Star Wars' Own Website Admits That Lucas "Stole" From A WWII Movie
For Star Wars' classic climax, George Lucas straight up lifted a 1955 British World War II movie called The Dam Busters, moved it to space, and added some sassy robots. He even decided to "steal lines of dialogue," as put by some Star Wars-bashing website called ... uh, StarWars.com.
The most incriminating part of that montage is at 1:08, when we hear this exchange from Star Wars:
"How many guns do you think, Gold Five?" "I'd say about 20 guns, some on the surface, some in the towers."
Compare that to The Dam Busters:
"How many guns do you think, Trevor?" "I'd say there's about ten guns. Some in the field, some in the tower."
The Dam Busters is about a British squadron tasked with lining up an "impossible shot" to destroy three dams, which you might recognize as the same premise as the Death Star trench run. Lucas went so far as to hire the guy in charge of Busters' special effects photography, Gilbert Taylor, as cinematographer to basically remake some of the old movie's shots. Dam Busters' makeup artist, Stuart Freeborn, also went on to work in Star Wars and create Yoda, Chewbacca, the Ewoks, and other unsightly creatures.
According to Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, he and Lucas taped The Dam Busters from TV along with many other war movies to "use [them] as guidelines." It's the cinematic equivalent of Frankensteining your homework from Wikipedia paragraphs. At least now we know what's up with all those random British accents.
Mission: Impossible 2 Is An Unauthorized Remake Of An Alfred Hitchcock Film
The more recent Mission: Impossible movies are essentially Tom Cruise going through his personal checklist of elaborate suicide attempts, but once upon a time, they were supposed to be based on the classic TV show of the same name. That changed quickly with Mission: Impossible 2, which qualifies as a remake of Notorious, a 1946 Hitchcock thriller. Director John Woo has reportedly admitted this, and screenwriter Robert Towne has even helped point out some similarities:
Salon.comHate it when a racetrack suddenly materializes in your house and you're forced to use it.