5 Old Movies That Actually Should Be Remade

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posterBy Adam Wenger

Afraid of risk and happy to continuously mine the past, Hollywood has become remake happy. But rarely do the studios redo movies that actually should be remade. Another Spider-Man? No thank you. A Michael Bay adulterated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Cowabunga-no. What Hollywood needs to do is remake old films that are either forgotten or had promise but failed to deliver. Here are five that deserve another chance.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

The world's greatest video game franchise spawned one of the most bizarre, disappointing movies of the '90s. A critical and commercial disaster, Super Mario Bros. flushed away the hopes and dreams of a built-in fanbase.


Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, hated the movie. He told The Guardian in a 2011 interview that Super Mario Bros. was the biggest disappointment of his life, the worst job he's ever done, and the one thing he would like to edit from his past. John Leguizamo, who played Luigi, wrote in his 2007 autobiography that he and Hoskins repeatedly got drunk on set in order to alleviate the pain associated with filming.

It's time the classic video game got a second chance on the big screen. Personal nostalgia notwithstanding, the Italian plumbers remain culturally relevant, and commercially viable. Case in point: Nintendo's best-selling Wii U game of 2014 is Super Mario Bros. U, while three of the top five best-selling Nintendo 3DS games are Mario-related titles.

Fun fact: You can watch the entire 1993 movie on YouTube.

1984 (1984)

George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece has inspired a slew of post-apocalyptic screenplays. Yet 1984 hasn't had a big screen adaptation in 30 years. The British film that fittingly came out in 1984 is wonderfully underrated. It's also dated and due for a big-budget makeover.

Thanks to the NSA's omnipresent web of surveillance, Orwell's vision of Big Brother becomes more prescient by the day. The book, originally published in 1949, is currently the 65th best-selling novel (and No. 1 satire) on Amazon. What's Hollywood waiting for?

Fun fact: The film's hero, Winston Smith, is played by British actor John Hurt, who ironically stars as the sinister Big Brother-like High Chancellor in V for Vendetta.

The Long Goodbye (1973)

In 1973, Elliot Gould (a.k.a. Ross' dad in Friends) starred in a very strange adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye. It's not a bad movie by any stretch. It's just nothing like the actual novel. Given over 125,000 words of a best-selling, critically-acclaimed book to work with, director Robert Altman chose to deviate wildly from the source material, creating a neo-noir, '70s satire, that left fans of the novel bemused, if not angry.

It's been ages since Hollywood gave us great noir. So long that, when the last excellent entry, LA Confidential, hit theaters, just one in five Americans used the Internet. The year was 1997.

For an industry that's seemingly terrified of risk, The Long Goodbye offers Hollywood a gripping, brooding story that's proven to entertain, and deserving of another big screen go.

Fun fact: A shirtless Arnold Schwarzenegger has a bit role in the film.

Troy (2004)

Epic battles. Swordplay. Seduction. Peter O'Toole's eyes. Brad Pitt's hair. Troy, based on Homer's The Iliad, should have been the Greek mythology version of Gladiator -- an arresting celebration of stylized, testosterone-packed drama. Instead it was overblown, overlong (163 minutes, to be exact) and filled with clichés.

All that potential, wasted. But that's okay because Hollywood champions the second chance. Or in the case of The Three Musketeers, a few dozen chances...but I digress. Of Hollywood's myriad fantasy-adventure failures (think: Clash of the Titans, Beowulf, King Arthur) only Troy deserves a proper do over. Why? Because if the Coen brothers could turn Homer's Odyssey into a brilliant, quasi folk musical, surely someone can do The Iliad justice.

Fun fact: The director's cut is 196 minutes long, if you were looking to torture yourself.

The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)

Based off the wildly successful children's book of the same name, The Indian in the Cupboard nevertheless flopped at the box office. Not because it was misunderstood, but because it was bad. Mediocre special effects and racist stereotypes weren't enough to distract from canned dialogue and bad child acting. But the story itself is the stuff of every kid's dream: put your toys in a cupboard and watch them magically come to life! What little boy wouldn't instantly trade every dime in his piggy bank for that ability?

Fun fact: The film was directed by Frank Oz, better known as the voice of Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster and Yoda.

Honorable mentions: Any Zack Snyder movie, the Star Wars prequels, and Hercules in New York.