‘Worst Remake’ Milk River Madman saied, the host of Movie Clip Wednesday for June. There is an interesting list on wikipedia giving English films based on foreign language films. I had no idea that M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, the 1931 masterpiece of Fritz LANG was ‘remade’ 1951. Of course there are remakes of Hollywood films by Hollywood: The famous Ben Hur of 1959 has at least two predecessors (1907, 1925), and I’d really like to see Ramon NAVARRO in his heyday. The Maltese Falcon of 1941 is strictly speaking also a remake, because the story was made into a film 1931 by Roy del RUTH, who gave us The Alligator People 1959, seemingly his last film.
There are not too many good stories available and its nothing wrong if someone grabs a novel or another filmplot and adapts it to his liking – and hopefully the audience’s too. But often a strange feeling stays behind, especially when one saw ‘the original’ before or it has a special meaning in one’s biography.
Some film carry a certain atmosphere that can not reproduced, and one should not try this. ‘Las Piedras’ is somewhere, it’s not useful or in any way important to locate it on a map, like f.e. Venezuela. The men here are driftwood of the war, no ‘international criminals’. Half of the film sees just a cantina, the ‘action’ itself takes the smaller amount of time, and is in no way spectacular: no rope-bridge dangling over a swollen river. Just a man who has to drive over his friend’s leg to save the expedition.
I do not say that this remake is ‘the worst remake’, I only point to the fact that a remake is another film, and FRIEDKIN 1977 is totally different from CLOUZOT 1953; and in my humble opinion Le Salaire de la peur is a better film than Sorcerer.
And if you wonder, what the hell Ives MONTAND says to Charles VANEL, its in Japanese, because this is the only version of this scene I could find on youtube. He may say the usual, it’s not too important: Look at the pictures.