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Hollywood: Please don’t remake these movies! My Top 10 list of classics that shouldn’t be touched.

We all sense it—Hollywood is running out of ideas! If not for Marvel and the Star Wars franchises, they’d be in trouble. And they are certainly not catering to men and women over 50!

There are some movies that, if I’m channel surfing and see that they’re on, I’ll stop and watch. Doesn’t matter if it’s at the beginning or two-thirds through, I’m in.  

But we’ve seen the results of trying to remake classic movies: Did anyone really like the “Mary Poppins” sequel or the repackaged “Men in Black International?” What about the embarrassing “Pink Panther” remake with Steve Martin? Yikes! And “Aladdin”—ugh!  And now they’re talking about remaking “The Princess Bride,” “Shaft”, and “Scarface!” Really?!

Well, I’m not having it! Here is my top 10 list (not in any particular order) of movies Hollywood should not ruin with a remake!


Shawshank Redemption

There will never be as good a portrayal of Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, or Red, played by the one and only Morgan Freeman. The perfect tone, pace, and feeling of this movie makes it a classic! Lines like “Get busy living, or get busy dying” couldn’t be delivered any better! And, it’s a great mantra for Manopause!


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Paul Newman and Robert Redford—it doesn’t get any better than that. The gold standard for buddy movies, with action, humor, romance, and sadness all rolled into one.

These guys had you cheering for them, even though they were on the wrong side of the law. And you definitely wanted to be like them. And who can forget the “I can’t swim” scene on the cliff just before they jump into the river below.


Casablanca

Some have called this the best movie ever made. While it seems a little dated, that adds to the charm and mystery of the story. Who didn’t want to hang at “Rick’s Café Americain” and feel the excitement of dodging Nazis? Who cares if there was no such thing as a transit visa? It seemed real to me! And the underlying themes of sacrifice, lost love, and friendship are timeless. If told today, I’m sure the body count would be higher and the sex less discreet!


Princess Bride

Inconceivable!! How can you think of remaking this classic. Unknowns at the time, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, were perfect as Wesley and Buttercup. There are so many classic scenes, including the swordfight between Wesley and Inigo, the poison cup, and the battle between Fezzik and Wesley. 

Remember Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” 

Andre the Giant as Fezzik. Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, and of course Billy Crystal as Miracle “Have fun stormin’ the castle!” Max are irreplaceable! And don’t forget Peter Falk as the grandfather.

These actors are as ingrained in our memories as those characters, and it would be like some stranger trying to pretend he’s your dad. Can’t and shouldn’t be done!

Field of Dreams

I’ll say it: I cry at the end of this movie EVERY time I watch it! While it’s a baseball movie, in the end it’s really about love, belief, redemption, and closure. 

Burt Lancaster as Archie Graham, the ballplayer that never made it in the big leagues but served his community as the town doctor, played the role masterfully!

James Earl Jones as Terence Mann—enough said. But that end scene, when Kevin Costner realizes that the young new ball player is his dad, before the weight of the world dragged him down, asks him if he wants to have a catch—I’m losing it now just thinking about it!

It could never be better!


The Shining

Can you imagine anyone other than Jack Nicholson portraying Jack Torrance? “Here’s Johnny!” The stark setting and creepy lighting Stanley Kubrick used were part of the smoldering terror the movie conveys. Even Shelley Duvall, who I actually don’t like, did an admirable job as the frightened wife, although at times I was rooting for Jack to knock her off. And the chase scene in the frozen maze was terrifying and suspenseful!


The Fifth Element

The Fifth what?  The Fifth Element is one of my favorite movies—it’s sci-fi quirky, almost campy. My daughter and I would watch it repeatedly! 

Made in 1997 by French director Luc Besson, it stars Bruce Willis as Dallas Corbin, a retired military special forces Major who has to save the universe from the reappearance of Evil. Only by finding the Fifth Element, played by Milla Jovovich, can he save the world. It has a great supporting cast including Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker. Check it out—you’ll like it!


Alien

Who wasn’t scared shitless by this movie? The monster was terrifying, and for extra tension and horror, wasn’t actually seen until well into the movie.  The creature busting out of John Hurt’s chest has become an iconic movie clip.

The more primitive special effects forced a better story, thereby making a better movie. And there were no stars, at least they weren’t at the time, making the characters more vivid and believable. I think nowadays in horror/sci-fi movies not enough is left to the imagination. Leave this classic alone!


Mrs. Doubtfire

Actually any film that Robin Williams starred in probably fits into my list. He was one of a kind, and he brought a special energy and life to all the roles he played. Anyone who tries to copy it will fail. And most likely trying a new take on one of his characters will fall flat. It stands as a brilliant, funny, and poignant story about love, relationships, and finding ourselves. And who can forget Williams and Harvey Fierstein during the transition scene from Daniel to Doubtfire—pure magic!


The Wizard of OZ

We all remember watching this movie every holiday season, and as kids it was scary and wondrous, happy and sad, but in the end was about family, friends, loyalty, and love. There have been remakes and sequels as musical theater, plays, cartoons and TV movies, but all fall short of the original. It’s hard to beat an icon, so they shouldn’t try!


These are my Top 10, but I have a lot more. Chime in on the forum page and let us know your favorite movies that shouldn’t be redone!

About The Author:

Larry Pollack

Larry Pollack

Larry Pollack is a board certified plastic surgeon for 30 years and a writer for even longer. He has written a pilot script for a TV show called “Manopause” as well as a spec script for a horror film called “Spore.” He attended UCLA and majored in Political Science. He trained in Plastic Surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

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