Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks-Movies Adapted from Movies of a Different Language


Hollywood loves to remake movies from original foreign films and most people think they are brand new. The, arguably, most famous is The Magnificent Seven which is a remake of the Japanese film The Seven Samurai. It will be fun to see which film will be chosen so head on over to the brain child of this series, Wandering Through The Shelves, to find out. Here are my 3....

1. ALGIERS-1938


This film was a remake of Pepe Le Moko, a 1937 French film starring hubba hubba Jean Gavin, about a Jewel thief who can’t leave the Casbah or he will be arrested. This film introduced Hedy (not Hedley) Lamarr as the Parisian beauty who wears major jewelry while traipsing through The Casbah Lost as a little lamb. Who should find her but Charles Boyer, with the bedroom eyes, who falls for her rocks and her. It's quite the romance flick that makes me giggle but I can watch the old movies that are about romance. I am flickering my eyelashes quickly as I wrote this. Oh and Boyer's version of Pepe Le Moko was the inspiration for one of my all time favourite characters, Pepe Le Pew

2. A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS-1964


I love the spaghetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood with this film being the first to star him as the man with no name. He comes to a small town where 2 families are warring between each other. Clint baby devises an ingenious plan to double-cross both and get rich in the process. This is a remake of another Kuwasawa film called Yojimbo also starring Toshiro Mifune-Kuwasawa was the director and Mifune the star of The Seven Samuraii that was remade into The Magnificent Seven. I love westerns and this is a great western which I know many would enjoy.

3. THE BIRDCAGE-1996


I love this movie which stars Robin Williams as a gay business owner of a Cabaret transvestite club in South Beach, Miami and his partner, of many years, is the star of the show played to the hilt by Nathan Lane. Williams’ character slept with a woman, once, resulting in a child which he and Lane raised. The kid falls in love when at school and wants to marry her. The problem is that her parents are prudish to say the least and her dad is a senator who is very...very right wing and opposes all that Williams and Lane's characters stand for. To say this is funny, is an understatement as I laughed like hell especially the scene stealing Hank Azaria as their houseboy who has a problem with shoes. I never thought I would see a more uglier woman than Gene Hackman. This film was inspired by the hit French film, La Cage Aux Folles which I want to see in Toronto starring Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares fame) in the Williams role.

What films would you choose?

a special extra...



52 comments:

  1. I guess I really don't know a lot about movies because I didn't know about the magnificent 7. Cool fact. I like those Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. But I haven't seen Tangiers. I've said it before but I guess I need to watch a bunch of movies. Happy Thursday. hugs-Erika

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    1. I doubt most people know about remakes of movies. Maybe, one day, it’s rainy and you feel icky, you will have a movie go

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  2. Don't think I have seen any of these all the way through. My first thought was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The American version was so bad I couldn't sit through it. Loved the books and the Swedish films.

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    1. Oh wow, I love the version of the Dragon Tatoo but I haven’t seen the original.

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  3. Hi, Birgit!

    As you mentioned in your text and as illustrated in the cartoon clips you posted at the end, Algiers flashes Boomers like me back to our youth, not because we watched the film, but because it was often referenced by my favorite skunk cartoon character from Looney Tunes. As Wiki explains, << In some part, the lampoon of Boyer spread owing to its use by Looney Tunes cartoon character Pepé Le Pew, himself a spoof of Boyer as Pépé le Moko. The amorous skunk used "Come with me to ze Casbah" as a pickup line. In 1954, the Looney Tunes cartoon The Cat's Bah which specifically spoofed Algiers, the skunk enthusiastically declared to Penelope the Cat, "Do not come with me to ze Casbah … We are already here!" >>

    I am not a fan of spaghetti westerns or Clint Eastwood, and therefore I didn't see Fistful of Dollars. However, I recently watched The Birdcage with Mrs. Shady. Nathan Lane was brilliant in the film and continues to crack me up in his recurring role on the hit TV series Modern Family. One of my favorite scenes from the show was the time he revealed his fear of the great outdoors. He panicked, claiming he and his friends were lost in the wilderness. He was quickly reminded that he was safe because they were merely walking across a golf course.

    Have a happy Thursday, dear friend BB!

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    1. I’m glad you,like the Birdcage and Nathan Lane became famous from this role. I don’t think he is inModern Family though, I think you are thinking about Eric Stonestreet. Modern Family is hilarious and one I would love to watch more of

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    2. Yessum, Nathan Lane has been on Modern Family for years in the recurring role of Pepper Saltzman:

      https://modernfamily.fandom.com/wiki/Pepper_Saltzman

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    3. That tells you how few episodes I actually have seen🤪

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  4. I agree with Denise, although I thought the American version was all right. But the foreign one was better.
    The original Let the Right One In was also better.

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    1. I have to see the original version of Tattoo but I like the one with Craig and Mara

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  5. La Cage Aux Folles was also a wonderful musical, which I’ve seen on stage.

    Three Men And A Baby was also based on a French film. I hadn’t known that about the idea for Pepe Le Pew!
    I’ll watch anything with Hedy(not Hedley) Lamarr. Not only a beautiful woman and fine actress but a brilliant inventor!

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    1. I saw it on stage as well which was so funny. Hedy was brilliant and I spoke about her a while back. If it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t have GPS, Cell Phones etc...

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  6. My husband loves those Fistful of films but I've never watched them with him. The only one of yours I've seen this week is The Birdcage and that movie is so fun.

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    1. You have to love westerns and I do plus I love Clint Eastwood and John Wayne who was never in those spaghetti westerns. I love The Birdcage and if you can ever see La Cage in the theatre, you need to see it.

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  7. Funny how this happens more times than we realize.

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  8. Faux Paw, one of our seventeen year old cats looks like Pepe's girlfriend. Love that skunk:)
    I thought Birdcage was hilarious. All the actors did an amazing job especially Hackman and Williams.
    YOU have a wonderful, pain free day.

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    1. Hahahaaaa....who doesn’t love Pepe:). Very sweet that your cat looked like Les Mew. It was and is so funny

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  9. I didn’t know A Fistful of Dollars was a remake. I think I’ve seen some bits and pieces of it but I’m not sure. I did see The Magnificent Seven and it was magnificent!

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    1. Yup, it is a remake but never saw the original. You are right about the Seven

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  10. Hi Birgit - I've never seen those and certainly never realised the Clint Eastwood one was a remake of a Japanese one. The only one I can think of is 'RAN' - the plot deriving from King Lear, Shakespeare ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I have never seen Ran but there are many films done on Hamlet

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  11. I've only seen A Fistful of Dollars out of your choices. I know I've seen a lot of films of this nature. Often I'm kind of let down if I've seen the original first.

    One film like that was Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise which was a remake of Abre los Ojos from Spain. The remake was very good, but just didn't impact me like the original. However I've watched it a couple times since and like it much better now.

    City of Angels (Nicholas Cage & Meg Ryan) was entertaining enough though not aspiring to the artistic genius of Wim Wenders original Wings of Desire.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I haven’t seen your picks even though Vanilla Sky has been on tv more than once...it just didn’t appeal to me even though I like Penelope Cruz. I love the song sung by Alannis Morissette. I never can get into Nicholas Cage as a romantic person, angel or no angel but maybe one day. The original sounds excellent

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  12. Birgit,

    What an interesting theme! I did not this about 'A Fistful of Dollars'. I, too love those old Eastwood, the man with no name, western films. We saw 'Birdcage' years ago and while I like Robin Williams this movie wasn't one of my favorites. Your first pick is an introduction. I can't think of any titles that fall into this category. Pepe le Pew is always a good one! I love those old Looney Toon characters. :)

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    1. The Westerns with Clint Eastwood are so great and I still wish he would make another even though he is over 80. Oh bummer to The Birdcage which I love especially when the parents meet.

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  13. BIRGIT ~
    Your commentary on 'ALGIERS' has got me very intrigued about it now. I need to see that one!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. It’s actually quite good making the women swoon for Boyer with the bedroom eyes and me go GaGa for Hedy who was quite good in her role.

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  14. Great movies, all! ☺ I did not know about the Japanese connection with A Fistful of Dollars, but am familiar with the others. And I loved Pepe le Pew as a kid. A good one for this category is Scent of a Woman (1992), which is a remake of an Italian film, Profumo Di Donna, from 1974.

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    1. Who doesn’t love Pepe! I didn’t know that movie was a remake. I am ok with the movie even though Pacino got on my nerves in this film and I hate the title

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  15. Now that I'm thinking about it, I do know quite a few films that are based on foreign films. I had forgotten about The Birdcage (saw it in the theater when it was first released). I don't know which films I'd pick, though.

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    1. I found out today that Some Like it Hot is. Remake

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  16. Hmm... my first thought was Fistful of Dollars but you got that one. Does Roxanne count? Based on a French play with numerous film versions? With that you can go the other way: Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, based on Macbeth.

    Star Wars! Of course! Based largely on Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress. Lots of Yojimbo elements in the saga, too.

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    1. Wow! I didn’t know it was based on Hidden Fortress!! You know, Kurosawa could have made tons if he asked for a percentage of the profits of the films that were remade from his originals.

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  17. 2 out of 3 this time. Never liked The Birdcage much, but then I watched it as a kid, and my taste kinda sucked back then sometimes.

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    1. You might like it better if you give it a try again....maybe.

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  18. Have yet to see Birdcage, alas. My pick is Scorsese's The Departed, a remake of the Hong Kong flick Infernal Affairs. A near-unbeatable cast anchored by DiCaprio's career-best performance.

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  19. Love your picks!

    Algiers relies on Boyer and Hedy's charms to sustain it but they do so very well. Have you ever seen the semi-musical remake Casbah with Tony Martin (EGADS) in the Boyer role, the ill-fated Marta Toren in Hedy's and Yvonne de Carlo wasted in a small part. It's a hooty mess.

    Fistful of Dollars is one of Clint's better spaghetti Westerns and The Birdcage just a hilarious ripper of a comedy with a dream cast.

    I focused on French films this time with three classics transposed with varying degrees of success.

    The 13th Letter (1951)-A study of the insidious damage suspicion can cause as a series of poison pen letters threatens to destroy a small Quebec town. Otto Preminger directs this atmospheric remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1943 film Le Corbeau with an excellent cast headed by Linda Darnell and Charles Boyer.

    Human Desire (1954)-When the boorish Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford) is fired from the railroad he persuades his sexpot wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) to go see his boss to try and get his job back. She acquiesces and is successful but Carl becomes convinced that she is now having an affair with the man and murders him. Fed up with his loutish ways Vicki ensnares Jeff (Glenn Ford), one of Carl’s co-workers, in a plot to murder him. Darkness ensues. Fritz Lang directs this remake of the 1938 Jean Renoir film La Bête Humaine with his usual hard eyed view.

    Diabolique (1996)-A pious Catholic schoolmistress (Isabelle Adjani) with a horribly abusive husband (Chazz Palminteri) joins forces with her husband’s mistress (Sharon Stone), a fellow teacher at the school and equally abused by the man to murder him and free themselves of his tyranny. They carry out the crime and dispose of his body in the school’s unused swimming pool. But when the pool is drained no body is present. What is going on? An adequate but disappointing redo of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s masterful classic-1955 Les Diaboliques with Simone Signoret and Vera Clouzet. You’d do better to track down the 70’s TV version “Reflections of Murder” with Joan Hackett and Tuesday Weld. It’s much better.

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    1. Glad you like my picks and I almost chose Diabolique but I dislike that Sharon Stone version and had recalled seeing a great version when I was much younger and you mention it here! I had forgotten that I had seen the TV version. They made a lot of great TV movies back then. I haven’t seen your other 2 Picks but love Linda Darnell so love to see that...well, both actually.

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    2. You know my love for Linda Darnell is bottomless so I'm always happy to hear of other fans. She was so underappreciated in her day and while she has become more admired since her passing she deserves to be better known outside of noir circles.

      I've finally managed to see all her films excepting the Holy Grail Italian film Angels of Darkness which beside Linda has Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina and Valentina Cortese in the cast so its unavailability really puzzles me.

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    3. I always loved her and thought she was beautiful but I have seen so few of her films. The film you mention surprises me that it is not more known and not easily available.

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    4. I was going to give you a list of her films that are the worth seeing, of course her presence made them all must sees for me! :-), but thought it might be easier to give you this link to a ranking I made of her films on Letterboxd:

      https://letterboxd.com/joelnox/list/ranking-linda-darnell/

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  20. I've never seen any of these, but I have heard of Fistful of Dollars. I seem to have very limited knowledge of films, especially those older than I. Loved your synopses, though, as usual. They make the film interesting by what you write and your knowledge of the film.

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    1. Oh,..I was hoping you would have seen The Birdcage which is very funny. I am enjoying your weekly movie reviews and always, thank you, for the shout out.

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  21. I never got into the spaghetti westerns, but I do like Eastwood:)
    Happy Birthday to the hubby:) Hope it's purrfectly marvelous.

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  22. "The Birdcage" was hysterical. I really enjoyed Robin Williams' performance.

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  23. I didn't see Algiers, but looks like something I'd enjoy.
    YOU have a great day:)

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  25. I haven't seen any of your picks but the Birdcage sounds fun.

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  26. I haven't watched the Birdcage in so long. Now I need to scratch that itch soon. Had no idea about the Magnificent Seven.

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  27. i have watched old movies of Hollywood like i tough wtf was this . Hollywood now is totally changed

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