Top 6: Great Remakes

Posted in Top 6 at 4:59 am by Sam

In Episode 42, our Top 6 list was about movies you’d like to see remade. Now, in Episode 44, we’re going to cover remakes that did happen and were great.

Stephen and I took slightly different takes on the topic, as we sometimes do. Stephen compiled a list of six great remakes, regardless of whether or not they improved upon their originals. Sam restricted himself to superior remakes, in some cases picking remakes that are not actually great films but do improve upon their originals in some significant way.

What are your favorite remakes?

As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.

  1. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
  2. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  3. The Departed (2006)
  4. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  5. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  6. Ocean’s 11 (2001)
  1. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  2. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  3. Ocean’s 11 (2001)
  4. Don’t Drink the Water (1994)
  5. The Island (2005)
  6. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)


  1. Jeffrey (84) said,

    August 1, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Superior remakes:
    1 Heat (1995) remake of L.A. Takedown (1989)
    2 His Girl Friday (1940) remake of The Front Page (1931)
    3 The Maltese Falcon (1941) remake of The Maltese Falcon (1931)
    4 Ben-Hur (1959) remake of Ben-Hur (1907) and (1925)
    5 The Fly (1986) remake of The Fly (1958)
    6 Peter Pan (1953) remake of Peter Pan (1924)

    Alternates include:
    Man on Fire (2004) remake of Man on Fire (1987)
    Cleopatra (1963) remake of Cleopatra (1934)
    A Star is Born (1954) remake of A Star is Born (1937)
    The Thing (1982) remake of The Thing from Another world (1951)
    The Ten Commandments (1956) remake of The Ten Commandements (1923)
    Little Shop of Horrors (1986) remake of The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

    Good remakes in their own right:
    The Magnificent Seven (1960) remake of Seven Samurai
    Beauty and the Beast (1991) remake of La Belle et la Bete (1946)
    Scarface (1983) remake of Scarface (1932)
    Cape Fear (1991) remake of Cape Fear (1962)
    Cruel Intentions (1999) remake of Dangerous Liasons (1988)
    High Society (1956) remake of The Philadelphia Story (1940)

    Not sure if these count - Shakespeare adaptations of previous film versions:
    Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
    Forbidden Planet (1956) adaptation of The Tempest
    The Lion King (1994) adaptation of Hamlet
    Ran (1985) adaptation of King Lear
    Throne of Blood (1957) adaptation of Macbeth
    West Side Story (1961), Romeo and Juliet (1968) and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1996)

  2. Sam (405) said,

    August 1, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Oh, Heat. Nice call.

    Note that a lot of the ones you mention, though, are literary adaptations. We tried to shy away from those, although I guess A Fistful of Dollars is technically one of those. When the original movie isn’t the original work, it’s a lot easier for a subsequent movie to be better, just because the original wasn’t the unadulterated vision of the author either. I suppose you could disqualify my Don’t Drink the Water pick on the same grounds, as that was originally a play.

    So do you really think Carpenter’s The Thing is better than The Thing From Another World?

  3. Ferrick (140) said,

    August 7, 2007 at 11:11 am

    If we’re counting actors, two of Sam’s movies have Michael J. Fox in them. Whoda thunk?

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