As The Great Gatsby opens, here’s a Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes

Leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Baz Luhrmann will in Cannes as their new film “The Great Gatsby” opens the annual Cannes Film Festival.

The “Great Gatsby” movie is based on F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel and although the initial reviews have been somewhat lukewarm, Leonardo DiCaprio has been praised in the lead role as bootlegger Jay Gatsby. The Recordpress author studied “The Great Gatsby” in the sixth form for A Level English and as such I feel that the multifaceted novel lends itself to a film remake as it’s complexity and subtle nuances offer the opportunity of a different interpretation from the original 1974 film, which starred Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby and Mia Farrow as his love interest Daisy Buchanan.

“The Great Gatsby” is infact quite a depressing story, because essentially it is a tale about self delusion and self destruction. All the characters, bar Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway, are shallow, superficial, self regarding and selfish and ultimately a good heart doesn’t triumph over evil self-interest in the end.

“The Great Gatsby” is really a parable about the falsehood of the “American Dream” – Jay Gatsby achieves great wealth and affluence, but remains a nouveau riche outsider unable to penetrate the old money, bourgeois class, represented by Daisy and Tom Buchanan. In essence, the moral of the story in “The Great Gatsby” is that you can achieve the “American Dream”, but still not be respected and accepted and worse still, be left unhappy and unfulfilled!! At the end of the novel / film, you are left with a hollow, empty feeling…

There will always be a validity and place for for film remakes like “The Great Gatsby”, provided a different angle or interpretation is sought and achieved. Far too often the Hollywood film studios have simply re-cycled old films just to make a fast buck!! Hopefully “The Great Gatsby” remake will offer a fresh approach and something new, although ultimately we know that things will not end well for Jay Gatsby at the denouement of the film.

Hopefully Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the F Scott Fitzgerald novel will mean that “The Great Gatsby” remake will be regarded as worthwhile and join this Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes –

 

Top 5 Best Hollywood Film Remakes

 

1) The Italian Job ( 1969 & 2003 ). The original film, starring Michael Caine leading a bank heist in Rome with it’s iconic Mini Cooper car chase has taken on a cult status and as such is an almost impossible act to follow. However the remake works, because it offers a sequel that is only possible because of the open ended finale of the original film.

2) King Kong ( 1933 & 2005 ). The original black and white film can still stand it’s ground in terms of credibility and the remake works because a good storyline harnessed with the advances of CGI special effects take the story to another level in another century.

3) Thomas Crown Affair ( 1968 & 1999 ). The later version starring Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo stands up ok, provided you don’t compare it too closely with the original film, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway with it’s classic chess game seduction scene and wonderful film theme “Windmills Of Your Mind” by Noel Harrison.

4) Oceans Eleven ( 1960 & 2001 ). The two versions of the film are well matched; the original starring the “Brat Pack” – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Peter Lawford were almost peerless, but George Clooney and company created a great remake.

5) Scarface ( 1932 & 1983 ). Both films work because one is set in the era of the 1930s Depression, with it’s statutory gangster controlling the bootlegging market, whilst the 1980s Al Pacino remake is set in a world of cocaine dealing.

 

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