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Dear Hollywood: Please stop re-making classic films!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Tolsky, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

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    Is it that you're hard up for new material? Or do you get great satisfaction out of destroying the image of a classic?
    I had the great pleasure of working last week with Gene Wilder as he was a guest star on Will & Grace. As I have heard a rumour about a possible re-make of Willy Wonka, I asked him if he had heard of anything. "I've been hearing that for the last 3 years," he said, "I think it's stupid", he added with sad eyes.
    I agreed with him and added, "How can you improve upon perfection?"
    Hollywood's track record with re-makes of classic films has pretty much been a disaster; witness great dissappointments in Planet of the Apes and The Time Machine. I know you guys can name more of them and I hope you do in this thread. I just want to take this opportunity to say to Hollywood, IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!
     
  2. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    I agree. Hollywood also has a thing for remaking not so classic films as well.
     
  3. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    The reason the do remakes is lots of people go to see them. If people would quit going to see them they'd stop real fast. A remake does nothing to "destroy the image of a classic" for me as I generally never watch them.
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I am going to move this to Studio Feedback.

    For the record, I agree of course.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This trend needs to stop, especially, since the remakes are either terrible or mediocre at best.
     
  6. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    David,
    I sort of agree, but let me just add one thing for you to chew on...
    Ben freaking Hur
    sometimes, sometimes there is good art involved and a real vision.
    Even the recent Red Dragon has its merits as a new interpretation of the book "Red Dragon" (not a film remake but might as well be).
    I think the problem is not remakes (or TV shows, etc), but rather CHEAP, MONEY GRUBBING, remakes and TV show films. [​IMG]
    I even enjoyed the 70's King Kong quite a bit. It doesn't have the power of the original, but it was still quite interesting.
    I'll sneak in a 2nd mention - Fistful of Dollars.
     
  7. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Brian E wrote:

     
  8. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

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    Well, I have to respectfully dissagree on the King Kong re-make. I thought it was junk and they especially should have left that classic alone.
     
  9. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Though it has been said many times, Gus Van Hack's version of "Pyscho" prooved above all other films that remakes are not needed, or in the case of that movie, not needed at all.

    On the flip side of that, most films that have a truly original plot or feature something out of the ordinary, are mostly independant films that most of the mainstream public won't buy into simply because they A) don't hear about it, or B)they don't know the 'stars' of it, and that scares them so they don't want to see it.

    Just look at the book market. How many Harliquen novels have a different plot? Simply insert a new set of names and you have a new novel. Barbara Taylor Badford, Jacki Collins, to an extent Stephen King have spent a lifetime basically rewriting the same stories.

    Television has done it for years as well. Many writers when a show completes it's run go on to another show. If you follow these writers, you will see many of the sames devices used...only with new stars.

    Music. How many times do we really need a Beatles song covered by someone else? We don't...some of us didn't even want the first version...

    Back to movies...as long as they know that we will come, they will continue their recycling...if you want to truly find anything original in Hollywood, you have to find it outside the studio walls.
     
  10. Daniel Kikin

    Daniel Kikin Screenwriter

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    This article in today's New York Post adds even more reasons to this thread:
    ATTACK OF THE CLONES
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The Maltese Falcom, with Humphry Bogart, was also a remake.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And I'm getting sick of mediocre television series being brought to the big screen, which is yet another example of Hollywood's bankruptcy in creativity. I Spy anyone? The trailer makes this popcorn movie look like nothing more than bad, improbable stunts, lots of flying and exploding cars, a disposable "contemporary" soundtrack, and the requisite bad acting.
     
  13. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I don't think that you can compare the films that Hollywood was re-making back in the 30's to 60's to what they're re-making now.

    Ben-Hur was originaly a silent film and the Maltese Falcon was re-made, not because it was originaly a big hit, but because the makers felt that a better film could be made out of the material. If a Hollywood studio today wanted to do the same thing as those 2 cases, that would be fine. But re-making films such as Willie Wonka, Psycho, Red Dragon & King Kong is just another way of Hollywood trying to make some $$$$ the lazy way.
     
  14. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

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    I think there is a difference between just remaking a film to recycle it and remaking it with a new interpretation or point of view. How many Frankenstein films have there been? Or how about Dracula movies? Some of these films are great and others are junk.
    Sometime a certain social and historical period gets re-interested in a particular story because it suddenly has some new age-specific resonance. So they remake a classic that possibly reflects new or different attitudes and dispositions than the original -- same story line but different point of view or conclusion. With stories that have been remade with some regularity, these shifts in ethical and social attitutes can be quite interesting to track over time.
    That having been said, I particularly hate (and try to avoid like the plague) those Hollywood remakes of good foreign films. This just feels like poaching to me -- taking someone else's (usually) recent and excellent work and remaking it for an American audience, because, of course, no American would want to sit through an intelligent and well made film if they had to read subtitles. So they dumb down the story and pop Meg Ryan into it and voila, a "new" film to make money with. Two recent example are "The Vanishing" (remade under the same title) and "Le Grand Chemin" (remade under the title "Paradise.") Blech! [​IMG] I think in general Hollywood is a mimic. They look for the tried and true and just want to endlessly recycle it, because they think there is less risk involved. In general they seem to avoid like the plague anything new or different until such a thing somehow sneaks through and succeeds. Then they drones want to copy it endlessly as if this will somehow insure that the rip-offs will succeed. It is a bankrupt and cynical process and it's a wonder we ever get any of the good films we do.
    Deborah
     
  15. David Tolsky

    David Tolsky Supporting Actor

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    Daniel, thanks for the thread to the NY Post article. That's pretty much where I'm coming from. I felt the need to start this thread after my short but relevant conversation with Gene Wilder. I sincerely hope that Willy Wonka is not re-made. If they want to introduce the story to a new generation, restore the original master print, even add a surround sound track IF YOU MUST, and re-release the original wonderful film.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    There are a handful of remakes (all made in the CLASSIC ERA) which are worthy of being superior or equal to the original.

    A few that come to mind are The Maltese Falcon (the first two versions really were not that good...) the two Ben-Hur films (I find the silent version to be better, but only by a bit), and perhaps a handful of others.

    However...it's just silly to make remakes now. I'd rather see studios restore films and then re-release them. Simply re-release some of the highest grossing films (How about Gone With The Wind done right?) and some with a big following?

    The last movie I saw in a theater was Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring...which tells a lot about the crap that comes out now. (Although, 2001 was nice with movies like FOTR, Moulin Rouge!, Shrek, and Monsters Inc.)
     
  17. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    DeborahK wrote:
     
  18. Daniel Kikin

    Daniel Kikin Screenwriter

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    Glad to be of help David. Unfortunately, Hollywood will still keep on churning out bad remakes of great classics. The only recent remake I've really enjoyed was Ocean's 11. My greatest fear here is that they will try to remake The Bridge On The River Kwai with Ewan McGregor, Jet Li, and George Clooney or something like that. I know there hasn't been any mention of it but the way things are going, it seems inevitable.
     
  19. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  20. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    It is just an example of the creative bankruptcy in Hollywood & their fear of trying something original.
     

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