Second Time’s A Charm?


2013 has been dubbed the year of the sequel (The Hangover Part 3, Fast and Furious 6) and the remake (Carrie, Point Break) and that’s before we mention the prequels and re-releases.

Is there anything original out there this year? Does it matter anyway? 50 remakes may be rumoured to be in the pipeline for 2013 but this phenomenon of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” isn’t new.

There’s a lot to be said for “re-viewing” films and rather than looking forward to this year’s remakes, why not look back at 5 films made for English-speaking film-goer which have non-English language originals. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with piecing back together the scraps from the cutting room floor and re-casting, re-locating and re-twisting the plot of great films. Or is there? Watch these remakes and originals and you decide…

Vanilla Sky

2001 American Sci-fi directed, co-produced and co-written by Cameron Crowe and starring Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz


Abre los Ojos

The 1997 original co-written and directed by Mateo Gil and also starring Penélope Cruz as Sofía, the same character she plays in Vanilla Sky

Both films deal with the theme of cryonics. The protagonist struggles to deal with having been severely disfigured in a near fatal car accident and is cryogenically preserved to live a virtual reality existence in which the boundaries between reality and dreams are blurred.

And God Created Woman

1988, a second version of the French original directed by Roger Vadim and starring Rebecca de Mornay


Et Dieu Crea La Femme

1956 French drama also directed by Roger Vadim and starring Brigitte Bardot

The temptress protagonist sends the men she meets into a sexual frenzy and they vie for her attention!

City of Angels

1998 American romantic drama directed by Brad Siberling and starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan


Der Himmel über Berlin

1987 Franco-German romantic fantasy film set in Berlin and directed by Wim Wenders

Exploring the idea that angels watch over humans who are close to death and guide them to the next life.

Scent of a Woman

1992, Al Pacino is directed by Martin Brest


Profumo di Donna

1974, Italy, directed by Dino Risi, the protagonist was played by Vittorio Gassman

Telling the story of the friendship that exists between a young man and an irascible blind ex-army officer who claims he can detect a beautiful woman only by her scent.

Let Me In

2010 American romantic horror filmwritten and directed by Matt Reeves and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz


Låt den rätte komma in

2008 Swedish film directed by Tomas Alfredson

It tells the story of a friendship which develops between a 12-year-old boy who is being bullied and a vampire child in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the early 1980s.

Shall We Dance?

2004 American film directed by Peter Chelsom and starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon


The 1996 Japanese film of the same title, written and directed by Masayuki Suo. Its title refers to the song, “Shall We Dance?” which comes from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I.

A married middle-aged man’s quest to get to know a dancer better leads him to take up dance lessons.

The Departed

2006 American crime thriller from Martin Scorsese The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg and won four Oscars


Infernal Affairs

The 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller film directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak

Two men are undercover for the police with the Irish mafia and a Chinese triad in the Hong Kong version. The films reach a climax as identities are discovered and blood is shed.



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