Nine Movies and Their Remakes that are Worth a Second Look
Remakes aren’t a new idea in Hollywood. The industry has been recycling good stories—and some not so good stories—since the film business began. The entertainment website imdb.com lists 175 television and film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novella The Christmas Carol.
While not every story deserves a second telling, here are nine movies that might be worth bringing home more than once.
Hayley Mills played a set of twins who meet at summer camp in the 1961 movie The Parent Trap. After they discover they were separated at birth when their parents divorced, the girls decide to pretend to be each other and switch places at the end of camp so they can meet their other parent. In the 1998 remake of this Disney classic, a young Lindsay Lohan plays both girls who make a plan to reunite their parents played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson.
Lohan also stars in the 2003 remake of the movie Freaky Friday. Jamie Lee Curtis plays her overworked mother. Both daughter and mother get a chance to see what life is like on the other side when they mysteriously switch bodies for a day. The film is a remake of the 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris.
“Wax on, wax off” became a favorite saying in some families after the 1984 release of The Karate Kid. Pat Morita plays a martial arts master who works as a handyman. When he sees his young neighbor being bullied by a bunch of schoolyard thugs, the old man agrees to teach the young boy the art of karate. In the 2010 remake, Jaden Smith plays the young boy who is taught kung fu by an older neighbor (Jackie Chan) after the boy and his single mother move to China.
In the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, a young boy finds a golden ticket that gives him a chance to tour a candy factory where all kinds of sweets and confections are made by Oompa Loompas. Gene Wilder plays the reclusive owner of the factory. Johnny Depp reprises the role of the unusual candy maker in the 2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
For older viewers, Spencer Tracy and Eliabeth Taylor star in the 1950’s movie Father of the Bride. The movie unfolds as Stanley Banks reminisces about the ups and downs of getting a daughter ready for her wedding day. Steve Martin takes on the role of Dad in the 1991 remake of this bittersweet comedy about children leaving home.
Ben Stiller plays the timid manager of negative assets at Life magazine. But he daydreams about living a life full of adventure and intrigue in the 2013 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He finally gets the chance to live out his daydreams when he takes off on a global adventure to recover a lost negative. Actor Danny Kaye starred as the clumsy daydreamer in the 1947 version of the movie.
Kristen Bell (of Frozen fame) stars as a young career woman who takes a whirlwind trip to Rome to attend her sister’s wedding in the 2010 movie When in Rome. After snatching some coins from a fountain near the church, the girl who considers herself to be unlucky in love, has all kinds of men approaching her once she returns to New York. But she can’t get the handsome best man at the wedding out of her head. Another American girl dreams of finding love in the Italian city when she visits Rome in the 1954 movie Three Coins in a Fountain. But while there on business she meets Prince Dino de Cessi and falls in love.
Tom Cruise plays a divorced dockworker who faces the end of the civilization when aliens arrive on Earth in the 2005 adaptation of H.G. Wells story War of the Worlds. The residents of a small California town face the same threat in the 1953 version of the movie starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson.
Once is often good, but in some cases, twice can be even better.