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a mildred pierce remake - WHY?????????????????????????


johnbabe
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i have recently heard that the remake of mildred pierce is in the works for this summer and will be on HBO (i am now so glad that i do not have HBO) staring kate winslet..............i hope Joan is listening and will be around to add to the festivities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is an insult to hollywood and all the greats that were - i.e. joan, greta, bette, kate, etc.

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I agree with you, johnbabe. I hate it when Hollywood resorts to remakes of classic films. There are basically 2 reasons why I consider it ridiculous, stupid, and inexcusable:

 

1) it adds to the mounting evidence that there is a paucity of original ideas in Hollywood land. Same goes for their penchant for sequels and film versions of old tv shows.

 

2) the remake, 9 times out of 10, could not possibly be anywhere near as good as the original. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.". Leave a good thing well enough alone. Look at the remake of Psycho, and that was from a filmmaker I like, (Gus van Sant)

 

3) For some reason it annoys me when people have never heard of the original, don't even know the film is a remake of a classic. I feel like shaking them by the shoulders and demanding:"What's the matter with you! Don't tell me you've never heard of (Mildred Pierce) or whatever the title is they're doing. It makes me feel that something I really care about is somehow being desecrated.

 

ok, I know that's a bit over-the-top. I can't help it -I'm a bit excessive about my beloved old movies.

 

 

..ps , *3* reasons.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on May 26, 2010 5:46 PM

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The reason is money! While this is hard for us old movie buffs to understand, but there are many younger people out there who will not watch a movie in black and white, or a film that has not been made in the last 20 years. So producers figure they'll just repackage a classic story with currant stars, cars and furniture of today, and of course, color!

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One of the prime examples I can think of right now, was the continuation of the Gone With The Wind movie classic. I know, it wasn't exactly a remake, but in the same category. It was laughable and certainly not watchable. Don't know where it disappeared to, but it can hopefully stay disappeared.

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MaxvonMayerling wrote:

*. . . there are many younger people out there who will not watch a movie in black and white, or a film that has not been made in the last 20 years.*

 

We need to educate youngsters as to the intrinsic value of these classics, the beauty and many shadings black and white can really have. It doesn't help matters when commentators on DVD releases of classic films seem impelled to mention why certain scenes don't work for modern audiences, or how college audiences now might laugh at a certain part, or how a current director wouldn't do it that way, or ESPECIALLY, how slow and leisurely a scene or movie may be. Commentators on the Fox Film Noir series seem guilty of this. It imparts the message that the films aren't up to snuff nowadays, potentially prejudicing young people against classics (even though they were watching a classic DVD, it underscores, in a negative way, what they already know from viewing the film, that it's different from today's stuff.

 

NO REMAKES PLEASE!

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> {quote:title=JefCostello wrote:}{quote}

> I don't mind remakes of B-rated Sci Fi movies from the 50's, but classic films that are well respected need to be left alone.

 

The original was based on a NOVEL by James M. Cain....and it's likely the remake is based more on the original novel than the movie.

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> {quote:title=Jenetico wrote:}{quote}

> One of the prime examples I can think of right now, was the continuation of the Gone With The Wind movie classic. I know, it wasn't exactly a remake, but in the same category. It was laughable and certainly not watchable. Don't know where it disappeared to, but it can hopefully stay disappeared.

 

That would be the tv mini-series SCARLETT, which was based on a novel by Alexandra Ripley , who wasa authorized by Margaret Mitchell's estate to write a sequel...which is what it was, a sequel...not in the "same category". But you're right...I also found it laughable and not a particularly good story.

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> I agree with you, johnbabe. I hate it when Hollywood resorts to remakes of classic films. There are basically 2 reasons why I consider it ridiculous, stupid, and inexcusable:

> .

> 1) it adds to the mounting evidence that there is a paucity of original ideas in Hollywood land. Same goes for their penchant for sequels and film versions of old tv shows.

 

Ricardo Cortez is the ultimate Sam Spade, and Janet Gaynor is the ultimate Esther Blodgett. (Unless you believe the latter honor should go to Constance Bennett.)

 

Casting Humphrey Bogart and Judy Garland as Sam Spade and Esther Blodgett respectively was sacrilege, and Hollywood should have destroyed the negatives before either of those lazy remakes ever hit the screen.

 

The point, if I haven't been clear enough, is that Hollywood's been doing this for decades. And it's not uncommon for even movie buffs to consider some of the remakes as superior to the original.

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That's true, Hollywood has always done remakes. And sometimes the remake is better than the original. Examples: The Glass Key, 1942, is better than the 1935 version, in my opinion.And I 'm not sure I agree with you about the Maltese Falcon, I think the remake with Bogart is far superior.

 

So you know what? I'm not consistent. I guess I just don't like current remakes of old movies. If even the remake is old (like the two examples above) it's a whole different story.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on May 27, 2010 12:55 PM

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> {quote:title=Jenetico wrote:}{quote}

> One of the prime examples I can think of right now, was the continuation of the Gone With The Wind movie classic. I know, it wasn't exactly a remake, but in the same category. It was laughable and certainly not watchable. Don't know where it disappeared to, but it can hopefully stay disappeared.

 

 

The book was unforgivable too.

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Fedya wrote:

*The point, if I haven't been clear enough, is that Hollywood's been doing this for decades. And it's not uncommon for even movie buffs to consider some of the remakes as superior to the original.*

 

Hollywood did remake many movies in the pre-television age. It was thought then that the earlier films would never be seen again, unless a film was a classic, or maybe a bit- or featured-player subsequently found fame, and it was re-released.

 

However, the difference then, and the reason a remake then might be better, is that the remakes were made DURING the Golden Age of Hollywood, and that meant that the different departments, technical or artistic, then under permanent contract to a given studio applied all their expertise. Not to take away from creative people involved in movie-making now, but as we all know, moviemaking is quite different, and the loss of contracted talent, whether actors, writers, cinematographers, set designers, etc. led to the discontinuity of the old ways . . . a totally different worldview towards moviemaking.

 

One time when remakes/updates of the studio system did a poor job was towards the end of this period, in the 50s. Many beloved classics, 30s comedies especially, were remade to generally dire results-Screwball comedies did not translate to another era, nor were some of the new stars up to par with 30s commediennes.

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I'll give this one benefit of doubt. Cain's outstanding novel is more detailed than the classic film. It could be examined in different ways; adding to, but not relinquishing the main story. As has been pointed out, remakes are nothing new. The concept is not sacrilege. The question is, will it be good? The Curtiz/Crawford vehicle is terrific. A new production will probably not top that. But a talented crew, taking a fresh look at the material, might just come up with something worth watching. If I had that channel, I'd take a look.

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Call me a prude, but the BIGGEST problem I have with remakes of classics is the SEX....how do you go from a film with a well written script where sex is implied or is a "background" theme in some character's motives to just seeing it blatant on your screen in a remake....undies and all? Could you imagine a 2039 Gone With the Wind? Scarlet would probably be in a Victoria's Secret original while Rhett would be some tanned oversexed beach babe! With these remakes in the current day...a well written script is replaced with sex, sex, too many special effects....oh yeah, and sex. I say no thank you to a Mildred Pierce remake...even though it came from a novel and took so many liberties, I want to remember only Joan Crawford in the title role during my lifetime. Selfish? Hell yeah.

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On the other hand, there was a thread here a few months back about *From Here to Eternity*, and how James Jones' original draft had even more sex than got into the book, specifically references to the soldiers performing various homosexual acts upon each other in lieu of having contact with women (after all, they couldn't get to the New Congress Club every night).

 

Regarding *Mildred Pierce*, my understanding (not having read it) is that the novel is even more bracing than the movie.

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Now some positive news on the Mildred Pierce front. I had NO CLUE that the movie was based on a book. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. I just ordered it from the book club I belong to and I owe all to you guys. Can't wait to read it. I agree with the poster about the sex. The older movies had it in spades but it wasn't shoved in your face. It was classy sex. It was implied, conveyed, signed sealed and delivered without a nakey body in sight. Now with that being said I just loved the shirtless scenes of the older stars who had something to show-Van Johnson, Ricardo Montablan, Burt Lancaster and least we forget the plunging necklines and higher skirts on the women. Believe me I recently watch a Jane Russell movie that well was illuminating. But your imagination was called upon or at least you could watch it with the kids and no nakey body part falls out and there you suffer an awkward moment with your young son. This happened during Monsters Ball with my son it was to late we watched it he got the symbolism of the freeing of the birds in Billy Bob Thorton's and Halle Berry's hands and he got an eye full of all the rest. Awkward.

 

Edited by: gwtwbooklover on May 29, 2010 12:03 AM

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What we have coming is something of a new version or more precise interpretation of the famed James M. Cain novel. I wouldn?t exactly consider this attempt to be a remake. The novel was flushed with brazen adult dealings that the 1945 film simply couldn?t tackle, let alone be on the look out for the censorship board. While some die-hard film buffs will always look upon the original Joan Crawford version as the definitive one, things these days are a little bit more frank. The original 1945 version can now only be symbolic to its era, thus typical of the usual Hollywood fare with a little dare for its time, but never really signifying what the James M. Cain novel really stood for. This leads us down a new or different road of what is essentially a television venture to expand upon the various adult ideas and subject matter the novel offered that the original film simply couldn?t expose or even interpret without creating trouble or some outrage. The big difference between Joan?s version and this new upcoming one is simple enough for me to take in: It?s a huge difference surrounding the issue of showmanship that the 1945 film version had and was on all counts rather intriguing. So, I feel it?s best to simply accept the simple fact that the new version is nothing more than the usual realistic, graphic adult ploy that has become common. Anything relating to beautiful skillful filmmaking is something left to our past or a time when Hollywood had a method to take a racy story and give it some class. Imagination is something that is terribly missing these days. Everything is handed down to us on a raunchy platter. This leaves me to say I?m not accustomed to way things are done these days in the movies. I?m from the old Hollywood school and proud of it. If that makes me a bit old fashion, then so be it. I?ll stay content in my old world that while might be delusional or perhaps coy, it was a time that spoke in a certain wonderful way to make me see the world from a comfortable logical vantage point. Even if the real story behind Mildred Pierce isn?t as mild or compromising as was the original movie, at least I could leave the theater feeling good and knowing I experienced something creatively genuine.

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The book is excellent. Far more complex than Cain's murder stories, one could argue it's his best work. The crime novels are more my style; blunt, visceral and over before you have a chance to think about it. But MILDRED PIERCE features some fine prose, intricate characterizations and precise structure. It's a great book.

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One way or another, I don?t see the younger crowds finding any interest in a film that?s about 65 years old. It might make for a great example of classic Hollywood, but today?s generation of film goers and fans prefer a more realistic side to what they want to see in the movies and now on TV. It?s interesting that the whole James M. Cain novel will be serialized for television, instead of a full-length feature. Most likely, it was decided that a major motion picture release wouldn?t fare so well and perhaps this also adds to the huge difference between the original film version and this new attempt to once again bring the story of a struggling housewife to light. Already, there are those in press, looking for some sort of statement from actress Ann Blyth on her feelings over this matter. She is of course, the only remaining original motion picture (major) cast member to be alive. Her ?word of mouth? segment on TCM about the original film is one of my favorites. I like the idea that in Ann?s narrative, she discredits a lot of the ?Mommie Dearest? junk about Joan. Ann gives Joan a good amount of wonderful respect and rightly points out how important the film was to Joan and even her career. If anything might be said about the original ?Mildred Pierce,? it?s how it helped save the career of one big time movie star and aided in the discovery of a new one. I guess it?s no secret that I?ll stick with the original, come hell or high water. This new version will probably be a bit too depressing for me. I don?t need to be reminded from an intense graphic level of how hard life was those years so long ago; women in general, didn?t have it so easy in those days. Certainly, Joan was one gal that knew about and struggled around all the hard angles there were to life. This I feel is something that doesn?t seem to get mentioned or talked about. Sure, she was tough as nails and could be difficult, but she understood that leaving your guard down for one single moment could jeopardize a motion picture career. So let?s face it, after all that?s been said and written about Joan, she will remain the one and only real ?Mildred Pierce.? There can be no doubt that Joan and Mildred were one and the same. Film roles that are tailor made for somebody, don?t come around that often. Especially, if you know the movie star in question and how they lived their real life.

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