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Remakes of Musicals in general


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#1 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:48 AM

I have to say that I agree with James to the extent that a remake does no harm to the original, as long as the original is still available. In the much-vaunted studio era, it was common practice if a remake was planned to try and suppress any showings of the original versions, even to the point of destroying prints and negatives. That's no longer the case, so the previous versions will still be available even if a remake is made. A remake doesn't "insult" or "diminish" the original. 

 

The only musical remakes being made recently are the live TV versions, or the live-action Disney ones, like that recent Beauty and the Beast.

 

As you can see I'm now trying to approach the topic of film 'remakes' by questioning what is 'the original'.    I'm now viewing this from a jazz musician point of the view;   In most cases 'the original' is the source material.  So in music that is the actual sheet music and NOT any recordings of the song.

 

All jazz musicians understand this but rockers and I get into it especially now that the internet has made all the various forms of music (recording,  transcriptions) available at our fingertips.     Too many rockers will say 'that is NOT how it is played' or 'this song is in the key of F'.   Well  the sheet music is in the key of G but the most common recorded version,  was done in the key of F.  Which is 'the original'.   

 

So what rockers tend to mean is  'that is NOT the same way as the recording I know'.      A jazz musician just says 'oh, I see you changed those 4 bars to,,,,'.   Hey they may even say 'I don't think that works',   but that is 100% different than 'that I NOT how it is played'.

 

All of the above applies to movies with the exception being movies based 100% on a written for the screen outline and screenplay.  


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#2 kjrwe

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:02 PM

Frankly, I don't think that movie theatre proprietors would like more of these "lead balloons", because that would mean less money for them.  If a movie is really bad, people generally won't go.

 

How can people know if a movie is bad if they don't see it?



#3 LawrenceA

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:43 PM

I have to say that I agree with James to the extent that a remake does no harm to the original, as long as the original is still available. In the much-vaunted studio era, it was common practice if a remake was planned to try and suppress any showings of the original versions, even to the point of destroying prints and negatives. That's no longer the case, so the previous versions will still be available even if a remake is made. A remake doesn't "insult" or "diminish" the original. 

 

The only musical remakes being made recently are the live TV versions, or the live-action Disney ones, like that recent Beauty and the Beast.



#4 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:31 PM

Do people ever seek out the original if it was a silent film? In some cases people probably don't care about the original and are happy to have "their" newer version.

 

I'm glad you mentioned silent films.    Often we find that haters of remakes (they would say they are the protectors of the original),   view the talking picture as the 'original' even when there has been a silent version.   We saw this at this forum when the 2016 version of Ben Hur was released.       I.e. attacking the 2016 version under the silly POV that it is 'messing with the original' 1959 version.  

 

In most cases I find that these remake haters lack knowledge of film making and the American studio-era.  


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#5 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:23 PM

Excellent post, Whthpnd2hllywd.  Classics are what they are, and must be left alone, at all costs.

 

Note that unless a movie is based on an original story written just for that movie,   movies are messing with the original source material.   I.e. the book or play that came before the film.      There is the common complaint that 'books are what they are'  and that most film versions do NOT do justice to the book.

 

My guess is that you don't have the same POV as it relates to the damage movies do to the TRUE originals;  the books and plays.

 

There really isn't a concept of a movie 'remake';   (MOVIE remake).   Instead the concept really is of the original source material (book or play),  being remade.    Therefore the first film released based on said source material was 'left alone';    It was the book or play that wasn't.  

 

PS:  There is a thread about Romeo and Juliet where some are complaining how West Side Story messed with the classic story by being in punks and gangs,  etc....      They should have left the work alone at all cost,  right?



#6 TopBilled

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:11 PM

Yes,  that could happen.   If it did more people would want to seek out the original.

 

Do people ever seek out the original if it was a silent film? In some cases people probably don't care about the original and are happy to have "their" newer version.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#7 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:25 PM

I could really see West Side Story's musical score being re-made into a junky hip-hop rap score, and  a re-make of the film, as a whole, turned into a hyped-up, cheesy piece of junk, regardless of who re-made it.

 

Yes,  that could happen.   If it did more people would want to seek out the original.



#8 miki

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:24 PM

If todays hollywood could do a remake without completely ruining the originals integrity, i'd agree. However, we dont have the talent, on or off camera, to pull it off. Look at the slew of recent remakes - Arthur, Straw Dogs, Guess Whos coming to Dinner, Karate Kid, I spit on your grave, Wolfman- just to name a few, and how awful they are. And then trying to find someone who even comes close to Gene Kelly's talent? theyd just butcher it. This generation just couldnt hack it. Plus, they wouldnt spend the money for the sets like they used to, so do you really want to see Justin Beiber in CGI'd rain? No thanks. Classics are classics for a reason - they may not be new but they still apply and awe.

 

Excellent post, Whthpnd2hllywd.  Classics are what they are, and must be left alone, at all costs.



#9 LawrenceA

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

Gone with the Wind and Planet of the Apes are two totally different movies, and not comparable, at all.  The remake of Planet of the Apes did do poorly in the Box office;  It was in the movie theatres for three weeks, and then it was gone, never to come back.  That says something right there.

 

Which remake are you talking about? The 2001 version, directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, earned $362 million on a $100 million budget. It ended up being the 9th biggest box office release of its year. The 2011 "reboot" earned $481 million on a $93 million, making it an even bigger hit than the 2001 version, although not enough to make the top ten of the year, although the two succeeding sequels testify to its performance.

 

I don't think anyone is saying that the 2001 movie was good, by any means. It wasn't. But it did make money. Which is rarely a barometer of quality. As for your argument of "never to come back", how many movies return to theaters since the advent of home video? Very few.

 

And as for a hip-hop remake of West Side Story...ugh, no please. :(



#10 miki

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

Again, how does a remake prevent the original from 'standing on it's own'. I already stated multiple times that I rarely find a remake better than the original. So what.

A remake being attention to the original. I have often had discussions with people that have only seen the remake. When they hear there is an earlier version they often seek that out. They wouldn't of been interested in the original if it wasn't for the remake.

So I really don't see what there is to disagree with; Again, tell me what harm a remake does to the original? NONE! (except when the producers of the remake legally prevent access to the original by buying the rights to the original).

 

I could really see West Side Story's musical score being re-made into a junky hip-hop rap score, and  a re-make of the film, as a whole, turned into a hyped-up, cheesy piece of junk, regardless of who re-made it.



#11 miki

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:14 PM

They definitely did well at the box office, as Larry's data proves. We're dealing with exaggerated claims in this thread because someone obviously dislikes remakes and wants to act as if these films underperformed. But the reality is they did not.

 

If GONE WITH THE WIND were remade tomorrow and it took in a billion dollars, you can bet it would encourage studios to remake other 'sacred' and 'untouchable' classic films. 

 

Gone with the Wind and Planet of the Apes are two totally different movies, and not comparable, at all.  The remake of Planet of the Apes did do poorly in the Box office;  It was in the movie theatres for three weeks, and then it was gone, never to come back.  That says something right there.



#12 miki

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

The reason Planet of the Apes was mentioned relates to remakes in general and comments like  'went over like a lead balloon' and how well musicals do in our era.

 

Apes was mentioned to counter misinformation like what you just posted about the remake:    "The 2001 Tim Burton Planet of the Apes was a horrible movie with some amazing special effects that made over $360 million on a $100 million budget. So it made a ton of money".

 

It is one thing to say a movie is crap but if it makes over 200 million in profits it is inaccurate to say it went over like a lead balloon.   I'm sure the studio would like many more of these lead balloons.

 

Frankly, I don't think that movie theatre proprietors would like more of these "lead balloons", because that would mean less money for them.  If a movie is really bad, people generally won't go.



#13 kjrwe

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:07 PM

Hmm...I was just thinking about some musicals which are remakes of non-musical films.

 

For example:

 

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) - In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

 

Ball of Fire (1941) - A Song is Born (1948)

 

As for remakes (of musicals or otherwise), I'll just say that I don't see a problem with this. Remakes have been around as long as films have been around. A lot of stories have multiple versions (A Christmas Carol, Seven Keys to Baldpate, for instance).

 

Some highly-regarded films are remakes, such as the Bogart version of The Maltese Falcon.

 

I just wish that directors would skip the sequels. Those are rarely done well.


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#14 NickAndNora34

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 05:56 PM

I would also enjoy seeing some classic movie musicals be remade. I am a theatre major, and love to act in musicals in my free time, so I am always up for more musicals being shown in the theatre. Currently, I know a few Broadway shows have been recorded live and played in movie theaters across the U.S., such as "Newsies" and "She Loves Me." I think these live-recorded stage musicals have been pretty successful (Newsies ended up having an extra showing due to an expected high ticket sale). 

 

I think remakes of older movie musicals could potentially work, considering how the studio big-wigs cast them. I, for one, love to see an unknown with an abundance of talent (or even a Broadway star) instead of a mega-watt celebrity with little to no talent. But, unfortunately, this rarely comes to be. I guess what I really want is to see 6-time Tony winner, Audra McDonald, in more movie musical roles. 


"Playing with matches, a girl can get burned." -Fiddler on the Roof 


#15 miki

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:17 PM

Definitely be left alone????     How does a remake harm a film?   It does NOT.

 

Sorry but younger generations are NOT interested in 'old' movies.     Introducing old films back into movie theaters would be a financial disaster.     

 

Data on leasing of films tells the real story;   E.g. The Magnificent Seven remake that was just released.    Rental of the 60s version are increasing.   Same was true for True Grit etc........

 

Remakes being attention to prior versions and if anything honor prior versions instead of harming them.

 

PS:   99% of the time I prefer the original over a remake (exceptions being the Huston version of The Maltese Falcon).       

 

I stand by what I've said.



#16 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:43 PM

That's a good question, johnm001, because Planet of the Apes is clearly not a musical, at all.  

 

There was a re-make of Planet of the Apes, and it went over like a lead balloon...inotherwords, not very well.

 

The reason Planet of the Apes was mentioned relates to remakes in general and comments like  'went over like a lead balloon' and how well musicals do in our era.

 

Apes was mentioned to counter misinformation like what you just posted about the remake:    "The 2001 Tim Burton Planet of the Apes was a horrible movie with some amazing special effects that made over $360 million on a $100 million budget. So it made a ton of money".

 

It is one thing to say a movie is crap but if it makes over 200 million in profits it is inaccurate to say it went over like a lead balloon.   I'm sure the studio would like many more of these lead balloons.



#17 miki

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:35 PM

I wonder why we are talking about PLANET OF THE APES in a musicals thread?

 

That's a good question, johnm001, because Planet of the Apes is clearly not a musical, at all.  

 

There was a re-make of Planet of the Apes, and it went over like a lead balloon...inotherwords, not very well.



#18 TopBilled

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 12:53 AM

Agreed, and further to your point there are many more restrictions these days on the extent to which minors can perform.

 

However there is still proficient talent out there. Just thinking of the 1980s cast of Annie, there were very young girls in that who were highly proficient in dancing, singing and gymnastics. I do recall reading it took a global casting call to find them all.

 

Whether it requires training from early childhood, I can't say. But we certainly have plenty of professional grade singers and dancers (witness the opening scene of La La Land) - the issue is getting them cast in lead roles.

 

There are still people who start young. The Olsen twins started young. But I think vaudeville gave people something extra-- like they had to be more versatile, and there was something they gained by honing their skills in front of live audiences/crowds. When Fred Astaire, Judy Garland or Martha Raye made it to the movies, they were already very multi-talented. The ones who came to the movies by way of modeling, like Lucille Ball, had to learn how to dance and do comedy-- extra skills that showcased talents in a variety of areas. I'm not sure if a lot of today's new stars are as versatile or can perform in a variety of genres.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#19 istara

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:18 PM

This is because by the time people reached the movies they had been working for years in vaudeville and on the radio. Some of them began performing at age 3. Today's stars do not have that kind of "up through the ranks" show biz experience.

 

 

Agreed, and further to your point there are many more restrictions these days on the extent to which minors can perform.

 

However there is still proficient talent out there. Just thinking of the 1980s cast of Annie, there were very young girls in that who were highly proficient in dancing, singing and gymnastics. I do recall reading it took a global casting call to find them all.

 

Whether it requires training from early childhood, I can't say. But we certainly have plenty of professional grade singers and dancers (witness the opening scene of La La Land) - the issue is getting them cast in lead roles.


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:17 AM

I would love to see classic musicals remade.

 

The problem is casting. In previous eras, actors were much more likely to be highly proficient in singing and dancing than they are now. 

 

This is because by the time people reached the movies they had been working for years in vaudeville and on the radio. Some of them began performing at age 3. Today's stars do not have that kind of "up through the ranks" show biz experience.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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