The Top 5 Common Film Remakes

Doesn’t it seem like Hollywood has run out of ideas? The theaters are filled with sequels, adaptations and remakes – and new, unique film releases are few and far between. If you’ve grown tired of shelling out your hard-earned cash for “Iron Man 7” (super villain du jour: The WrinkleMaker). Or yet another version of “Freaky Friday” (such classics should be left alone). You have two basic options: simply stop seeing film remakes, or realize that they’re actually nothing new. The art of the remake dates almost to the dawn of the motion picture era more than a century ago.

5. Great Stories Know No Borders

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If you think that cowboys and samurais don’t have much in common, then you need to watch Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film “Seven Samurai”. The film features 7 samurais in Japan help villagers defend themselves from raiders. Then watch the 1960 John Sturges picture “The Magnificent Seven”. The latter essentially takes the story arc from the former, substitutes the six shooters for the katana, and then off it goes, riding alongside the original into film history.

4. Yeah, That Does Seem a Bit Psycho

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One film holds the dubious distinction of being one of the “best” film remakes ever, if you consider an exact copy of a movie a good thing. In 1998, director Gus Van Sant released a remake of the Hitchcock classic “Psycho” that was almost a shot-for-shot copy of the 1960 film. Van Sant’s film was shot in color and used different actors, but he and his crew tried to use almost the exact same framing, editing and even the same score as the original. But … why?

3. Night of the Living Remake

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Just like the zombies about which this genre-launching film was made, “Night of the Living Dead” seems like it just won’t die. The original film, directed by George Romero, with a budget of just more than $110,000, went on to spawn four more zombie films directed by Romero. It precipitated the now-common zombie film genre, and has been remade twice, in 1990 and 2006.

2. So “Great,” They’ve Made It Half a Dozen Times

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If you thought the recent film “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire was a landmark event finally bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book to the screen, then think again. Gatsby has been a fixture of the silver screen since the mid-1920s so definitely qualifies as one of the most common film remakes. A silent movie adaptation had been made within less than two years of the book’s release. In fact, it seems like people can’t go more than a generation without a Gatsby adaptation! The versions date from 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000 and now 2013.

1. Well, at Least It’s a Classic

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The filmed adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play “Romeo and Juliet” is arguably the most commonly remade project. It has been remade as a feature film (not a filmed stage performance) dozens of times in different languages. There are Italian versions from 1908, 1912 and 1954, American takes from 1911 and 1916 … and 1936, 1949, 1954 …

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