On UKTV Drama tonight at 11.15pm
How many non-American movies can you think of that have been remade for US audiences in recent years?
The Omen (if you like the original, you might want to come back here on Tuesday)
That’s just a handful. Since none of the remakes have been better than the originals, I personally can’t see the point, but it seems that Americans can’t or won’t watch a movie if their country isn’t reflected in it.
Tonight’s classic British movie hasn’t been Americanised yet, but it almost was – first time around. When Columbia bought the rights to playwright Willy Russell’s stage play they initially suggested it be set in the US. Luckily that didn’t happen. Then they suggested that it at least feature somebody American for one of the key roles. Fortunately, that didn’t happen either because director Lewis Gilbert was already busy securing Caine and Walters for the leads. Phew.
Mind you, Columbia did actually suggest a specific American star for the Rita role. If you don’t know who it was, click here. This superstar can do no wrong in my eyes, but even I can see how wrong this would have been.
So, the next question is how many great British movies remain untouched by interfering US hands? Here are some I’ve come up with:
Withnail & I (you might want to come back here on Wednesday)