7. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Arguably the greatest film-maker to have never won an Academy Award, Alfred Hitchcock was a master of suspense and never failed in keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats. During his historic career that lasted a little over than six decades, the director remade his own 1934 thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much.
The comparisons between the original and remake were inevitable and as the public opinion emphasized that the remake was indeed better, Hitchcock responded,
“Let’s say the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional.”
6. Heat (1995)
Following the footsteps of Alfred Hitchcock and Cecil B. DeMille, American director Michael Mann remade his own television movie L.A. Takedown. It was originally intended to be a pilot episode of an NBC series that was never picked up so Mann had another idea in mind.
Expanding the elements in L.A. Takedown, the director came up with the ultimate crime movie – Heat. Coupled with an incredible storyline and solid star power of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, and Jon Voight, the movie is one of the most influential crime movies to date.
5. 12 Monkeys (1995)
As one of the earliest stepping-stones of Brad Pitt that aided him in becoming the Hollywood megastar that he is today, 12 Monkeys was an outstanding neo-noir science fiction movie. Nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor for Pitt, the movie was not a product of original thought.
Executive producer Robert Kosberg was a fan of Chris Marker’s 1962 French short film La Jetée and it inspired him to come up with a full-length movie that would go on to become 12 Monkeys starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Pitt.
4. Scarface (1983)
Unlike the rest of the movies in the list, 1983 crime movie Scarface was not pushed into production by the interest of a major movie studio. In fact, it was the star Al Pacino who wanted a remake and star in it as well.
After watching the 1932 Scarface, the actor eagerly expressed to his manager and producer Martin Bregman about possibly starring in the remake of the movie. The result was one of the best crime movies of all time and responsible for several iconic dialogues of cinematic history.
3. Scent of a Woman (1992)
Coming up with an improved remake is a difficult task alone but it is even harder when the original has been nominated for Academy Awards. Dino Risi’s 1974 Italian film Profumo di donna was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Adapted Screenplay so one can only imagine the pressure on the shoulders of Universal Pictures while remaking the classic Italian movie.
With their leading man being none other than Al Pacino – who coincidentally happens to star in remakes more than any other actor – Scent of a Woman was destined for greatness. Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, the movie won one for Best Actor. It was Pacino’s very first Oscar triumph as the critically acclaimed actor’s win had previously received seven nominations and was long overdue for a win.
2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
From feature-length movies to animated movies, the legendary tale of The Wizard of Oz has been told and retold in various forms of media. Judging from the fact that the earliest movie dates back to 1908, more than a dozen attempts have been made to remake the fabulous tale of Dorothy in the Land of Oz.
If narrowed down to the one remake that stands supreme from the rest, it is undisputedly none other than Victor Fleming’s 1939 The Wizard of Oz. The movie won two Academy Award from its six nominations but above all, leading star Judy Garland was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award for her terrific performance.
1. The Departed (2006)
By merit, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is easily the greatest remake of all time. Winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, the movie was a critical and commercial success. Inspired from the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, the movie is an ultimate thrill ride.
From the nail-biting plot to the superb acting by Hollywood heavyweights such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, and Jack Nicholson, The Departed is a flawless crime movie that dares to be epic. Hell, it even presented Mark Wahlberg as a legitimate scene-stealer.
Hope you enjoyed reading our list of remakes better than the original. Feel free to share your views in the comment section below!