Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rififi part duex? (or If it ain't broke, why fix it?)

Thinking about the movie 3:10 to Yuma, many people will compare the new movie (Crowe & Bale) to the original 1957 version staring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin.

I'm not sure what I think about remakes.

Recently I watched a famous french film-noir classic called Rififi, and have heard there is plans to remake this 1950s film with Al Pacino in the lead role.

Rififi is an amazing film about 4 crooks and a perfectly planned jewelry heist. This film even predates the original Oceans 11, not to mention all the other jewelry heist movies that have followed.

There are so many things that made this film unique and original. The two unique things that really stood out were the lounge singing with the silhouette man in the background and the thirty virtually silent minutes of the film while the men were executing their heist.

Yet would a remake have these same scenes, filmed in the same way? Is the purpose of a remake simply to reintroduce a good story to a new audience?

I would think that a remake should be viewed as an improvement on the original, not a copy of something that's already well respected. But who knows maybe that's just the way I feel about it. But the idea of remaking something good seems like an uphill battle not worth fighting.


Aaron said...

I never gave Infernal Affairs or the original Insomnia a second thought until I saw The Departed or Al Pacino's version of Insomnia, so I guess that's one way to look at it (in my case, especially if the films are foreign).

However, if you feel that remakes are simply meant to improve upon the original, then Turner & Hooch is waaay overdue...

Glenn Dunks said...

Some studio head would say there needs to be music in the heist scene or something.

Rififi is a classic if you ask me.

Will said...

Rule: never remake
1. films that are already so great that you'll be insulting a heap of people
2. films that you're not 100% POSITIVE you're going to make better.

I think Rififi the original is great, and would be hard pressed to imagine a better one being made.
Remakes are what you make when you stop paying the creative screenwriters.

Terence Towles Canote said...

Personally, I think there are some films that simply should not be remade--Psycho (even though it was remade), The Seven Samurai, and so on. Rififi definitely fits into that class.