More
Close

Seven Films Due for a Remake

Hollywood remakes of classic films are touchy territory. If the original is so beloved, why mess with perfection? But there are certainly reasons to revitalize an old script. If the original has fallen into obscurity or was poorly made to begin with, a remake can preserve the good things about the film and fix what went wrong. Films also take on new meaning as times change, so a remake is due if cultural and global events provide a script with a renewed context its makers never anticipated. The following seven classics have not only withstood the test of time but would be socially relevant to today’s audiences. Related Stories: Four Iconic Looks from Breakfast at Tiffany’s The Most Memorable Movie Makeovers Celebrity Breakups: Who Burned Who?
Tags: 
The film: They Came from Within (1975)
The film: Panic in Year Zero! (1962)
The film: The Lost Weekend (1945)
The film: Night of the Comet (1984)
The film: 9 to 5 (1980)
The film: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The film: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Prev
  • Next
  • 1 of 8 |

The film: They Came from Within (1975)

The plot: A mad scientist develops a parasite that causes uncontrollable sexual desire in the host. A local doctor and his assistant attempt to stop the parasitic infection before hosts’ promiscuous behavior spreads it throughout the city.

The reason for remaking it: A rash of political and celebrity sexual scandals have brought the phrase “sex addiction” into popular discourse. Do some people just completely lack control over their sexual urges? While infidelity and promiscuity are not new issues, viewers will have a new cultural context if it’s remade.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: Panic in Year Zero! (1962)

The plot: While a Los Angeles family is away on a camping vacation, a nuclear bomb drops on the city. The family takes refuge in their secluded spot, waiting for society to restore order, but their sanctuary begins to break down from within.

The reason for remaking it: Panic in Year Zero! was first released during the nuclear arms race, when annihilation from above was considered a real threat. That threat is still very real today, although the enemy has changed. A movie about American life being disrupted by foreign nuclear attacks is just never going to lose its thrill factor, or its film-going audiences.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: The Lost Weekend (1945)

The plot: In this film, based on a Charles R. Jackson novel of the same name, a down-and-out New York City writer spends a blurry weekend regretting what alcoholism has done to his life.

The reason for remaking it: Hollywood tends to glamorize or crack jokes about alcoholism and substance abuse. We’re past due for a film that treats this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: Night of the Comet (1984)

The plot: The Earth passes through the tail of a comet, and anyone not protected by metal turns into either red dust or a zombie. Two Valley Girls head to the mall and start kicking zombie butt.

The reason for remaking it: Zombies are in vogue now, either because our constant focus on iPads and Blackberrys makes us all seem like we’re the walking dead, or because globalization places our enemies among us rather than in distant countries. Also, you really can’t go wrong with hot chicks killing zombies.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: 9 to 5 (1980)

The plot: A housewife whose husband has left her for his secretary begins her own secretarial career at a large corporation called Consolidated Companies. On the job, she befriends two other women, and together they fantasize about revenge against their unfair boss. That’s when the trouble begins.

The reason for remaking it: This film was made in 1980, during another recession. Then, as now, many people were working jobs they didn’t love because the alternative was having no job at all. As films like Horrible Bosses show, the tension between employer and employee is a timeless on-screen conflict that resonates with many movie-goers.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The plot: After the bank forecloses on their farm, the large Joad family packs up all their belongings into a dilapidated 1926 Hudson Super Six sedan-cum-truck and heads to California in search of employment. The arduous trip along Highway 66 takes a toll on the close-knit family.

The reason for remaking it: Home foreclosures have displaced many Americans in the past few years and made banks the enemy. But the American dream of overcoming obstacles and creating a better life remains brilliantly alive. Audiences will be rooting for the Joads as they struggle to keep their spirits and family intact among financial and physical hardships.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The film: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The plot: The governor of an unnamed western state must pick a replacement for a recently deceased senator. He chooses Jefferson Smith, head of the “Boy Rangers,” based on the belief that Smith’s corn-fed image will please the public and also make him easy to manipulate. Full of idealism, Smith is excited to go to Washington, but once there, he discovers he’s in over his head.

The reason for remaking it: Mr. Smith shows audiences that the recent strain of folksiness in American politics is nothing new. And while the original makers of the film were warned that it would be too polarizing, the film won an Academy Award. If it were remade, though, it would be hard to find someone to play the role of Clarissa Saunders as flawlessly as Jean Arthur did.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Loading comments...