The creepy 50’s sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers was the perfect movie to capture the zeitgeist of McCarthyism. Philip Kaufman’s 70’s remake didn’t have quite a parallel in the time of its release, but it did have a crackling script and terrific performances from Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum. We even get Leonard Nimoy during his groovy “In Search Of” phase! The film was remade twice more, by Abel Ferrara in 1993’s creepy Body Snatchers, and in 2007, in the not-so-creepy The Invasion.
Scarface hasn’t aged well. The soundtrack is cheesy, the script is bordering on ridiculous, and Pacino’s performance is… overwrought… at best. But man, I love it. It’s often stupid, but it’s never boring. It also changes the storyline liberally from it’s 1932 predecessor, directed by Howard Hawks. Despite this, or perhaps thanks to it, the film quickly stepped out of the original’s shadow into bonefide classic territory. It’s classic many film fans scratch their heads at, but a classic never the less. “I told you a long time ago, you f*cking little monkey, not to f*ck me!” Poetry!
Many filmmakers have taken a stab at remaking a Hitchcock film, and it usually ends poorly. Andrew Davis’ A Perfect Murder, a remake of Hitch’s Dial “M” For Murder, is actually pretty decent, but it’s an uphill battle for most. It only stands to reason then, that the least disputed victory among those trying to remake Hitchcock came at the hands on the master himself, with his 1956 remake of his own 1934 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. The original isn’t shabby at all, but the remake benefits from having a huge star (Jimmy Stewart) in the lead, and a more seasoned and experienced Hitchcock at the helm. The riveting climax remains one of Hitchcock’s best, and that’s saying something.