Why Would Anybody Remake This Movie?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Zaz, Feb 19, 2004.

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  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Exhibit One: "The Manchurian Candidate."

    Original: 1962, dir. John Frankheimer, written by George Alexrod, based on the book by Richard Condon. Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, and James Gregory.

    Withdrawn by Sinatra (who owned it) after Kennedy's assassination, and not seen for many years.

    They are remaking it with Denzel Washington (presumably in the Sinatra role, though it isn't a good one.)

    Why a remake is a bad idea: This is Frankheimer's best movie. Great script. Laurance Harvey (as the assassin) and James Gregory (as the Manchurian candidate) do their best work. The best performance, though, is Angela Lansbury as the bitch-villainess mother of the former and wife of the latter.

    Why they may want to remake it: It can get more explicit now. There was, for instance, two incestuous relationships in the book, which didn't make it into the movie.

    Is this remake a good idea? I vote no. If you haven't seen the movie, see it now before these jerks ruin it for you.
  2. darkcide Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2003
    star 4
    I think only movies that were bad to begin with should be remade.
  3. DarthMoby Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    Well they should waited until Hillary Clinton runs to remake The Manchurian Candidate, as she would truly be one.
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Bad idea. Washington will do a fine job, as he always does, but the remake is still a bad idea.

    The cast is brilliant. Harvey, as you noted, is great, as is Gregory. Also, kudos to Janet Leigh for giving a tremendously bizarre performance. And Sinatra, in my opinion, is darn good. As you say, Lansbury gives the best performance of the film.

    As for making the film more explicit, this is the same logic that fueled that ludicrous remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, but there's a problem. The same problem with the Postman remake, actually.

    The book is not explicit! So, your frigging logic just went out the damn window. The original is an extremely faithful version of the book.
  5. Glockenspiel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 1
    Why does anyone remake anything?

    Cha-Ching $$$
  6. divaSySnootles Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2003
    star 1
    My favorite movie classic: "Higher and Higher" with Frank Sinatra... I wish this could get a remake. I can't see the plot/story in a millenium movie, but maybe they could edit the plot/story a little, but I love this movie!

    Probably no one on the boards has ever even seen it though. :)
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Rogue, there is at least one explicit--for the times--scene in the book: Raymond's first sexual experience. Since the point is that it's his first, and it's with a minor character, they left it out. The incestuous relationship between AL's character and both her father and her son is treated somewhat differently. The former is not explicit in the book, and the latter starts out to be and then the book cuts away. AL is so scary that she suggests the truth without any help whatever from the script, but I suppose they may get the point across more graphically this time.

    I thought the Sinatra character and his girlfriend were a lot more interesting in the book, especially her, but there's a limit on what a movie can do.

    Yes, the remake will be in colour, and Washington is a GBS (Great Big Star). But. The real problem is that crappy remakes often compromise the availability of the original. Case in point: somebody challenged me to see the original "All Quiet on the Western Front" in the Has Anyone Seen This Movie? thread. I discovered that the library and the rental outlets only have the rotten TV remake. This sucks, especially because it's Lansbury's best role, and a rare good one for her.

    Exhibit Two: "The Alamo" (1960) dir. John Wayne. Starring Wayne (as Davy Crockett), Laurance Harvey (again!) as Col. Travis, and Richard Widmark (as Jim Bowie).

    Remake: dir. John Lee Hancock. Starring Billy Bob Thornton (as Crockett), Dennis Quaid (as Bowie) and Jason Patric (as Travis).

    A different problem here. The original was a famously expensive flop. If you've seen the original movie, it's cheesy, and if this movie buries it, no harm done. But why would you spend money to remake a big flop, especially a movie like this, which is going to cost a bundle? This is the movie that Russell Crowe (as star) and Ron Howard (as director) dropped out of; that's always a bad sign, especially as the current cast is has no big stars (Patric especially is dull). It's going to need great reviews to open at all, and the reviewers will know about the first one. I may be wrong, but I think it will be two flops in a row.

  8. MatRags Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2001
    star 4
    The Manchurian Canidate is just too classic to remake. There just isn't really a point to it. Plus it was much more relevant at the time the orignal was made than this remake will be today.

    The Alamo remake isn't that bad of an idea, since, as you said, the original flopped and wasn't that good of a movie. Casting Billy Bob Thorton as Davey Crockett is a bit of casting genius IMO, much better than casting John Wayne in that role. Early reviews weren't that good, but they pulled the release date back to do some re-editing. I'll probably give it more of a chance than The Manchurian Canidate, anyway.
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I heard something about preview audiences disliking a scene where Thornton begs for his life, but the studio keeps denying it.

    Exhibit Three: "The Ladykillers" (1955) dir. Alexander Mackendrick. Starring Alec Guinness, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers and Katie Johnson.

    Remake: 2004 dir. Joel Cohen. Starring Tom Hanks and Marlon Wayans (in the Sellers role).

    The original is an Ealing comedy and extremely hard to see. Mackendrick was a gifted director, whose career tanked in the reaction to his only American movie, the corrosively cynical (and great) "The Sweet Smell of Success." Guinness was terrific, as was Lom; and I found Sellers a lot more tolerable at the start of his career than he was at the end of it. Katie Johnson, as the title character, was perfect.

    I like the Cohens and Hanks, but I have also seen the trailer of this movie. It was a typical trailer---it reveals way too much of the plot---and seems to suggest that the subtlety of the first movie has been transformed to a lot of dumb physical comedy involving Wayans. The setting has also been changed from Britain to the southern USA.

    Why would they remake it? I don't know.
  10. lumberjedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2002
    star 5
    I wouldn't have expected much from "The Ladykillers", but since it's Coen Brothers, it can be good.
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    My favorite movie classic: "Higher and Higher" with Frank Sinatra...

    If you want a good hard boiled Sinatra flick, everyone should try "Tony Rome."

    Of course, its dated, being from the late 60's, but it has Sinatra in a older, more cynical role, while still being essentially Frank.

    It has a half-way decent "who done it" as well..
  12. The_Ultimate_Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2002
    star 4
    Honestly, I loved the trailer. I vote yes. This movie looks great! The Coens are likely to make the remake as similar to the original as similar O' Brother Where Art Thou? was to The Oddessey. The names and the personalities are the Coens' own, which worked very well in Fargo, which the characters were entirely fictional and the premise was "based on a true story"
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Now we come to the most notorious modern example:

    "Psycho" (1960) dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, and Vera Miles.

    Remade under the same title: (1998) dir. Gus Van Sant. Starring Vince Vaughan, Anne Heche, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, and Viggo Mortensen.

    Van Sant added almost nothing except colour and an occasional scene, such as Norman masturbating, which is scarcely worth the trouble. Moore and Mortgensen are better than the originals, the rest of the cast are worse. It's just a waste of time. Why remake an iconic movie of this type? There's no suspense, because everybody's seen it already.
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Wayans in The Ladykillers? Hanks and the Coens had me holding out a little hope. I just lost it.

    As for Psycho, it gets its sole bit of color from William H. Macy, who does a great job as the fast talking Arbogast. And Moore is fine, as she usually is.

    However, Van Sant is too clinical a director for a remake. You're between a rock and a hard place with remaking a Hitchcock film. If you don't change anything, why bother? If you do, why noodle with Hitchcock in the first place?

    Van Sant goes for a fairly straightforward exact remake, duplicating the original scene for scene, shot for shot, save for a fabulous sequence of Vince Vaughan masturbating (the previous should be read with the maximum of eye rolling) and a few "artsy" shots of thunder heads, cows in the middle of a road and women wearing blindfolds.

    Van Sant should be beaten with a wire hanger for this travesty.
  15. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    It looks like Demme (sp?) reworked the Candidate, but judging from the reviews, it looks just almost as good as the original and they didn't clone it, they retold it. (can't wait for it to come out in Taiwan)
  16. Aiwendil Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 1
    I simply don't understand the desire to remake a classic movie. Yes, obviously it's done for the money - but surely they could pump another mindless Hollywood action movie out of the factory instead of insulting something great. I haven't seen the new Manchurian Candidate but I can't imagine it will improve on the original.

    The worst case of this sort of thing is certainly Psycho. What goes through a studio executive's mind - "Hey, that was a good premise, but I'll bet I can find somebody who'll direct it better than Hitchcock"?

    And of all the reasons to remake that movie, adding color has to be the worst. Hitchcock had been making movies in color for years and intentionally made Psycho in black and white to create a certain atmosphere.

    Well, please forgive my bit of rant there. It just bewilders me that people would do this kind of thing.
  17. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I'm actually hearing great things about the new MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, to my surprise. I was one who groaned when I heard about it, and honestly I can't say how it compares to the original, but I'm hearing that it stands on its own VERY well.
  18. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    And as it turned out, "The Manchurian Candidate" remake *did* suck and wasn't a box office hit, either. So...why?
  19. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    I can't saw how compares to the original, but I saw it and really liked it. Its a VERY sinister movie, mostly thanks to Meryl Streep.
  20. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    No, it's not nearly as good. Streep and Schreiber are both very good though.
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