Why are so many old movies remade? Is it because the moviemakers think they have a better take on the story, because they believe the technology available now will make a more compelling production, or because they have a vision that drives them? Whatever drives them, I enjoy seeing the different treatments.
Last night I watched the first “Pride and Prejudice” that was made in 1940 with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. As a devotee of the story in any form, I believe the newer versions do a much better job both of portraying the characters and delivering Jane Austen’s original story. Especially the TV mini-series broadcast on BBC in 1995 starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle which has the advantage of plenty of time to develop the story and the characters (and of having Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle). The 2005 version with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen has a lot to recommend it, most notably the first actress to play Elizabeth Bennett who was actually the same age as the character (Greer Garson was 36, Jennifer Ehle was 26), but the 1995 version is still my favorite.
This all made me think about what other movies have been remade. I came up with a totally non-comprehensive list (whether a remake by movie or TV show) – really only concentrating on movies I particularly like.
- The Shop Around the Corner/You’ve Got Mail
- The Parent Trap
- Heaven Can Wait
- True Grit
- The Scarlet Pimpernel
- An Affair to Remember/A Love Affair
- Carrie (Okay, this one is a little scary!)
- Dial M for Murder/A Perfect Murder
- The Goodbye Girl