These international films inspired American remakes

American remakes of international films can be hit or miss, and there seem to be two schools of thought on this subject: the attempted erasure of foreign cinema versus art imitating art. It’s no surprise that Hollywood tells great stories, but Hollywood also takes inspiration from great stories told internationally. When a foreign film begins to receive praise in its home country, the American film industry sees an opportunity for profitability with an American remake. Whether it’s trying to add to the story, taking things in a different direction, or just paying homage to some great work, the hope is that a remake will bring the same success as its material. source.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with leading to success, American remakes are generally hated by audiences as they can be seen as America’s attempt to eliminate international cinema. A good example of this is Sandra Bullock’s film The lake house which most people are familiar with, however, few know about Korean film He Mare it was the inspiration for the American remake. The other thought process is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the case of American remakes, that might just turn out to be true. Remakes certainly increase the visibility of lesser-known international films (to American audiences, that is), as viewers who enjoyed the remake would naturally seek out the original, bringing it to a viewer’s attention. who might not otherwise have sought it.

The bottom line is that ingenuity is not a requirement for creating a great work of art. Not all remakes are garbage simply on the premise of being a retelling of someone else’s work. That said, all of the original artwork certainly deserves to be judged on its terms, as the original creator intended, without being overshadowed by the Americanized version.

Related: Best modern remakes of classic movies

8 La Cage Aux Folles


La Cage aux Folles
united artist

La Cage Aux Folles is a 1978 French farce based on the play of the same name by Jean Poiret. It tells the story of a gay couple who owns a glitzy drag club in Saint-Tropez. A hilarious curse ensues when owner Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and star performer Albin (Michel Serrault) agree to play straight when their son brings home his ultra-conservative future in-laws. La Cage Aux Folles inspired a popular American remake in 1996 titled The bird cage with the late Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The film is so popular that it was even re-released in theaters for Pride Month in 2021.


seven He Mare


il-mare-film-international
blue cinema

He Mare (meaning “the sea”) is a Korean film released in 2000, it stars Netflix’s Lee Jung-jae squid game, like a lonely man living in a house by the lake. Jun Ji-hyun stars as an equally lonely woman living in the same house two years later. The two discover that they can communicate with each other through time by leaving letters in the mailbox, and eventually the pair fall in love. The 2006 movie The lake house was inspired by He Mare and stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The original film is said to lack the timing inconsistencies found in the remake.

6 wings of desire


Bruno-Ganz-Damien
Road Movies Filmproductions

wings of desire was released in 1987 and is one of the best German films. It’s set in Berlin and tells the story of Damien (the late Bruno Ganz), a guardian angel who can hear the thoughts – fears, hopes, dreams – of everyone in the city. When he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist named Marion (Solveig Dommartin), he gives up his immortality to be with her. wings of desire inspired a lackluster American remake of Cameron Crowe in 1998 titled City of Angels. The remake stars Meg Ryan opposite Nicolas Cage. While the premise was similar, subtle artistic choices diminished the magic of the original.


5 Abre Los Ojos


abre-los-ojos
Canal+ Spain

Abre Los Ojos, which in Spanish means “Open Your Eyes”, follows the story of Cesar (Eduardo Noriega), a narcissistic womanizer who is disfigured in a car accident after one of his rejected lovers tries to kill him. After the disfigurement, Cesar falls into a deep depression. From then on, it’s hard to tell dream from reality as the film descends through a series of mysterious events explaining Cesar’s current situation. 2001 by Cameron Crowe vanilla sky with Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz was inspired by Abre Los Ojos and follows the same route. Similar to Crowe’s remake of wings of desire, subtle shifts in hue affected the intended tone of the film relative to the source material. Incidentally, along with Sofia, Cruz plays the same character in both the original and the remake.


4 Leave the one on the right in


Leave the one on the right in
EFTI

Leave the one on the right in is a 2008 Swedish film based on the 2004 novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It is a vampire thriller that centers on the friendship between a young boy named Oskar (Kare Hedebrant), who is bullied at school, and a weird, secretive girl named Eli (Lena Leandersson). The film inspired an American remake titled Let me enter in 2010, which didn’t deviate from the original and according to Vanity Fair was well executed.

3 funny games


funny games
Wega Films

funny games is a 1997 Austrian psychological thriller that follows the story of a pair of troubled young men (Arno Frisch and Frank Giering), who entertain themselves by tormenting a family with sadistic and torturing “games”. The film was remade shot for shot in 2008 by Michael Haneke (who also directed the original). Although the films share the same sequence of events, the original is far more terrifying than the remake, perhaps due to the lack of recognizable stars, so you can’t fall back on the comforts of “this n is just a movie”. The original was also a social commentary on the consumption of violence in American audiences. The remake stars Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt.

Related: Best Home Invasion Movies Of All Time, Ranked

2 The total !


the total
Movies7

The total ! Is a 1991 French spy comedy film directed by Claude Zidi. It chronicles the seemingly boring life of telecommunications specialist François Voisin (Thierry Lhermitte). François, however, leads a double life as a secret agent. The plot thickens when François’ dissatisfied wife, Hélène (Miou-Miou), seeks her own adventure. The film inspired James Cameron’s 1994 hit action film real lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. The remake also inspired a TV series pilot currently in development at CBS.

1 The Pier


the pier
Argos Movies

The Pier is a 1962 French dystopian short film. It tells the story of a time-traveling man on a perilous mission to save the world. It’s made up almost entirely of still photographs and has a running time of 28 minutes, but it’s one of the most powerful foreign films ever made. It was the inspiration behind 12 monkeys starring Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Madelaine Stowe, which borrowed several ideas from the original time travel featurette.


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About the Author

Darcy J. Skinner