The history of American movies includes films that were much better than their remakes, both in terms of the box office and the opinions of critics. Among the best known is “Scent of a Women,” released in 1992, and starring Al Pacino. An obscure version was released in 1974. Another, “Lassie,” a famous TV show about a dog, was turned into a movie in 1994 and then again in 2005.
First movies are road tests for remakes. If the first version does well, so too should the second. And, movies that are released decades apart are aimed at different generations. Finally, characters have already been developed and do not have to be reinvented.
To determine the movie remake that was better than the original, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on Internet Movie Database rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. Index scores for remake movies were compared to those of the original films.
The movie remake that was better than the original was “The Maltese Falcon” released in 1941. Here are the details:
> Directed by: John Huston
> Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
> Original movie: The Maltese Falcon (1931)
> Difference in index score: 0.86
The original “The Maltese Falcon” was a critically praised movie. Its remake, “The Maltese Falcon,” released just 10 years later, was not only better but it was considered the first major film noir. The 1941 version still holds a perfect Freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes. In both movies, a private detective takes a case and gets caught up in the mystery of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.
Methodology: To determine the movie remake that is better than the original, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on several measures from the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes. The index is a composite of each movie’s IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. All ratings were weighted equally. Index scores for remake movies were compared to those of the original films. Supplemental data on domestic box office and production budgets by movie came from industry data site The Numbers.