Movie Remakes, as Easy as 1-2-3

Imagine “Citizen Kane” reborn as the story of a ruthless Internet mogul driven by the childhood loss of his Speak & Spell, nicknamed Rosebud.

Okay, sounds absurd. But depending on how “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” remake fares, we could soon be seeing a wave of new versions of old movies, updated for modern times.

In some cases, that’s not a bad thing. The classic newspaper comedy “The Front Page,” was quickly given a partial sex change and redone in 1940 as the even better “His Girl Friday,” with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. (Setting the movie in a TV newsroom, however, gave us the forgettable 1988 Burt Reynolds-Kathleen Turner comedy “Switching Channels.”)

You’ll find strong opinions either way on whether Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” did justice to “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

There are fewer arguments, though, about Burton’s try at “Planet of the Apes.”  And then there are flops like Gus Van Sant’s ambitious, but flawed shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

So we put it to you moviegoers: What films would you like to see remade? Are there classics that shouldn’t be touched?

Use the comments section below to play Hollywood executive, and perhaps suggest the next “Citizen Kane.”

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992.

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