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Oscar Magnet Movies That Should NEVER Have Been Remade

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  • John
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    #194149

    Limiting this to just Best Picture and Best Director would be too restrictive. There are films that garnered multiple Oscar nominations that were highly acclaimed, and then someone has the bright idea to remake it, either theatrically or (worse yet) in a Made for TV movie with a nearly inevitable FAIL that’s critically panned. There have been a few successes, but not very many.

    In the What the HELL Were They Thinking Category . . .

    OK . . . I’m going to dig into the Wayback machine to start this one . . .
    Lost Horizon (1937 & 1973): The original, if you can get the one that has as much of the original restored as possible (nearly all; it was severely cut in 1942), it garnererd seven Oscar nominations, winning two, and was cited in “top ten” film lists for the year. It could have been a box office success except its extreme budget overruns that even a blockbuster could not make up for nearly bankrupted Columbia Studios. Keep in mind it was made in the inter-bellum years between the two World Wars. Then, in the early 1970’s there was a bright idea to remake it, in the form of a musical. With screenplay by Larry Kramer and music by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, how could they lose! Unfortunately, it not only retained but emphasized racial inequalities from the novel, and old-fashoned music songs like those found in the mid-60’s Oscar and Hammerstein type film adapatations. It was universally panned, making the 50 Worst Films of All Time and The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Bette Midler called it “Lost Her-Reason” (referring to Liv Ullmann, the female lead) and others called it “Lost Investment.” Roger Ebert gave it his infamous “one star” reserved for only the worst.

    More recently:
    Rosemary’s Baby (1968 & 2014): The movie that made Polanski famous in the U.S. and one of the classics that elevated the horror genre out of the grindhouses and drive-ins. Nominated for two Oscars, winning one of them for Supporting Actress (the evil older neighbor, Minnie Castevet, played by Ruth Gordon). It remains critically acclaimed. Then, NBC has the ill-conceived notion in 2014 it can successfully remake a cinema masterpiece as a two-part TV movie showing on a Sunday night and the following Thursday night. Currently holding a 30%/27% (critic/audience) rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it should have been renamed Rosemary’s Stillbirth, especially with the low ratings Part 1 (3rd at 3.68 vs CBS 8.73, ABC 6.80/4.87 [two shows] and FOX 3.46) followed by even lower ratings for Part 2 (4th at 3.27 vs ABC 8.92, FOX 8.67 and CBS 7.32). It suffered from the typical TV movie “all the film that’s print to fit the time slot” bloat and a screenplay with tension buildups timed for the commercial breaks, which results in poor pacing, combined with workmanlike acting that contained nothing to brag about. Would bet heavy against a NBC rerun, but might eventually be seen on Lifetime cable channel, though I have my doubts.

    In the Got Away With It Twice Category:

    Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, 1962 & 1984): The original, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, had 11 Oscar nominations for 8 possible awards (3 of the 11 were Best Actor), winning just one for Best Picture. It’s considered a classic, sitting at #86 on AFI’s 100 years/movies list and 94%/83% (critic/audience) on Rotten Tomatoes. The gamble on a remake paid off in the 1962 version starring Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando. It received 7 Oscar nominations. Although it didn’t win any, and its grossly inflated budget ensured it wasn’t a box office success, it is considered by some to be the better of the two, mostly given the state of film-making technology in 1935. Holds a 71%/72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Going for a three-peat, the Brits remake it in 1984 as The Bounty, starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson. Even though it wasn’t an Oscar magnet like its predecessors, it was well received by critics and audiences with an 82%/72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was a box office success (by keeping its budget well under control).

    Tried to post some of the lesser known. I know there are plenty more!

    John

    Edit:
    corrected cast name error in original Rosemary’s Baby text; Minnie Castevet and Ruth Gordon’s names were reversed.

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    tennisfreak
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    #194151

    Remember the redux of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as a comedy called Guess Who? with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac? Yeah, that happened.

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    John
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    #194152

    Remember the redux of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as a comedy called Guess Who? with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac? Yeah, that happened.

    I had forgotten about that one!

    [cleaning orally ejected coffee out of keyboard]

    Good one. Thanks!

    John

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    tennisfreak
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    #194153

    Now just clean my brain so I don’t have to remember it…

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    John
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    #194154

    Now just clean my brain so I don’t have to remember it…

    Use MIB pen in selfie mode.
    Unfortunately I cannot find mine. It’s in a safe place somewhere, but don’t recall if I ever used it, and don’t remember where I put it.

    John

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    GraemeONeil
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    #194155

    Here’s my red carpet chats with Jake Gyllenhaal and director Jean-Marc Vallee, along with co-star Heather Lind (Naomi Watts jumped most of the press line): http://www.etcanada.com/blogs/etc_156747/tiff-2015-livestream-jake-gyllenhaal-opens-fest-with-demolition/tiff/

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    Chatan
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    #194156

    Mr. Deeds, All the King’s men (remake or re-adaptation?), Arround the world in 80 days, uh om… Sound of music? 

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    KyleBailey
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    #194157

    [quote=”tennisfreak”]

    Remember the redux of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as a comedy called Guess Who? with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac? Yeah, that happened.

    I had forgotten about that one!

    [cleaning orally ejected coffee out of keyboard]

    Good one. Thanks!

    John
    [/quote]

    Wow I never knew that! I’ve always been interested to check that movie out but never have gotten myself to do so 

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    John
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    #194158

    [quote=”tennisfreak”]

    Remember the redux of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as a comedy called Guess Who? with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac? Yeah, that happened.

    Wow I never knew that! I’ve always been interested to check that movie out but never have gotten myself to do so 
    [/quote]

    Don’t bother with “Guess Who?” unless it’s completely free (e.g. over Internet on Crackle) and keep the remote handy to dump it. The repartee in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” between Katharine Hepburn and her husband Spencer Tracy, who was also her real-life “partner” for 26 years: Priceless. (For everything else there’s BlasterCard.) The rest of the dialog with the other four principals is also superb. The key to it all was delivery and timing, which everyone perfectly nailed. It was Spencer Tracy’s last role. He passed away from a heart attack 17 days after it was finished. He had hypertension, pulmonary edema and diabetes for some years beforehand and had nearly died in 1963 and 1965. Although sudden, it was not a big surprise. Tracy never divorced his wife and the decades long affair with Hepburn was kept under wraps from the public.

    John

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    tennisfreak
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    #194159

    Not only that but Hepburn and Stanley Kramer kept their pay in arrears so that if Tracy died mid shoot they could start over and it not financially sink the pic.

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    tennisfreak
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    #194160

    Not only that but Hepburn and Stanley Kramer kept their pay in arrears so that if Tracy died mid shoot they could start over and it not financially sink the pic.

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    John
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    #194161

    Mr. Deeds, All the King’s men (remake or re-adaptation?), Arround the world in 80 days, uh om… Sound of music? 

    All great examples!

    I consider the 2006 Sean Penn All the King’s Men a remake of the 1949 Broderick Crawford version, but there are some distinct differences. The original novel (1946) was set in the early Great Depression years. It’s a thinly veiled roman à clef covering the rise and fall of Huey P. Long’s Louisiana political machine using the name Willie Stark (along with other name changes). Huey P. Long was Louisiana governor from 1928-1932 and U.S. Senator from
    1932 until his assassination in 1935, just one month after announcing he
    would run for U.S. President. IIRC the 1949 Broderick Crawford movie, which I watched earlier this year, was set in the same time period as the novel, the early Great Depression years. Broderick Crawford was perfect for the role with his vocal ability to
    project the bellowing bellicose blustering political campaign speeches. The 2006 remake with Sean Penn was pulled forward into the early 1950’s. Changes had to be made to the story to avoid anachronims in shifting its setting by roughly 20 years. Everything in it seemed completely weak-kneed and limp by comparison.

    Chan’s “Around the World in 80 Days” was also an award magnet being nominated for two Razzies: Worst Remake or Sequel, and Worst Supporting Actor (Schwarzenegger), but alas, it won neither of them.

    Sound of Music Live! is another I’d forgotten about. Should be retitled: Sound of Music Dead On Arrival!

    Edit:
    Forgot . . . Mr. Deeds (2002) was another award magnet, earning three Razzie nominations for Worst Remake or Sequel, Worst Actor (Adam Sandler) and Worst Actress (Wynona Ryder). Alas, it failed to win any of them.

    Thanks
    John

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    vinny
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    #194162

    Anyone else remember the remake of the Posiden Adventure with 2005 with Steve Guttenberg and Adam Baldwin? Yeah that happened then the following year “Posiden” with Josh Lucas happened.

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    KyleBailey
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    #194163

    What was Mr. Deeds a remake of?

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    tennisfreak
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    #194164

    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, winner of the 1936 Best Director Oscar for Frank Capra. Also, seriously?

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