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October 2002, Week 4


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"Larsson, Donald F." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 27 Oct 2002 10:42:02 -0600
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STELLA DALLAS (the Stanwyck version) is one example of a successful
sound remake of a silent film.  (I didn't dislike the Bette Midler
version, but the story was even more archaic by then.)

A number of swashbucklers, eg. THE MARK OF ZORRO (but the Fairbanks
version may be the best for sheer energy--the Banderas version is more
of a sequel).

Which also raises the question of when a "remake" is in actuality a
sequel--for example, the cameo by Kevin McCarthy in Philip Kaufman's
remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS suggests that it is actually a

Then there are films that have gone through a number of incarnations
from book to stage to screen and back (not necessarily in that order),
eg. STATE FAIR and SHOW BOAT.  Is a musical version of the same story a
remake--or something new?

If you want to throw in television productions, then the
British/MASTERPIECE THEATER versions of stories ranging from HOUND OF
THE BASKERVILLES to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE are generally better in a number
of ways, although especially in "faithfulness" to the original.  Still,
earlier versions such as the Basil Rathbone HOUND and Greer Garson PRIDE
take on an iconic power of their own.  And that says nothing of loose
adaptations that are not really remakes but rely to some extent on
allusions to earlier versions, such as CLUELESS or BRIDGET JONES' DIARY.

Don Larsson

"Only connect"  --E.M. Forster
Donald F. Larsson
Department of English, AH 230
Minnesota State U, Mankato (56001)
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-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Butler [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2002 8:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fwd: Remakes

I'd say that the zippy HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1939) is an artistically
film to the rather creaky, early-sound THE FRONT PAGE (1931)--not to
mention the subsequent remakes:  THE FRONT PAGE (1974) and SWITCHING
CHANNELS (1988).

Come to think of it, weren't there a few silent and early-sound films
circa 1924-29 that were remade just a few years later, after sound
technology arrived and then improved?  Titles are escaping me just now.

You might want to consider those films as technologically more
successful--although not necessarily artistically more successful.


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