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Steven Spielberg to remake The Grapes of Wrath

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Dargo, I also find it very 'odd' (best word I can come up with), that TB knows how Spielberg will do the film. As others have pointed out, to me it is total folly to judge a film before it has even started production. NOW, let's say the cast was known; OK, then I would understand comments related to the casting; e.g. I don't see actor XYZ, playing part ABC,,,,

 

But to base one's opinion on total speculation? I find that very odd. But I'm glad I went to jam and avoided what unfolded here.

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I find that very odd.

 

 

Why do you find that "very odd" when all re-makes have been flops, i.e. THE WOMEN

 

 

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Three years ago I first heard about the new version of *True Grit* and yelled "foul". Then it came out and the reviews were nearly all in the "must see" camp. I did and was not disappointed. It had many of the elements of the original but was truer to the book and the actors/characters blended into the film more than in the first. It was a multi-nominated film for all the major awards and had Jeff Bridges not won the year before would have joined Duke Wayne as an Oscar winner for playing Rooster. I stood roundly corrected.

 

For this reason I will wait until this new version of *The Grapes of Wrath* is made, if it is, to form an opinion of it. It could be a real loser or another great telling of the story with elements from the book that did not make it into the original. I'm willing to wait and see.

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This thread started off as a discussion to whether posters thought it "right" that Spielberg would do a remake of The Grapes of Wrath. Somehow it has largely dissolved into an issue with some as to whether or not Spielberg can do a version to match that of the Ford classic.

 

As to the second issue, it is mere speculation and no one will know until a Spielberg version is produced, IF, indeed, it ever is.

 

As for the first question, if he has purchased the rights to the Steinbeck novel, of course he has the right to do his version of the novel. He may well fall flat on his face but that's a gamble he's willing to take, just as John Ford did over 70 years ago. And I say this as I long time admirer of the Ford film.

 

clore's illustration of Ford's ill advised remake of a Raoul Walsh silent classic shows that Ford himself thought nothing of remaking other filmmakers' work, even when said filmmaker was still alive. And Ford was right. The fact that his version of What Price Glory was a bomb (pardon the expression, considering that's film subject matter) is a side issue. Did the Walsh version in any way get slighted or hurt by the Ford remake? I don't think so.

 

And if future filmmakers do remakes of other Ford films, good or bad, or other Spielberg films, good or bad, or other Walsh or Hitchcock or whoever films, that's fine, too. What is the harm? It does no disservice to the original. In fact, they will often look even better by the comparison.

 

There may even be some younger viewers around who may even take a look at the Ford version of Grapes, to compare it to a new version to make their own appraisal.

 

There has been some reference earlier to close mindedness on the subject, and that certainly seems to be the case with some. We movie lovers can be a passionate lot, not all that different, I suppose, to those who practice religious intolerance, also alluded to earlier in the thread.

 

P.S.: The only time I would have issues with remakes were from the studio system days, when, for example, MGM scooped up the rights to the '31 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (from Paramount) or '37 Prisoner of Zenda (from Selznick) for its own remakes, and those original versions disappeared from sight for years as a result. Now THAT is a crime.

 

I really don't think that we have to worry that that will be the case with Ford's Grapes of Wrath. I stand ready to be corrected, but I don't believe that original versions of films can be withheld anymore because of remakes. Besides, with all the existing DVDs of classics in circulation now, it's all but impossible to do it with many films anyway. Another reminder that movie buffs such as ourselves have it better than buffs have ever had it before.

 

 

 

 

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>But to base on opinion on total speculation? I find that very odd.

 

Yep, the use of "odd" as a adjective to describe a mindset I suppose is as accurate as any other, James...though maybe a bit "ineffectual" in its own right. ;)

 

and...

 

>But I'm glad I went to jam and avoided what unfolded here.

 

Eeh! This really wasn't that much of an "ugly exchange" of ideas and opinions here, if THAT was what you were thinkin'.

 

(...trust me, I've been involved in some REAL "knock-down-drag-out" affairs over this here "Inter-Web" since its inception, and THIS little kerfuffle HERE was NOTHIN' compared to THOSE!!!) ;)

 

LOL

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All remakes have been flops? So the 41 version of The Maltese Falcon is a flop? How about The Strawberry Blonde ? There are many examples of where remakes have been very solid productions. OR was your point only about modern 'remakes'?

 

If your point only related to modern remakes than to me what you're really saying is you don't like modern movies, actors, directors, producers, i.e. the art of modern movie making. So it doesn't matter is the original source material has been made into a movie before or not. i.e. your issue isn't with remakes but with modern movies in general.

 

To me that is a much different POV.

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Not the first time this certain poster has gotten "ugly' towards other posters!

 

Trust me,Topbilled was being 'polite' in describing the poster's put downs.

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>There has been some reference earlier to close mindedness on the subject, and that certainly seems to be the case with some. We movie lovers can be a passionate lot, not all that different, I suppose, to those who practice religious intolerance, also alluded to earlier in the thread.

 

Thank you for mentioning this, Tom! Yep, I DID think that that was a rather perceptive analogy which I introduced into this baby a few pages back. ;)

 

(...aaah, but then again I always knew most of you folks up there north of the 49th were a perceptive lot, ya know!)

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Right, Dargo, old boy, I thought your religious analogy a valid one, which deserved acknowledgement.

 

And the passion movie buffs feel about certain films or filmmakers can produce an intolerance, I feel, when it comes to other filmmakers having the "nerve" to venture into their territory. Those later filmmakers may, indeed, bomb and retreat with their artistic tails between their legs but who is to say that they shouldn't try.

 

Having said that, there are indeed some filmmakers perhaps doing it to try to make a fast buck. I don't think, however, that that applies to Spielberg (of whom, by the way, I am NOT a huge fan) and Grapes of Wrath. Spielberg already has a lot of bucks, I understand. ;)

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As he usually does Tom makes a solid case. I read the all of the comments again, to see if I could really get at the root reasons for this philosophical dislike of remakes, and I'm ending up at the same point as Tom and you; Remakes are viewed as some type of sacrilege.

 

I came to this conclusion when I see concepts like fairness being discussed, e.g. it isn't fair to the previous director to remake his movie since that movie was so great.

 

Anyhow, I still recommend people that hate remakes take my advise and change their perspective; Do NOT view these movies as 'remakes' but instead a new movie based on source material that has been made into a movie previously. i.e. change the focus to the source material.

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Calibri} {font}

 

 

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Is a book like TGOW still required reading as part of American lit? It was back in my school days (the early 70s). I only ask related to your 'make a buck' comment.

 

A remake would only have built in consumer demand if the book was still popular (e.g. required reading in school), or the prior movie version is iconic (e.g. Wiziard of Oz, Casablanca, GWTW). Few studio era movies are iconic in the eyes of the general public (and way too many are to us TCM movie nuts!).

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> Spielberg already has a lot of bucks, I understand.

 

Yep! ;)

 

And which I HOPE he uses some of it to find himself an excellent screenwriter who will utilize Steinbeck's masterpiece to it furthest and highest sense of purpose.

 

(...ya see, I may NOT be a "prayin' man", but I DO still "hope" for things to turn out well, and unlike those poor folks venturing toward that sign near the opening to Dante's little netherworld which supposedly doesn't feature air-conditioning) ;)

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James, I made that comment as an acknowledgement of the inclination of some filmmakers that are just trying to make a fast buck, as opposed to a sincere filmmaker (such as I assume Spielberg to be) attempting to do his own tribute to a particular novel or remake of a film.

 

I must concede, though, that at this particular moment no illustrations of it come to mind. I'm sure that others could come up with examples. That is would be my ONLY qualification on someone remaking a classic. But your point is also valid - today what would that classic film or novel be that wpuld be so tempting for a fast buck artist. Perhaps we're really dealing with sequels to hits moreso than remakes.

 

 

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Hi Twinkeee, :)

 

What is irritating about many remakes is that they just aren't very good, and young people grow up not knowing about the original classics.

 

And many of the remakes are awful, such as THE WOMEN, KING KONG (both of them). The remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS wasn't as good as the original, nor was THE THING. What about 12 ANGRY MEN (1997)? Did anyone here see the remake? :)

 

Did anyone see the 1994 ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD? What about the 1982 CAT PEOPLE? It was awful. I got up and walked out on it. What about DOA (1988)? THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (2008) came and went in a week. And how about the current flop, THE LONE RANGER? How about THE PARENT TRAP (1998) with Lindsay Lohan? LOL :)

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Hi Twinkeee,

 

It's me again. :)

 

Here is a list of major re-makes:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_remakes_A-M

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_remakes_N-Z

 

------------------------

 

Why remake this film? The original is perfect.

 

The Jackal (1997) dir. Michael Caton-Jones

 

remake of:

The Day of the Jackal (1973) dir. Fred Zinnemann

Based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth

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Hey, btw Tom, while I was immodesty re-reading my razor sharp witty replies to TB just a few minutes ago, I ran across this earlier post that I had overlooked he made to Twinkee here:

 

>I have a really good "argument" I am waiting to introduce later in the thread. I want things to continue running their course as they are now, then when we exhaust this angle, I am going to post the next angle. Let us allow the Spielberg fans to dance around the campfire for awhile, not understanding they are over a barrel.

 

And so, seein' as how he's now stated he's "even less inclined" to read my stuff around here 'cause evidently I kinda sorta hurt his feelings somehow, I was just wonderin' if YOU are prepared to answer to this dramatically-timed "bombshell" of a new "angle" he has comin' up for us "Spielberg Apologists" around here??? LOL

 

(...well, that IS unless YOU are ALSO presently on that "you-what-what" List of his TOO of course!, and then I suppose it really wouldn't matter much at all anyway, huh..err..EH?!)

 

****

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Fred, do you really think that that a mediocre or poor remake of, for example, King King really stops young people from seeing the original? Let's face it, whether Kong is remade or not, if that young person is operating on a B & W prejudice level, they just never will watch Fay Wray make those screams.

 

Nor do I think that the original Kong has in any way been hurt by those remakes. It's still a great school boy adventure with a beauty and the beast theme.

 

 

And the same would apply, I feel, for any other inferior remakes that you can come up with.

 

 

How would a (theoretically) ROTTEN version of Grapes of Wrath released next year the hurt the Ford classic? Do you think that without the remake being made young people would even give the Ford version a passing thought to see it? They may actually watch it just to make a comparison because of the remake.

 

 

The other thing about remakes of classics is that neither you nor I have to watch them, do we? So what is the harm if they come out and others see them?

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...and many of the remakes are just awful, such as THE WOMEN, KING KONG (Both of them)....

 

I AGREE...I did not even know about THE LONE RANGER until I read about it on the Boards, that's how fast That One Came & Went !

 

When some of these re-make's come out, there is Such a big deal made out of it, i.e. THE WOMEN that you almost believe that the movie is an original !

 

It has been agreed on the boards that THE GRAPES OF WRATH is near Perfect ! So then, why mess with it?

 

People get upset when they end up with a 'bootleg' or fake DVD (rightfully so), because of course the quality is not the same as the original, then I would assume one would feel the same way about a re-make, which is Never anywhere near the original !

 

It is almost as if the Movie Industry is trying to ripp us of !

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I AGREE...I did not even know about THE LONE RANGER until I read about it on the Boards, that's how fast That One Came & Went !

Came and went?

 

It just opened on Wednesday - it may be doing poorly, but it's still around.

 

 

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Dargo, it's bound to be a bombshell, something that will virtually shake the very foundations of our complacent "it's okay to do a remake" lives.

 

Dargo, sharpen that razor sharp wit of yours. You may need it to survive this day. It's like waiting for the approaching steps of Godzilla's feet. Me? I'm outta here!

 

 

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ROFL now!!! Yep, almost LITERALLY!

 

(...great reply, ol boy.."GODZILLA'S FEET", I LOVE it...oh you Canadians, you!!!)

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>How would a (theoretically) ROTTEN version of Grapes of Wrath released next year the hurt the Ford classic?

 

Hi Tom, :)

 

I think you are making more out of this than you need to.

 

Those of us who are complaining about a remake, have absolute no power to stop it, and I wouldn't try to stop it, even if I could.

 

We are merely expressing our opinions about the greatness of the original, and several of us feel that it is stilly to try to make a modern version of it.

 

It would be like some modern composer trying to re-do the opera LA TRAVIATA, in some new type of modern style (with twangy guitars). It's similar to the way several people here complained about the LIZ AND DICK TV film that aired earlier this year, with Lindsey Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor. Oh, gross! :)

 

It would be like some modern painter trying to do his own modern version of NIGHTWATCH by Rembrandt, or like Stephen King saying he is going to rewrite HAMLET.

 

You and some others are over-reacting to our personal opinions, and some others are being downright rude and very impolite and insulting.

 

Fred

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It was my son who told me that the King Kong re-make was not nearly as good as the original which schocked me as I was not aware that he was familiar with the original ! So you see, you can't pull one over on kids either, nor should you !

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*Some of you need to chill out and stop assuming every comment made by someone else is an insult that you need to rebuff. If you feel insulted by the comments made by other posters, then put on your big boy pants and put the other user on IGNORE. And if you find you just can't resist that little hidden zinger, I'm sure you'll also not be able to resist the joys of being on post-moderation. *

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The following sentence of your's highlights how different we view this topic: So then, why mess with it?

 

As I have said multiple times my POV is that a remake doesn't 'mess with' prior versions. The only exception being when access rights of previous versions are restricted by those making a newer version.

 

In fact remakes only bring attention to the original as Tom pointed out in his reply to Fred related to King Kong. Almost every person I talked to about the latest releases of King Kong was interested in seeing the 30's version. The POV that one would NOT watch the 30's version because there was a more current version is way off the mark. The odds one will watch an original studio era classic only increases when a remake is made.

 

The Women is just another case in point. My wife and a bunch of couples went on a weekend getaway. While the guys jammed the women watched Meg Ryan version of The Women. After I was done playing I asked the gals what they watch. I then asked them if they had ever seen the 39 version of The Women. None of them had so I recommended they do so. A few months later a few of the gals told me they viewed it. They really loved it AND it made them interested in those old B&W movies. i.e. if it wasn't for the remake they would of never of been interested in the original.

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