The Original Was So Much Better
These days, everything that Hollywood is pumping out seems like a cheap ripoff of a preexisting film. Of course, by “cheap” we mean the movie cost hundreds of millions of dollars, albeit void of virtually any artistic merit, save for increasingly impressive special effects. Remakes, unnecessary trilogies, and superhero movies: is this the Hollywood we’ve been cursed to live with?
Whenever we see the announcement for an upcoming remake of a film that was in theaters not even ten years ago, it’s easy to react indignantly, assuming that Hollywood’s talent has dried up or that producers have forsaken the magic of cinema for the allure of money. But is this a new trend?
As it turns out, some of Hollywood’s most revered classics were remakes in their own time, the bigger and better versions of previously existing, often black and white or even silent films from Tinseltown’s earliest years. As these early forays into cinema fell into obscurity, growing talent and drastically improved technology replaced them with blockbuster remakes that quickly rose to critical acclaim, eclipsing the originals in public memory.
But not anymore.
Did you know that some of your favorite movies were already remakes?
Angels in the Outfield — 1951 & 1994
In the original film starring Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh, the audience never sees the angels helping the Pittsburg Pirates on the field.
The 1994 adaptation focuses on the Los Angeles Angels and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Danny Glover, Tony Danza, and Christopher Lloyd, and as any ’90s kid will remember that the angels are plentiful.
The Wizard of Oz — 1910, 1925, 1933 & 1939
One of the most famous books of the 20th century, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz inspired countless adaptations in the form of plays, musicals, and films. Before Victor Flemming’s 1939 classic, there had already been several black and white, silent versions of the already-beloved fairytale.