Ah, the magic of movies! And when movies are remade into new movies in a way that brings it forward to appeal to fresh audiences. Indifference is abound. Many will never appreciate the idea of remakes. Yet so many have watched a movie and not realised they just watched a reboot.
Sometimes, we stumble upon hidden gems that we don’t even realise are remakes of earlier films. It takes your film buff friend to point out that the film about to be watched at the flicks is a remake of a classic. These cinematic treasures manage to capture our hearts all over again, breathing new life into familiar stories.
We’ll look at the last 20 years of cinema mostly though a few 80s movies deserve a mention. Remakes are everywhere. Hollywood may have over cooked the remake pizza but as long as the taste is right and the look and feel, folks tend to appreciate the remake.
Many remakes are based on an earlier adaptation such as “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. Or based on a world cinema movie in order to adapt it for English speaking audiences as in the case of “Quarantine” and “Let Me in”. Or based on a popular TV series such as “Lost In Space”, “The A Team” and “Starsky and Hutch”.
How many films did you watch and discover later to be remakes?
In this article, we delve into the world of movies and uncover 9 brilliant films that you probably didn’t know were remakes. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a thrilling journey through film history.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Director: Steven Soderbergh
Ah, the suave and stylish world of Ocean’s Eleven. Did you know that this crime caper, led by a dream team of Hollywood stars, is actually a remake of the 1960 film with the same name? Steven Soderbergh’s version delivers all the glitz, glamor, and clever heists we could ask for, with a modern twist. The stellar performances from George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts make this remake a must-watch for fans of the genre. The ensemble cast’s chemistry and charisma ooze off the screen, elevating this thrilling tale of a casino heist to new heights.
The Departed (2006), Director: Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese’s crime masterpiece, “The Departed,” is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong crime film “Infernal Affairs.” Scorsese puts his own directorial stamp on the story, creating a gritty and intense thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. With a stellar ensemble including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson, the performances are nothing short of exceptional. The tension between the characters, the intricate plotting, and Scorsese’s masterful direction make “The Departed” an unforgettable experience.
True Grit (2010), Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
The Coen brothers put their own spin on the classic Western with their 2010 adaptation of “True Grit,” originally released in 1969. This tale of vengeance and justice in the Wild West is a testament to the Coens’ filmmaking prowess. The standout performance of newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as the resolute young protagonist is awe-inspiring. Alongside Steinfeld, acting heavyweights Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon bring their A-game, adding depth and complexity to their characters. With breathtaking cinematography and expertly crafted storytelling, the Coens’ version of “True Grit” is an instant classic.
The Fly (1986), Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s body-horror masterpiece, “The Fly,” oozes its way onto our list as a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. This grotesque and visceral tale showcases Jeff Goldblum’s stunning transformation into a creature of nightmares. Goldblum’s performance is a tour de force, capturing the agony and despair of a man succumbing to a terrifying genetic mutation. Cronenberg’s visionary direction, coupled with mind-bending special effects, catapults “The Fly” into the echelons of horror greatness.
Scarface (1983), Director: Brian De Palma
“Scarface,” Brian De Palma’s iconic gangster epic, is a remake of a 1932 film of the same name. Al Pacino’s electrifying portrayal of Tony Montana, a ruthless Cuban immigrant turned drug lord, has become legendary. Pacino’s explosive performance is a cinematic tour de force, capturing the raw intensity and ambition of his character. De Palma’s stylish direction, evocative cinematography, and a gripping screenplay by Oliver Stone create an unforgettable tale of power, greed, and the American Dream.
Heat (1995), Director: Michael Mann
Michael Mann’s crime thriller masterpiece, “Heat,” is a remake of his own made-for-television film “L.A. Takedown.” Starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, this cat-and-mouse game between a master thief and a dedicated detective becomes a cinematic tour de force. The performances from Pacino and De Niro are nothing short of sublime, as they bring a depth and complexity to their respective characters. With Mann’s expert direction, stunning visuals, and a gripping narrative, “Heat” is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
The Ring (2002), Director: Gore Verbinski
“The Ring,” a chilling horror film that gripped audiences with its hair-raising scares, is actually a remake of the 1998 Japanese film “Ringu.” Gore Verbinski’s adaptation beautifully captures the eerie atmosphere and suspense of the original, while infusing it with its own distinct style and visual flair. Naomi Watts delivers a haunting performance as the investigative journalist pulled into a deadly curse. The cinematography is mesmerising, creating a sense of dread and unease. With its iconic imagery and bone-chilling story, “The Ring” remains a classic in the horror genre.
The Magnificent Seven (2016), Director: Antoine Fuqua
Antoine Fuqua’s “The Magnificent Seven” is a modern-day retelling of the 1960 film of the same name, which, in turn, was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.” This action-packed Western delivers a star-studded ensemble cast, including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke. Each actor brings their A-game, infusing their characters with depth, charm, and grit. Fuqua’s direction breathes new life into the familiar story, combining thrilling action sequences with heartfelt moments of camaraderie. “The Magnificent Seven” stands tall as an entertaining and visually stunning remake.
A Star Is Born (2018), Director: Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, “A Star Is Born,” is the fourth iteration of the timeless tale of two musicians navigating the highs and lows of fame. Cooper and Lady Gaga deliver exquisite performances, capturing the raw emotions of their characters and displaying incredible chemistry on screen. Cooper’s directorial choices bring an intimate and authentic touch, immersing the audience in the powerful story and emotional journey. With its exceptional performances, heartfelt music, and compelling storytelling, “A Star Is Born” solidifies its place as a contemporary classic.
It’s fascinating to discover that some of our favourite movies are actually remakes of earlier classics. These ten films stand as shining examples of how talented filmmakers can breathe new life into existing stories while adding their own unique touch.
From gripping crime dramas and intense thrillers to haunting horror and captivating character studies, these remakes have captivated audiences and secured their place in film history. So, the next time you find yourself enjoying a movie, take a moment to dive into its lineage and uncover the hidden gems that inspired its creation.