Top 10 Unnecessary Remakes
'Footloose,' 'The Thing' and 'The Three Musketeers' open this month, begging the question: Are all these remakes really necessary?
With the help of Bing to explore these films and the stars attached to them, here are 10 classic films we feel didn't need the do-over.
Original: 1960, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and Vera Miles
Remake: 1998, starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche and Julianne Moore
A woman on the run with a load of stolen cash pulls into the wrong motel for the night. Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of suspense and horror scared hordes of moviegoers off of showers. Conversely, Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot color remake, which duplicates everything but the magic, makes us feel like hosing down immediately. The actors aren't acting; they're self-consciously copying other, better performances. Celluloid karaoke at its nadir.
2. 'The Women'
Original: 1939, starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell
Remake: 2008, starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening and Eva Mendes
A circle of well-heeled socialites is rocked when one learns of her husband's infidelity in this comedy with an all-female cast. It took decades to get a remake off the ground, but the 2008 version's shift into empowering chick-flick mode lacked the satisfying bite of the brassy, catfighting, fast-talking dames of yore.
3. 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory'
Original: 1971, starring Gene Wilder, Peter Ostrum and Jack Albertson
Remake: 2005, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," starring Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore and David Kelly
Five children win a tour of the whimsical factory of an eccentric candymaker. Tim Burton's over-the-top production had Depp fans delighting in the actor's darker take on the character (to the tune of nearly $475 million in global box office receipts), but purists who remember the film from their childhood are unwavering in their loyalty to Wilder's lovable original.
Original: 1954, starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden
Remake: 1995, starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear
Two brothers find themselves enamored by the same woman when the daughter of their family chauffer returns, all grown up. While many enjoyed this updated fairy-tale romance, Ford and Ormond just didn't endear us into their world as the original Linus and Sabrina could.
5. 'The Manchurian Candidate'
Original: 1962, starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury
Remake: 2005, starring Denzel Washington, Liev Schrieber and Meryl Streep
The wars and the enemies may have been updated, but the paranoia factor that soldiers were brainwashed as part of a political conspiracy remains. Many will argue that the original ranks among the best political thrillers ever made. Even with star power like Washington and Streep, we put this in the category of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.'
6. 'The Stepford Wives'
Original: 1975, starring Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss and Peter Masterson
Remake: 2004, starring Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick
An outspoken woman discovers the truth behind the robot-like wives residing in Stepford, Conn., in what was originally a sci-fi/suspense thriller. The 2004 version took a dark comedy angle with disappointing results. The greatest benefit from either of these films remains this pop culture phrase that has been stuck in our vocabulary for 40 years.
7. 'The Pink Panther'
Original: 1963, starring David Niven, Peter Sellers and Robert Wagner
Remake: 2006, starring Steve Martin, Kevin Kline and Jean Reno
Peter Sellers' portrayal of bumbling and inept French detective Inspector Clouseau in the original "Pink Panther" is a masterpiece in slapstick comedy. Although the 2006 remake was a hit at the box office, critics derided Steve Martin's version of Clouseau as an off-putting French caricature with an overdone Pepé Le Pew accent.
8. 'The Karate Kid'
Original: 1984, starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and Elisabeth Shue
Remake: 2010, starring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Taraji P. Henson
To a generation, "The Karate Kid" can only be Ralph Macchio learning to "wax on, wax off" under the guidance of kung fu master Pat Morita. The new version starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan closely follows the original, but was probably only appreciated by young audiences unaware of its iconic predecessor.
9. 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'
Original: 1974, starring Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal and Allen Danziger
Remake: 2003, starring Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker and Andrew Bryniarski
"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" was banned in dozens of countries when it was released in 1974, but the gory story about a group of teenagers stalked by a chainsaw-wielding cannibal was a surprise hit, inspiring a new genre of "slasher" films. The 2003 remake had a different storyline and got lukewarm reviews, but was successful enough to warrant a prequel in 2006.
Original: 1962, starring James Mason, Shelley Winters and Sue Lyon
Remake: 1997, starring Jeremy Irons, Dominique Swain and Melanie Griffith
A middle-aged college professor marries his landlady because he is secretly in love with her 14-year-old daughter in "Lolita," a film based on the controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The Stanley Kubrick-directed 1962 version was scripted by Nabokov and considered more cerebral than the 1997 remake, which generated a lot of buzz because of its ban from theaters in the United States, but turned out to be much ado about nothing.