Five remakes that were better than the original


Remakes have a tendency to not live up to their original source material. The Ocelot is all too familiar with this fact. Whether it’s film to television remakes/adaptations or vice versa, it’s sometimes best to just leave original ideas alone. But as we’ve talked about before, there are some remakes that do manage to meet and even exceed expectations. The movie Serenity satisfyingly tied up the loose ends of Joss Whedon’s doomed cult hit television series Firefly. The series Lethal Weapon proved to be a success even without the big stars of the original movie franchise. Here are more remakes that have lived up to, and in some cases even exceeded the original source material.


Yes, the now classic 1983 film is actually a remake of 1932’s Scarface, widely regarded as one of the most influential gangster movies of all time. The original was made during the brief time when sound was being introduced to film, and the Motion Picture Code hadn’t yet stepped in to take over censorship of the industry. The result was one of the earliest movies ever accused of glorifying mob violence. No wonder Brian de Palma saw it fit to be used as inspiration for what would eventually be one of the most iconic 80s gangster classics of all time, flinging Al Pacino to even higher levels of stardom.

True Grit

The 1969 movie True Grit starring the legendary John Wayne was a classic humorous, action-packed western blockbuster. As opposed to revisionist westerns, which subvert the good versus evil dynamic with nuanced story lines, the movie was a throwback to the old school, straightforward early 1930s tradition of wild western films. The 2010 remake of the same name is a Coen brothers-directed masterpiece that some call a revisionist-revisionist western. Being more faithful to the book on which the story is based, 2010’s True Grit takes on the consequences of revenge with a nuanced approach – all while taking a classical and formative approach as evidenced by its brilliant cinematography. Let’s just say that it’s the version that truly lives up to the movie’s name.

The Fly

1950’s The Fly, based on a book by George Langelaan, was a comment on finding the humanity underneath the horror. Meanwhile, David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake took that concept and turned it inside-out, giving the director a chance to take the “body horror” sub-genre to new, visceral heights. As an added bonus, the newer version stars the iconic Jeff Goldblum as the hopeful scientist whose experiments with teleportation lead to blood curdling results. A must-see for fans of gore, sci-fi, and Cronenberg’s signature filmmaking style.

Ocean’s 11

First of all, the original Ocean’s 11 starring the iconic Rat Pack – led by Frank Sinatra – is a classic that should definitely be seen by anyone who loves heist movies, or even crime movies in general. It’s just that the 2001 remake takes the original concept and fully blows it up with everything that early 2000s Hollywood could offer. There are several reasons why 2001’s Ocean’s 11 is considered by many to be one of the greatest gambling films of all time. Not only did it cast a ridiculous amount of A-list actors including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Bernie Mac, it was also directed by film auteur Steven Soderbergh. In this case, we highly recommend seeing both the original and the remake.

Little Shop of Horrors

1960’s Little Shop of Horrors was a low-budget black comedy B-movie about a florist and his flesh-eating plant which develops a taste for humans. It was rehashed into a musical in the 80s, and in ‘86 was completely revamped into a classic American rock-comedy musical film. We won’t reveal anymore about this 1986 classic – for best results, just watch it yourself.