Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm like an ocean wave that's bumped on the shore


Remakes and the Contemporary Double Standard

I don't really know what I'd do without YouTube. I've discovered so many things and movies and movie stars through it. For example, I was watching movie clips and browsing through the suggestions list when I came upon this little gem:

I love Marge and Gower Champion. I actually discovered them originally through YouTube with this little number that I absolutely adore. Anyway, in watching the first clip, I remembered reading about Lovely to Look At (1952), which was a remake of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Roberta (1935), in a Fred and Ginger book where the author said that Marge and Gower Champion were "dizzy" as Fred and Ginger. I think that was the word she used: dizzy or dizzying or something. Anyhow, while watching this clip, I thought about that and found that I disagreed. I like them in those roles. They're different that Fred and Ginger and I don't think they're even trying to be Fred and Ginger. The whole plot is changed and characters are split and altered that they're really two different movies altogether.

Same song, Fred and Ginger style.

But. Were I watching a contemporary remake of Roberta and saw two contemporary actors dancing a dance that originated on screen with Fred and Ginger, I'd probably go out of my mind with frustration and judgment. Who do they think they are anyway? The upstarts! Trying to be Fred and Ginger?! Sickening!

What's funny to me is that there are tons of remakes that Hollywood churned out, some not even twenty years after the original (like in the case of these two movies). So why the Double Standard? I know I've discussed this before but it really fascinates me. I mean, some remakes I prefer to the originals (like in the case of Silk Stockings/Ninotchka). I don't think I have an answer for this question; it's just something I like to muse over. Your thoughts?

**I should clarify: I don't like Lovely to Look At better than Roberta. I'm just saying that some of the old remakes are so good that I like them just as much, if not better than the originals.


  1. I guess I'd probably agree that in some cases I may like the remake better than the original, but I can't think of an example - I'm sure it really just depends. In this case I'll take Fred and Ginger ANY day. ANY day.

  2. I would say the double standard comes in because Classic Hollywood fans hold that period in films to a different level. A modern remake wouldnt have that something special that sets the older films apart, where as the remake made during that time would. Those are my thoughts anyways.


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