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4 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Remakes


It seems like Hollywood is running out of ideas for new films as of late. Disney has been producing live-action versions of its animated classics while “Little Women” was just made for the seventh time since 1917. But what you may not realize is that this process has been happening for quite a while, and the list of film remakes includes gritty, Academy Award-nominated films as well as fun, family-friendly stories.

“Cheaper by the Dozen” (2003)

Although most people are familiar with the Steve Martin version of “Cheaper by the Dozen” and its sequel, the original film of the same name should be added to everyone’s must-watch list. The 1950 classic stars Clifton Webb as patriarch Frank Gilbreth Sr., a man obsessed with efficiency and ensuring his 12 children are not wasting any time when going about their daily tasks. Myrna Loy portrays Lillian Gilbreth, the children’s mother, who must reign in their somewhat controlling father when he’s getting a little out of hand with his old-school rules and compulsive behaviors. The story of the Gilbreths is based on a real family, and Lillian Gilbreth was even named the world’s leading efficiency expert as well as TIME magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1948.

“The Birdcage” (1996)

Robin Williams was a busy man in the ’90s, starring in 29 films throughout the decade. Among those was “The Birdcage,” a remake of a 1978 Franco-Italian comedy called “La Cage aux Folles.” Both films feature a gay couple — the manager of a nightclub and a drag entertainer — and the madness that ensues when their son brings home his fiancée and her incredibly conservative parents. The original film earned a glowing review from film critic Roger Ebert, while the 1996 remake was lauded by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for “going beyond stereotypes to see the characters’ depth and humanity.”

“True Grit” (2010)

Many films are based on novels, and that’s the exactly case with the 1969 film “True Grit,” starring John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. After the film debuted, Wayne won the Best Actor award at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars for his portrayal in the film. While the 2010 film from the Coen Brothers didn’t win any of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for, the picture still received critical acclaim from illustrious organizations like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Observer. On top of that, 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld — who portrayed character Mattie Ross — was nominated for 25 awards for her role, including a Screen Actors Guild award, an Oscar and a British Academy Film Award.

“Freaky Friday” (2003)

Jodie Foster has been in the entertainment business since the age of three and starred in 16 films by the time she was 20 years old. While most know her for her portrayal as Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs,” Foster played a character much like her actual self in Disney’s 1976 hit “Freak Friday.” The first remake — and arguably the most well-known — stars Lindsay Lohan in the role of Anna, a daughter who switches bodies with her mother, portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, after an argument. Disney tried to cash in on the “Freaky Friday” success again in 2018 with a television-only film remake, but that version received poor reviews and, at the time of its premiere, was the lowest-rated Disney Channel Original Movie of the decade.

Remakes are bound to happen in the film industry, especially when a filmmaker wants to capitalize on a beloved story. There’s no telling what’s to come, but here’s hoping we get some original content in the future, too!

This article is presented by Capistrano Mazda.
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