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Recasting and Rewriting the "Classics"


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As I was watching Remember the Night (1940) last night, I found myself thinking that the movie, with a few alterations, could be remade today, and still be a good movie. Here are some of the cast I’d pick and the rewrites I’d make.




John Sargent - George Clooney

Lee Leander - Mira Sorvino

Francis X. O'Leary (defense attorney) - Stephen Root or Nathan Lane

“Rufus” (see rewrite) - Nathan Lane or Stephen Root

Mrs. Sargent (John’s mother) - Dianne Wiest

Fat Mike - John Goodman




Rewrite and expand the Rufus character (John’s butler) to be something more like the brilliant Jeeves (à la Stephen Fry), and change the character's name.

Cut the Willie character. (Tough call, but I don’t see that the character adds much to the story.)


Part of what makes the original movie work for me was the combination of comedy and drama. Therefore, I would keep both elements and not make it into a full comedy, as the cast selections may imply.



Are there any “classics” that you would recast or rewrite?

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