Hollywood is renowned for finding international gems and remaking them with mixed results – some pale in comparison and some are superior to the originals. Starting tonight at 8.30pm, World Movies is bringing you six nights of original classics with their Hollywood remakes in WM Ripped Off – now you can decide which is better.
To get you in the mood we’re bringing you the stories behind five well known films that you may have never realised were remakes.
THE REMAKE: Fatal Attraction (1987)
Who could forget the 1980’s pyscho-sexual thriller that changed the way we looked at the innocent backyard rabbit and entrenched the term ‚Äòbunny boiler’ into our vocabulary forever? Michael Douglas starred as a happily married man whose world unravels after his fleeting fling with a seemingly normal woman turns sour to the highest degree. Glenn Close received an Oscar nomination for portrayal of Douglas’ delirious and psychotic scorned lover.
THE ORIGINAL: Diversion (1980)
It was none other than the screenwriter for Fatal Attraction – James Dearde – who wrote and directed the little seen British tele-movie seven years prior to the Hollywood production. Centred again around a man whose brief fling comes back to haunt him, the film is difficult to find and runs at only 50 minutes.
THE REMAKE: Scarface (1983)
Brian De Palma’s now classic crime tale of a Cuban refugee’s (Al Pacino) rise to power as a Miami drug lord has developed a cultish following since its release in the early 80s. Though many might not realise it’s a remake, De Palma actually dedicated the film to the director and screenwriter of the original Scarface.
THE ORIGINAL: Scarface (1932)
The original film was said to be loosely based upon the life of Al Capone (whose nickname was also ‚ÄòScarface’). Al Capone himself was fan of the flick, and was rumored to have liked the film so much that he owned his own copy.
THE REMAKE: The Departed (2005)
With an all-star cast featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson – Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece of cinematic storytelling follows an undercover state cop placed as a mole within the Boston mob and a young mobster who infiltrates the Boston police department.
THE ORIGINAL: Infernal Affairs (2002)
The original Hong Kong police drama tells the story the story of two men planted as moles in the opposite’s group – but this time in place of the mob it’s the Triad (a notorious Hong Kong gang) that is being infiltrated.
THE REMAKE: True Lies (2005)
James Cameron’s audacious and over-the-top box office-smash is filled to the brim with outrageous moments . Arnold Schwarzenegger firing a missile complete with hanging villain into a helicopter? Jamie Lee-Curtis unsuspectingly performing a strip-tease for her spy husband? The two of them sharing a passionate kiss in front of a mushroom cloud? This riotous romp never takes itself too seriously, and with a budget of $100 million was one of the most expensive movies ever made upon its release.
THE ORIGINAL: La Totale! (1991)
The original (and far less audacious) French comedy movie was directed by Claude Zidi and starred Thierry Lhermitte in the Arnie’s role. The central premise of the original film was very similar to that of the remake, centring on a wife who discovers that her average and unexciting husband is in fact an international spy.
THE REMAKE: Vanilla Sky (2005)
This intriguing mystery of a film stars Tom Cruise as a millionaire playboy whose life takes a twisted and nightmarish turn, with Penelope Cruz featuring as the object of his affections. The film’s dream-like essence and mind-altering mix of romance and science fiction left many audiences arguing over exactly what happened, and overall it received mixed reviews.
THE ORIGINAL: Open your Eyes / Abre Los Ojos (1997)
The original film from Spanish-Chilean director Alejandro Amen√°bar (who later directed The Others in 2001) was far better received upon release than its remake, with many critics deeming it a ‚Äúmasterpiece.‚Äù The plot is again very similar to that of the remake (with a few tweaks), and interestingly Penelope Cruz plays the same character in both of the films.