Episode #54: Remakes for the Better/Worse

February 9th, 2013

The Quiet American - 1958 alongside 2002

Vital both on & off screen, the social atmosphere is one of the most pivotal lynch pins to a film.  From the flow of the production to the tone of the premiere, many films over the decades skyrocketed or plummeted contingent on the world around it.  Salt of the Earth, now considered an exceptional achievement in film-making, was vilified to the point of banishment by (most of) its contemporary audience. This week's installment of "Remakes for the Better/Worse" exhibits a similar quandary.

  • 1958 - Michael Redgrave, Audie Murphy, Giorgia Moll
  • 2002 - Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen

Does the original run the risk of being just another late-fifties melodrama, only to pull a complete 180 to blow you out of your proverbial seat?  And what of the remake?  With the Vietnam War being long over, was the modern production able to craft a more concise & compelling storyline thanks to the benefit of a more informed public & historical hindsight?  To find out... you have to listen.  You cannot be objective; you have to take a side.

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