#2. Casablanca's Sequel: As Time Goes By
Casablanca is literally the Casablanca of movies. The film cemented Humphrey Bogart's status as a leading man and single-handedly convinced the American public that the Nazis are the bad guys. It also features possibly cinema's greatest ending, in which the cynical and enigmatic bar owner Rick Blaine (Bogart) selflessly gives up the love of his life, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), for a greater cause, that being "Seriously, though, fuck the Nazis."
As Winston Churchill once said, "Brave is the man who gives up boners in the name of freedom."
The Little-Known Sequel That Ruins It:
Hollywood has been trying and failing to recapture the sense of action and white-hot sexual tension created by Bogey, Bergman, and Peter Lorre since day one: We've already told you about Brazzaville, the (terrible) planned movie sequel that was never made, but that's just one of the many failed projects to rape Casablanca's venerable corpse that never got off the ground.
And then, in 1998, they finally did it. Warner Bros. hired author Michael Walsh to write a book sequel called As Time Goes By, which picks up right where Casablanca left off. The end of the film implies that Rick and his new (beautiful) friend Captain Renault will join the French resistance. However, the book starts with Rick going, "You know what? Fuck that," and instead choosing to follow Ilsa and her husband to Lisbon.
"Forget everything I said back then, I was spectacularly drunk."
Once in Lisbon, Rick joins a plan to assassinate a Nazi bigwig, but he's more concerned with secretly fucking Ilsa behind her husband's back, canceling out the original film's ending. Again, the entire point of the movie was that Rick gave up Ilsa. This is like doing a sequel to The Sixth Sense that starts with Bruce Willis finding out that he's alive and everyone was just ignoring him, or if Return of the Jedi had started with Darth Vader saying, "Just kidding, Luke. I say that to everyone."
The sequel also makes sure to kill whatever's left of Rick's aura of mystery by giving him a needlessly detailed backstory. Turns out Rick is actually a Jewish gangster born Yitzik Baline in East Harlem.
"Everybody goes to Yitzik's" just didn't have the same ring.
The East Harlem origin is meant to explain why "Rick" couldn't go back to America (the other gangsters wanted to kill him) and "... why Sam, his best friend, is a black man." Because when you watched Casablanca, the question you came away with was obviously "Why would Humphrey Bogart befriend anyone who isn't white?"
#1. Leave It to Beaver's Sequel: Still the Beaver
Leave It to Beaver is looked back on fondly by baby boomers who yearn for a simpler time when a young boy could be nicknamed after female genitalia without irony. A typical episode of this lighthearted sitcom followed the Beaver, the youngest son of a nice suburban family, getting into some sort of trouble and finally receiving a lesson from his father.
"... and that's why you should test your crack before handing over the cash."
The Little-Known Sequel That Ruins It:
Leave It to Beaver ended in 1963, just when the kids were starting to get too old and the "gee whiz" innocence of the show was starting to feel out of place in the new decade. But what if the show had continued into the '80s and gotten exponentially more awkward each year? That's the question that the 1983 TV movie Still the Beaver sought to answer.
You can practically see the desperation in their sweaters.
The special opens with the Beav (played by the same actor, now in his mid-30s) being thrown out of his house by his wife. His wife, by the way, is also his boss' daughter, so in addition to being alone and homeless, the formerly fun-lovin' Beaver is also automatically unemployed and miserable.
Welcome to the '80s, shithead.
The other characters haven't fared much better. Eddie Haskell is a bumbling, weasely independent contractor. The Beaver's brother, Wally, is a successful attorney, but has spent over a year trying to get his wife pregnant, with no success (we're pretty sure they never did that storyline in the old show). And their old pal Larry Mondello is now a Hare Krishna named Vishnu.
Larry is also the first person of color ever featured on Leave It to Beaver.
What about the Beaver's wise and patient father? Yeah, he's dead. With the show's moral center in a grave, it's easy to see how the others ended up the way they did. The Beav moves back in with his widowed mother and inexplicably begins dressing like he's a 10-year-old in 1955 again as he's haunted by black-and-white flashbacks from his childhood.
"This episode's lesson is that we all die, sooner or later."
It seems like only a matter of time until the Beaver's mom walks in to find him sticking his head in the oven, but he's probably too incompetent to figure out how an oven works. Somehow, the movie spun off into a new series called The New Leave It to Beaver, which ran for four fucking seasons.
For more sequels that must've spawned from the originals' Cliff's Notes, check out 5 Sequels Made By People Who Must Not Have Seen the Original and 6 Insane Sequels That Almost Ruined Classic Movies.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 3 Most Notorious Photobombers on the Internet (Part 2).
And stop by LinkSTORM to see what happens when DOB writes a sequel to Spider-Man.
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