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By **Erica Wright**

erica_wright-small.jpgWith two superfluous remakes soon to make their way to a theater near you—American versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Let the Right One In—I have been informally asking people about groan-worthy remakes. The Vanishing seems to make the top of the list for its Hollywood-happy ending. (Sorry if that was a spoiler. I promise not to tell you what happens in the original.) Death at a Funeral also has my friends scratching their heads. Here is my list of the top five movies that did not need do-overs. Disclaimer: I have not seen all of the remakes, which is why I’m calling the list “Unnecessary Remakes” not “Worst Remakes.”

1. Charade (made into The Truth about Charlie in 2002)

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

3. South Pacific

4. The Shining

5. Rear Window

Bio: Erica Wright is the poetry editor at Guernica. Her “interview with John Ashbery”:, “Houses at Night,” appeared in Guernica’s February 2008 issue. Read her Q&A with author Amy Greene “here”:

To read more blog entries others at GUERNICA click HERE .


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2 Comments on “Erica Wright: Top 5 Unnecessary Remakes

  1. Actually the US version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” might not be that superfluous. The Swedish film is a short edit of a four hour mini-series and is structured and paced as such. The film is exactly that, a *film*, so might actually be more cohesive. Plus it has Von Sydow and Scarsgard which is a bonus.

    Same with “Let the Right One” which isn’t a remake of the film but another adaptation of the original novel, rather like Solaris. Pity, judging by the trailer they’ve still managed to make it look like a shot for shot remake …

  2. I actually enjoyed the Christopher Reeves remake of REAR WINDOW, made two years after his accident. Although its fool-hardy to remake a Hitchcock film (a better choice for an unnecessary Hitchcock remake would be Gus Van Sant’s frame-by-frame reshoot of PSYCHO), at least when they did REAR WINDOW they added a new dimension to it–making the lead character paralyzed from the neck down. Its still no where as great as the Hitchcock classic.

    Other unnecessary remakes:


    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (even with the Redgrave sisters as Blanche and Jane)




    Remakes that IMPROVED upon the original:

    IMITATION OF LIFE (1959, 1934)

    LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1988, 1960)

    A STAR IS BORN (1954, 1937)

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