Hey gang, listen, hot take here: originality is dead! Hollywood just makes remakes and reboots these days! And so on. By now, that sentiment is itself the glossy, big-budget Hollywood remake of every other time people have said originality is dead during the history of cinema. But “remakes” have existed since forever. Hell, we bet even Homer was drawing from old stories and just giving them a more epic Hollywood treatment. And yes, of course, something something joke about how lame Troy was. Anyway, if remakes are just a part of, well, the human activity of telling stories, then no wonder they’re also a big part of the history of Hollywood. So let’s get to it. 

In this Pictofact, we compare classic movies, most of them from classic Hollywood, to their legacies and especially their remakes. We’re mostly ignoring franchises like the James Bond series. Instead, we’re focusing on classic movies and, even if they do have sequels, their modern, recent, or contemporary reenvisionings. Some patterns emerge. For example, the number of actually awesome remakes is not low, and you’ll see some examples that’ll make you say, “dammit, that is an awesome remake!” To which we’ll smugly reply, “we know.” Other movies have several remakes during different periods of Hollywood history, while others are long overdue their contemporary retellings. So call us, Hollywood: we have this idea of a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, it’ll be awesome, it can’t possibly fail.

Cape Fear

Classic Hollywood Movies Original vs. Remake 1962 Cape Fear Martin Scorsese's brutal, twisted, and awesome version honors the (also awesome) original, and even features cameos by its two actors, Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, alongside Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte. Watch both back-to-back, and enjoy. 1991 CRACKED.COM

Scarface

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1932 Scarface Howard Hawks' original was already a respected classic. Then Brian De Palma's reimagining with Al Pacino came out, which is also a masterpiece. The brand is so strong, studios are just bound to ruin it with a Machine Gun Kelly version or something. 1980 CRACKED.COM

Born Yesterday

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1950 Born Yesterday This classic rom-com with Judy Holiday tells the story of an uneducated woman whose pig of a boyfriend gets her an educated man to, erm, educate her. The remake with Melanie Griffith, John Goodman and Don Johnson wasn't nearly as good, but we still think this dangerous concept still has some steam in it. 1993 CRACKED.COM

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake RECEIVING 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers Don Siegel's anti-communist metaphor is classic sci-fi noir, with many remakes. The worst one is The Invasion, with Nicole Kidman. The best? That'd be the 1978 one, which adds always reliable '70s paranoia, closely followed by Abel Ferrara's 1993 version. 1993 2007 1978 CRACKED.COM

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still The original is a classic of Cold War sci-fi - smart, with great FX for its time, and helmed by the underrated Robert Wise. The remake with Keanu Reeves tried to be gritty but came off as bland, and relied too much on CGI. 2008 CRACKED.COM

The Women

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1939 The Women This comedy-drama with a huge, all-female cast, received great reviews, and is still highly regarded. Its forgotten remake was critically panned, but we want yet another remake, just for the usual crowd to whine about movies being woke now. 2008 CRACKED.COM

Sabrina

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1954 Sabrina The original is a timeless classic by Billy Wilder, starring Audrey friggin' Hepburn and Humphrey friggin' Bogart. The Sidney Pollack remake with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond adds a nice post- Petty Woman twist, but can't really touch the first one. 1995 CRACKED.COM

Ocean's 11

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1960 Ocean's 11 The heist movie with Frank Sinatra and the entire Rat Pack isn't bad at all. Soderbergh's reimagining, however, is better (although our favorite is the underrated Ocean's Twelve). 2001 CRACKED.COM

The Manchurian Candidate

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1962 The Manchurian Candidate The original (helmed by the unjustly forgotten John Frankenheimer) is a paranoid, terrifying Cold War thriller, pretty much a classic. Jonathan Demme's remake is good, but not that good. AIRBORNE 2004 CRACKED.COM MADCO

The Magnificent Seven

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1960 The Magnificent Seven Inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, the original is widely considered a classic, even if its own sequels aren't. The remake has an impressive all-star cast, some cool action, and even True Detective's writer, but didn't do anything new with the concept. 2016 CRACKED.COM

King Kong

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1933 King Kong The original changed movies forever, and spawned a string of awful sequels and knock-offs-which include the '70s remake. The one by Peter Jackson is much better. (And our boy got to fight Godzilla in fully realistic CGI glory in 2021! Good for him!) 1976 2005 CRACKED.COM

The Haunting

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1963 The Haunting Robert Wise's horror movie is a divisive classic, but a classic nonetheless. Jan de Bont's remake had to compete against The Sixth Sense with cheese, bad acting, and awful '90s CGI. It never stood a chance. 1999 CRACKED.COM

True Grit

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1969 True Grit The Coen brothers movie isn't a straightforward remake, but rather a new adaptation of the novel, darker and better focused on the teenager's point of view. The first movie is kind of a classic, but the Coen version has gone down as the best take. 2010 CRACKED.COM

Doctor Dolittle

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1967 1998 2020 Doctor Dolittle The original was never a classic, and the '90s version isn't exactly Eddie Murphy's best movie, but both are masterpieces compared to the latest one. How Robert Downey Jr. went from out-snapping Thanos to dragon fart jokes, we have no idea. CRACKED.COM

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Classic Hollywood Movies Original VS. Remake 1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Adam Sandler remaking a Frank Capra movie is a thing that happened, somehow. The original is funny, charming, and smart, and it won a bunch of awards. The remake is, well, an Adam Sandler movie. 2002 CRACKED.COM

Around the World in 80 Days

Classic Hollywood Movies Original vs. Remake 1956 Around the World in 80 Days The classic adaptation of Jules Verne's novel won five Oscars (including Best Picture), and gave Mexican comedian Cantinflas a Golden Globe. Now, we love Jackie Chan, but his remake with Steve Coogan was... well, just as bad as an American family movie with Jackie Chan can be. 2004 CRACKED.COM

The Birth of a Nation

Classic Hollywood Movies Original vs. Remake 1915 The Birth of a Nation D. W. Griffith's movie is a technical and narrative wonder-and an embarrassment in every other respect. Nate Parker took the name to tell the actually worthwhile story of true American badass Nat Turner. 2016 CRACKED.COM

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