15 Movies That Need To Be Remade

Remakes are a fascinating part of the film industry. Some moviegoers are staunchly against them, while others love to see new and updated versions of their favorite movies. More often than not, most lie somewhere in the middle. However the notion that films should never be remade proves to be a short-sighted notion.

Often, a remake, such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), will improve upon the original. Other times, it will give viewers a different experience that doesn’t take away from the first film, such as You’ve Got Mail (1998), which updated The Shop Around the Corner (1940). Many viewers enjoy some remakes, despise others, feel some movies are sacred, and that filmmakers could explore other stories again. The movies that fall into the latter category deserve remakes not to degrade the original film but instead offer something fresh and exciting.

1. War Games (1983)

War Games (1983)
Image Credit: MGM/UA Entertainment Company.


Remakes should always feel justified and purposeful. A remake of 1983’s War Games would meet that criteria. In that movie, a teenage boy inadvertently infiltrates a military computer system. He begins playing a simulated war game between the United States and Russia- or so he thinks. In truth, he’s tapped into a nuclear war control center where the game’s outcome could have catastrophic consequences.

Considering how far technology and computers have advanced since the 80s, it feels natural to revisit this premise in another film. Moreover, a War Games remake would focus on the advancements and possible horrifying ramifications of Artificial Intelligence that permeate today’s society.

2. Roman Holiday (1953)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.


Although it may feel sacrilegious to consider remaking an Audrey Hepburn classic like Roman Holiday, one should remember another Hepburn remake that turned out beautifully: Sabrina. Another Roman Holiday could be just as lovely with a talented director at the helm and the right actors.

The film could be set in the 1950s like the original or be present-day to offer something different. Regardless of the chosen period, a remake could showcase locations in Rome with more grandeur and scope than what filmmakers could accomplish in 1953- and they could do so in color. The premise remains appealing and relevant if Hallmark movies have taught us anything.

3. Ball of Fire (1941)

Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.


Ball of Fire follows a dancer and gangster’s girlfriend who alludes to the police by hiding out in the home of a shy professor compiling an encyclopedia about slang with a group of fellow intellectuals. There, she helps them break out of their shells while they help her realize what she deserves out of life.

A remake of Ball of Fire could be fun and has so much potential. Whether filmmakers choose a period or contemporary setting, the plot would not need many changes. The fun would be seeing the story through another director’s eyes and in the hands of other performers. Actors like Scarlett Johansson and Jude Law could brilliantly step into the roles played by Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper.

4. 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution.


At its release, fans and critics considered 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea an incredible achievement in visual effects and storytelling. Indeed, few today can deny that even with outdated effects, the film still holds up well. That said, seeing another version of the Jules Verne classic would be most welcome. Astonishingly, no one has thought to tackle this movie a second time in a big feature film (TV movies were made), even though CGI and practical effects have come a long way since 1954. Moreover, filming in more locations than the original could add rich and tremendous scope to the film.

5. Double Indemnity (1944)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures and MPTV/mptvimages.com.


Attempting a straight remake with a revered noir film like Double Indemnity would prove useless. It would bring nothing new to the table. However, making the story contemporary could result in a terrific modern neo-noir film that directors like Joel and Cohen or Shane Black could tackle. The plot involves a cold femme fatale who convinces an insurance man to help murder her husband. The themes of greed, lust, and betrayal still reside in modern society and cinema, making Double Indemnity an apt choice.

6. The Apartment (1960)

Image Credit: United Artists.


The Apartment may be from 1960, but its story, characters, and themes feel timeless. The plot centers on an insurance man looking to rise in his company. To score points with the company executives, he lets them use his apartment for liaisons. However, when he goes home and finds a woman near death (having attempted to take her own life), his mentality changes.

Remaking The Apartment feels like a no-brainer. It likely has yet to be attempted because competing with director Billy Wilder and actors Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray seems pointless. However, a modern version of this film would not try to improve the original. Instead, it would give audiences another version to love without the limitations of the past in terms of subject matter. A remake could be just as poignant but darker, more provocative, and intriguing.

7. Sixteen Candles (1984)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox and The Kobal Collection.


Nostalgia can be a powerful thing. As Disney’s live-action remakes have taught us, nostalgia and name recognition can result in box-office gold. The premise of Sixteen Candles remains relevant and would make for a fun remake. In the movie, a shy teenage girl feels hurt that her family has forgotten her 16th birthday during the commotion of her sister’s wedding. Meanwhile, adolescent pangs abound as she feels invisible to her crush and must stave off the attention of a sweet but painfully awkward classmate.

As much as fans love Sixteen Candles, even its most prominent defenders will admit that the film has just as many problematic aspects as virtues. From passing around an inebriated, defenseless girl like a joke to the use of offensive Asian stereotypes, amongst other issues, a Sixteen Candles remake could give audiences an equally fun movie that eliminates its worst moments.

8. To Catch a Thief (1955)


Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.


Historically speaking, remaking Hitchcock films has not gone well. From the TV movie Rear Window (1998) to the pointless shot-for-shot remake of Psycho (1998) by Gus Van Sant, these remakes showcase a lack of creativity and quality. However, that does not mean every film by the esteemed director should be off-limits. Even Hitchcock remade one of his films: The Man Who Knew Too Much.

To Catch a Thief would make an excellent choice to explore again because the premise remains relevant. The story follows a former jewel thief who must prove he’s not guilty of a slew of thefts as he meets and falls for the next potential victim. Set in the French Riviera, this remake could be period or contemporary because the setting and costumes would likely feel ageless. Just imagine George Clooney and Julia Roberts stepping into the parts originated by Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. What a tantalizing and appealing possibility!

9. All About Eve (1950)

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.


All About Eve tells the story of renowned actress Margo Channing and the young ingenue Eve Harrington, who looks up and aspires to be just like her. As Eve ingratiates herself into Margo’s world, the seemingly sweet girl shows her true colors as she climbs the acting and social ladder. It remains a mystery why no one has remade this movie. Perhaps its status as one of the greatest films ever has something to do with it. Still, In the proper hands, All About Eve has juicy material that directors and actors could explore with depth and passion.

10. Nancy Drew Series (1938-1939)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.


Many viewers may scoff at the idea of a Nancy Drew remake because of the existence of the films from 2007 and 2019, as well as the television shows from 1977, 1995, and 2019. However, each of those featured contemporary stories. While the original Nancy Drew films did as well, they were released only eight years after their first publication.

Despite many iterations, the Nancy Drew character and series deserve another remake. Set the story during the 30s, adapt one of the countless books to choose from, and incorporate the tone and humor of the original films with a slightly modern twist. A period Nancy Drew film with the same color and panache as the series Agent Carter would be fantastic.

11. Gidget (1959)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.


Inspired by author Frederick Kohner’s daughter and her experiences with the surf culture in Malibu, California, Gidget got a light and engaging feature film in 1959. Two sequels and a TV show followed. With no remake of the original story, Gidget deserves another big-screen adaptation. Francis Ford Coppola tried, but it never fully came to fruition.

The 1959 film may be delightful, but surfing can be filmed in superior ways today, as seen in movies like Blue Crush and Chasing Mavericks. Fans can still love and admire the original and admit that cinematic capabilities have come leaps and bounds. Set the film in the 1950s or 60s, but feature visuals worthy of its subject matter.

12. Midnight Lace (1960)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.


Much like horror film remakes, Midnight Lace could be remade with updated technology and sensibilities while retaining the same basic premise. This movie follows a woman living in London with her new husband. She begins receiving threatening phone calls from a man with a frightening voice- but with only her word for it, those closest to her start to doubt her sanity.

Given how cell phones work today, the premise may come across as outdated or implausible. However, the existence of untraceable burner phones should squash those doubts. Moreover, filmmakers could always make it a period film. Either way, Midnight Lace has the creepy and mysterious atmosphere audiences still love and meaty material actors would love to sink their teeth into.

13. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.


Here Comes Mr. Jordan could follow in the footsteps of A Star is Born (1932, 1937, 1954, 1976, 2018) because it already has a remake: Heaven Can Wait from 1978. Like each version of A Star is Born, Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Heaven Can Wait follow the same basic plot but set it in their particular time.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Heaven Can Wait (1978) center on men who die before their time. Given a second chance at life, their souls go into the bodies of recently murdered wealthy men. An updated version could be set in and reflect the present day but plot-wise and thematically follow in their predecessor’s footsteps. After all, themes about second chances, charity, and goodwill never go out of style.

14. Charade (1963)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.


Murder mysteries, espionage, conspiracy, and romance remain apt subject matter for contemporary films. No one could ever replicate the unique, memorable screen presence of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Still, like any other classic movie remake, it does not have to compete with the original. Like The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and You’ve Got Mail (1998), a remake of Charade would bring the story into a 21st-century world.

In the film, a widow discovers her husband kept many secrets from her, including stealing money during WWII. As his fellow thieves pursue her, she receives help from a charming stranger with secrets of his own.

Stories like Charade never age, no matter the setting. They can easily bring the film into the modern day and still include the same settings and plot points, adding their own unique elements and style.

15. Shane (1953)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.


Western remakes such as True Grit (2010) and 3:10 to Yuma (2007) prove that talented collaborators can update the genre brilliantly. Rife with possibilities, Shane centers on a gunslinger who rides into a Wyoming town, hoping to settle down to a simpler, peaceful life. He befriends a family and becomes a mentor to a young boy, but his past catches up to him as ruthless men threaten people’s land and homes.

Like other Western remakes, a contemporary Shane could include violence, language, and other things censors did not allow in 1953. Though not necessary to tell a good story, these additions would justify the film’s existence and give fans another version of an engaging story to sit alongside the classic movie.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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