A Remake Chronicles Extra By Adam-Troy Castro
As we await the next entry, which covers a french comedy and its American remake, we provide a partial list of movies that should, should, be remade, either because they were made poorly the first time or because they can speak to our present time. Understand that this is not about their box office prospects, but about how much we’d like to see them.
The Candidate. The process of running for Senator gradually turns an idealistic young lawyer into an empty suit, disillusioned, depressed, and unable to make a move without his handlers. How much more true is this today, with the 24/7 news cycle? The same material also merits a sequel, Mr. Redford; we can imagine the same guy, an elder statesman who has spent decades in Washington occupying his chair without ever accomplishing a damned thing. Mr. Redford? Please?
Bad Day At Black Rock. A mild-mannered and disabled WWII vet travels to a hellhole small town to visit the father of a fallen buddy, and discovers that the father has been murdered for the sin of being a Japanese man in the wake of Pearl Harbor. As good as the original film is, and it is very very good, can you not imagine the same situation with an Iraq or Afghanistan War vet who makes a similar journey only to discover that the father of his fallen buddy was murdered for the sin of being a Muslim?
The 27th Day. Aliens give five “random” human beings the ultimate weapon and bet them that they can’t resist the temptation to use it before its power goes away. In the 1950s film, the only nonwhite member of the five commits suicide right off. The movie cheats in other ways, as does the novel, but wouldn’t it be epic drama if the five really were more representative of this troubled planet? Like one African whose country is in the midst of Civil War, one angry middle-easterner, one battered American wife, one North Korean and one Haitian kid?
A Face In the Crowd. A self-serving tv personality whips up the masses, for his own personal gain. The greatest performance of Andy Griffith’s career, this film was prophetic in its time. A modern take would speak directly to the political media of our time.
Jonah Hex. A first-rate comic book character becomes a truly awful movie that sullies the reputation of the source for all time. Ha, ha, very funny. Now where’s the real Jonah Hex movie?