Hollywood had better keep their grubby, remaking mitts off of them!
While the trend to “re-imagine” or “re-envision” everything around them
has been going on for some time, these films have so far managed to
escape the fate of some of their less fortunate compatriots. I speak of
The 25 Movies They’d Better Never Remake.
considered OFF-LIMITS to those jerks at the studios. The films on this
list were special when they premiered and continue to be so today, and
we’re going to explain why they shouldn’t be remade – as well as why
they can’t be. So enough jabbering, on with the list!
The Conversation (1974)
WRITTEN BY: Francis Ford Coppola
STARRING: Gene Hackman
Produced in between the first two Godfather films, The Conversation is Francis Ford Coppola’s underseen and underloved masterpiece that re-wrote the rules on what sound could do for cinema. It also tells a pitch-perfect story of paranoia, isolation, and the death of privacy well before those first modem sounds of an AOL connection rang in the new age of hyper-connectivity. Rooted deeply in the analog world of surveillance, spy gear, and distance audio recording, it’s a movie very specifically rooted in its time, despite playing with themes that only grow in importance.
It must be noted that there is absolutely a modern take on The Conversation to be made (in fact, many people were expecting just such a film out of The Social Network, only to be disappointed), but to take this little masterpiece apart and remake it is a modern film would misunderstand the perfect blend of elements that make it what it is. As much as the surveillance backdrop makes for an interesting feature, it is the unique, irreplaceable performance from Hackman that centers it. The fingerprint of this particular classic, and couldn’t have been made in any other era.
- The opening surveillance opera. Haskell Wexler’s contribution to the film before being fired.
- Hackman struggling like a child with Ford for the tapes.
- Harry’s failure to even build up to a proper rant at Stan.
- The bugger’s convention that shows how pervasive and intense the technology is, immediately after Harry makes himself a target. We even see a camera switch from one character directly onto Harry during the scene.
- The awkward sexual moments.
- A wonderful dream sequence where Harry blurts out his childhood among his current anxieties. A perfect way to deliver character background, earned by the film’s subtle delivery of character traits throughout the first part of the film.
- Harry’s investigation in the hotel room, and the shrieks of the soundtrack.
- The Shining toilet.
- The search for the bug in Harry’s home, and him playing Sax among the pieces.
Michael Bay’s been producing remakes all over town, using his Platinum
Dunes company as a front. So naturally he’d be the logical choice to
spearhead any attempt at remaking this classic. How would it pan out,
- Will Smith cast in the lead as a action-inclined palatable badass. Hackman returns in winking cameo.
- The technology would all be heightened to the point of magic, and be aimed at the protagonists.
- Car chases and cell phones!
- Instead of just the paranoid tearing down of his walls and floorboards, Harry would blow up his goddamn house.
Oh, wait. Shit. Well, barring all of that…
- Harry Caul would be given the much less subtle thematic name of Harry Cellular Dedicated-Geosynchronous-Satellite-Enabled Telephone– or maybe just Harry Sext.
The Man Who Would Be King – Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Third Man – Serpico – Blazing Saddles