Monday, July 14, 2003


boynton suspects that last proposition re remaking a film using the same script could be seen as rather conservative. She should qualify it by adding it was just an idle thought about the way a script is used in different media. Why is it a given that theatre trades in remaking/ reinterpreting an existing script but this is problematic in cinema? Perhaps Goodbye Mr Chips is one thing - a classic script that has been adapted from a novel. There is a certain timelessness that might prevent a crass reproduction? Apparently these issues were raised with Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho - or is that a copy of Hitchcock's Psycho?
Movies are too specific to their own eras and styles to be copied with any degree of accuracy. Van Sant and others involved in the remake have said that nobody complains about plays being done over and over again. That's because theater is not the same as cinema. Plays are conceived to be performed and interpreted in a wide variety of ways through the years. Screenplays are filmed, etched in celluloid. The only possible way to do a remake worthy of its predecessor is to toss out the script and retain the basic idea -- a man turns into a fly, an alien threatens a remote military base, and so on. (source)
Obviously this copying is not what boynton had in mind. In theatrical terms, is it the difference between a remount and a remake? A bit of a google turned up some examples of same script remake including Love Affair/An Affair To Remember, The Man Who Knew Too Much. The 39 steps. There is a general discussion on remakes here, and an interesting article here - again prompted by Van Sant's psychocopy.

update: thanks to a corresponent this typo-riddled post has been proof-read back into reasonable English. Spelling that is. For everthing else blame the moon.

Comments: reheated

The Dawn Patrol is another example of same-script remaking. The exact same script was used for both the original 1930 version and the more familiar 1938 remake. I've not heard of any of those other examples you cited, though, as using identical scripts.
Posted by James Russell at July 14, 2003 09:54 PM

Thanks James, I'll check out The Dawn Patrol. I was hoping that an expert would weigh in here. Er - and correct my errors. I have seen Love Affair/AATR and am pretty sure the script is very similar, if not the same with slight variations (allowed?). I had just presumed that the 2 Hitchcock versions of TMWKTM would be same/script. Shoddy blogging alert - I guess they only share the name and auteur?! Again having seen 2 of the 39 steps from memory the Donat/Moore versions are pretty close - the latter being an example of a rather flat remake/imitation.
Posted by boynton at July 14, 2003 10:45 PM


Oh! Moon. Hee. Hee.
Posted by Tony.T at July 16, 2003 12:19 AM

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