Talk:Remake

From Sajun.org

Hi Isis, I just stumbled across your reworking of the remake entry and I'm slightly mystified. I'm by no means a fan of either Richard Burton or Sophia Loren, but why does removing their names (and leaving in the others like John Wayne or Christopher Reeve) make the "format consistent"? Also, I wonder if NPOV means that you cannot call a bad movie a bad movie (if the vast majority of film critics -- and I checked that before I started that list -- have done so as well). As there are thousands of remakes of major films out there, what's the point of picking out 13 and putting them on a list? As I see it, the information value of this page has been drastically reduced and, with every new film added, is rapidly approaching zero.

Best wishes, KF 5 Oct. 2002


You're giving me way too much credit by assuming I did what I did on purpose -- I didn't notice there were a couple of others that also had the actors' names in, or I would have taken them out, too, to make them all consistent. The entries are already pretty dense with info, and the actors' names don't add anything pertinent to the topic, and there were more without than with, so I opted for taking out a few instead of putting in many.

As to "bad" movies, it was supposed to be a list of remakes, but there were two lists: one for "disasters" and one for others. I had some movies to add to the list, and I had no way of knowing which of those two lists they belonged on or even who the authority is on what's a disaster and what isn't. So I converted it into one NPOV list. If you want to define your criteria for what's a "bad" movie and what's a "disaster" and put some ratings on them, or expand the paragraph (or create a new article) to specify which ones are "bad" remakes, that would be helpful info for some of the people who will consult this encyclopedia, especially if you discuss who thought it was bad and what they thought was bad about it, but I think that info really belongs on the page for that movie, because that's where anyone looking for info about that particular movie will look for it.

Philosophically, I'm troubled by what I take as your implication that a movie is "bad" if the critics say it is. Yes, NPOV does mean you can't call a movie "bad" just because every critic who ever lived called it bad -- NPOV means you say, "This movie was universally condemned by the critics." As for the "information value" of the page, that is in the eye of the beholder, and my view is that the information value of all Wikipedia pages is zero, because there is no fact in any of them that can be considered reliable, so it seems that your viewpoint and mine are approaching congruence on the value of this particular article, at least.

Thanks for raising these issues with me -- discussions among the contributors are the best part of Wikipedia, whether the majority of critics think so or not. ;-) -- isis 00:27 Oct 6, 2002 (UTC)


Reading your lines gives me the impression that you are convinced that yours is the final word on this subject. How come you do know what NPOV means while I am hesitant and uncertain? (I hardly ever ask rhetorical questions, so this isn't one either.) Of course an encyclopedia is supposed to provide objective information -- no, knowledge, wisdom -- , but does this imply that its users are unable to decide for themselves whether what they are reading is reliable stuff?

Let me quote from what you have written: "It was supposed to be a list of remakes." Wrong. With thousands of films having been remade over the past 100 years, what would be the point of such a list, which could never be exhaustive? Selecting a few random titles and neglecting all the others really manipulates the unsuspecting user of Wikipedia and is really not NPOV. It was supposed to be a list of bad remakes.

"I had some movies to add to this list." No, you didn't. You thought you did because you didn't consider the fact beforehand that there are two basic types of lists: complete and incomplete ones, the latter type just giving some notable examples of what it says on top of the page. Would adding "some movies" to a list that could never be exhaustive improve that list?

Finally, let me rid you of your philosophical worries by simply stating that I tried to define "a bad/disastrous movie" as "a movie considered bad/disastrous by the majority of film critics and cinemagoers". As I said, you are usually not braindead if it occurs to you to consult an encyclopedia in the first place.

And I really don't understand why you think that Wikipedia is wholly unreliable. Are there other people ( i e non-Wikipedians) who own the truth and who consequently do write reliable articles?

Have a nice weekend,

KF 6 Oct. 2002


When is a remake not a remake? IMDB shows some inconsistency with this. Judging from the limited sample I've looked at it seems that if the film is based on a play then the various film versions are listed as versions rather than remakes. However if the original was a book or a film then subsequent versions are listed as remakes. Of course IMDB is not an entirely reliable source of information, you only have to look at the movie connections page for Cyrano de Bergerac (1945) which is confusing to say the least as the 1990 film of the same name is listed as a version, a remake and as a sequel. Mintguy 14:55 Dec 8, 2002 (UTC)

Interesting theory, Mintguy. However, I think it's sloppy terminology rather than controversial schools of thought that's behind all this. To start with, Brief Encounter is based on a play, but the 70s version has been called a remake, and I believe in a case such as the above one example would suffice to falsify a theory, wouldn't it?
Basically, I think that if there are four filmed versions of the same plot (play/novel/original screenplay/whatever), these four versions are the original version plus three remakes.
However, if two films are made at more or less the same time (the BBC mini-series The Life and Loves of a She-Devil with Patricia Hodge (1990) and She-Devil starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr (1989), both based on the novel by Fay Weldon, I guess no one would claim one is a remake of the other.
Similarly, the German Edgar Wallace movie Das indische Tuch (1963) is based on the same novel/play as The Case of the Frightened Lady (several versions), but, as it is a foreign film, would probably not be seen as a remake either.
My contention is that remakes are inherently bad (see top of this talk page), with a handful of notable exceptions.
KF 23:48 Dec 8, 2002 (UTC)
It just occurred to me that there may after all be some (hidden) truth in the fact that a remake is more likely to be referred to as a remake if it is not based on a stage play: Filmed versions of plays probably tend to be more similar to, and accordingly easier to compare with, each other because the literary genre of both the stage play and the screenplay is the same (drama), whereas when a novel is turned into a film it has to be dramatised first. Could this be the reason? --KF 00:30 Dec 9, 2002 (UTC)

Another disputed item on the article - Fistful of Dollars is probably more accurately termed a ripoff of Yojimbo as Kurosawa received no credit whatsoever from Leone. 209.149.235.241 22:56, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

What I wrote above more than a year ago is still true. The problem with this page is that it has a random list of films which does not prove or illustrate anything except the bare fact that remakes exist. Obviously any subtle difference as the one mentioned above goes unnoticed. We might do two things: (a) find several categories of remakes (with the inherent danger of being POV) and (b) present the new list in the form of a table. <KF> 23:43, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

List move

If peeps want to move the list of remakes back, that's a-okay with me, I just the thought it was a big enough list to deserve its own space. jengod 20:17, Feb 18, 2004 (UTC)