the rules that applied in showing scandalous things, certain elements and moments in the film were hard to follow because the filmmakers glossed over them. I literally had to look the movie up on Wikipedia to confirm a particular moment, because I had no idea what had happened. They can’t cast some young star-of-the-moment as Stan. I don’t want to see Robert Pattison or another Twilight cast off on the casting list. They’d also have to be cautious of not making the more sensual and damaging aspects of the film cheap and tacky.
Wait Until Dark: This is one of Audrey Hepburn’s lesser known films, but it is certainly one of my favorites with her. Alan Arkin’s villain is perhaps the most evil, and spine tingling of all film bad guys. Whoever helms this project needs to handle it with kid gloves. They should be wary of making it too modern and trying to make it edgy. This movie will be edgy and scary without CGI Robots and masked villains with chainsaws. Also, just because it is a remake, it doesn’t mean you have to change the events that happen in the film. This movie is truly wonderful the way they wrote it. Remakes do not mean, Hey, let’s change everything that happens because this is a remake. Remakes are a way to introduce audiences to an old classic, in a way that interests them, but without damaging the integrity of the original.
To Catch a Thief: This Hitchcock movie is an interesting twist on a traditional heist movie. Well, that is what modern audiences would think of it, when in reality, this movie was around way before The Italian Job or Ocean’s Eleven. However, I think that if Hollywood was to tackle this Cary Grant film, they should keep the setting vintage. I don’t want to see this re-done in a modern setting. This is mainly because they’d have to change the technology in order for it to make sense. But, if the story took place in the sixties then it would be a totally different kind of movie. In fact, I just thought of my perfect cast. George Clooney would be perfect in Cary Grant’s place, and I’d like to see Scarlett Johansson take up Grace Kelly’s mantle.
Gone With the Wind: I say this one with extreme caution. This is the ultimate behemoth of vintage movies. It is practically the holy grail of movies and needs to be treated with extreme care. If they were to re-make Gone With the Wind they would need to do these few things. Firstly, they shouldn’t shorten the movie for our attention-challenged youth. They should cast it carefully, and with class. As well, they should keep the southern charm oozing in this movie, without over-sexualizing Scarlett and her relationship with Rhett. As well, whoever should become the new Scarlett O’Hara should be very careful of that fine line Scarlett walks, the line between annoying and endearing, which Vivian Leigh handled with grace.
Singin’ in the Rain: With the My Fair Lady remake on the way it would make sense that this isn’t too far behind. The time period this movie takes place in is important to the plot itself, so that cannot change. I really think there are not many things you could do wrong with a remake of this film. However, I could easily see Disney helming the remake and making all of the characters sixteen years old with an all-important talent show thrown in. So, as long as they don’t assume that “movie musical” translates into “corny and ridiculous” they’ll be fine.
My list does consists of true classic films, not movies that were made two years ago that Hollywood wants to make more money off of. But, trends are fickle, and I could foresee Hollywood decide to re-make all of the classics. So, here is a mini-list of movies that Hollywood should never touch. Never, ever, ever touch these movies, Hollywood. Just keep your paws off.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life: Perfect the way it is. If you made it now, it would be corny and Tim Allen would probably get cast as George Bailey.
2. East of Eden: I’m actually not a fan of the original. I consider this to be one of those rare books that should never be made into a movie because Hollywood just does not understand what this book is really about. It is not a love story, and the original James Dean film literally started near the end of the book. Stay away from East of Eden, Hollywood, or I will kick you.
3. Casablanca: Silly, whiny modern moviegoers would just cry and complain about the ending. They aren’t worthy of a re-make.
4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: No one can replace Jimmy Stewart. The baggy-pant-wearing generation won’t have the emotional and intelligent capacity to appreciate this movie.
5. Citizen Kane: This movie is awesome because of the time period in which the movie was created. Everything that makes this movie special would vanish in a modern version, and I know for a fact that this movie would not be properly appreciated with today’s audiences.
What do you think of these lists? My friend, Paul, mentioned wanting to see a Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy re-do, and as I am not familiar with it I couldn’t add it to my list. Another film I considered for my “Do-Not-Touch” list was The Princess Bride. Would you add or change anything? Who would be your dream casts for these remakes?
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