Six Foreign Remakes of American Films

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 14, 2010

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Stork Day (2004): When it’s not remaking books or TV shows or its own films, Hollywood reaches to other parts of the globe for inspiration, often with dire results. Every great now and then some foreigner sees fit to return the, ahem, favor. Such a great idea (and film) is Groundhog Day that it stoked the interest of Italian cineastes. Except that Italy has no Groundhog Day, meaning our to-be-reformed-malcontent winds up covering the decidedly less cuddly stork on the Spanish coast.

The Beat My Heart Skipped (2005): James Toback can do any crap he wants—and he basically has—and he’ll still be the director of Fingers (1978), one of the great (and most batshit) of stark ’70s character studies. Jacques Audiard’s simmering remake remains faithful in story if not remotely in the original’s singular schizophrenic tone.

Fight Club: Members Only (2006): India is Hollywood’s No. 1 fan. Man on Fire and It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World have all been Bollywoodized, while there have been Hindi versions of Memento, Weekend at Bernie’s and Mrs. Doubtfire. This Bollywood product is less a remake of the David Fincher nihilism-fest than a spinoff, sharing merely the existence of dudes beating the shit out of eachother for fun and therapy.

12 (2007): Reginald Rose’s 12 Angry Men originated as a teleplay, but whatever: The 1957 film is what most people think of when they think of it, and it certainly informs Nikita Mikhalkov’s redo, which repurposes it so it examines modern day, Chechen War-hobbled Russia. Oh, and almost doubles the length.

Sideways (2009): Japan’s take on the wino mid-life sex comedy takes extreme license with the source: It relocates the setting from the Santa Ynez Valley to the Napa Valley.

A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2009): How awesome is the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple? Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum, Hero, et al.) made an imperial-era comedy out of it. With martial arts.

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