From ArticleWorld

A remake of a film is one which takes a previously released film and makes a new version of it, carrying over some or all of the themes and plot elements from the original. Remakes are usually considered to be different to more than one film which is based on the same source material. For example, a number of films may exist which are adaptations of a book or a play but they are not classed as remakes unless they are adaptations of an existing film.

Significant differences

Many remakes contain changes to the plot from the original film. Often this is to distinguish it from the original or, more commonly, to update it for a modern audience. In general the films which are remade are those which have been made a number of years ago, meaning that modern cinema-goers may not know the plot or characters involved. This makes it easier for the remake to be successful as they are not being compared to other films.

However, occasionally films which are deemed to be classics are remade. This is generally thought to be a bad idea and although they may have high audience figures they are generally slated by the critics. An example of this is Psycho, originally made in 1960 and remade in 1998. Not only was the original a film which was still seen by many people and which had a cult following, but it was remade shot for shot, making it identical to the original. Many people felt that it was a total waste of time to remake it as it offered nothing new to the audience and so it was deemed to be a box office flop.

Plot updates

Many remakes have at least one update to the plot to make it more suitable for a modern audience. For example, in 1932 the film Scarface was released, concentrating on bootleg alcohol and its distribution. The same film was remade in 1983 but this time it revolved around cocaine. Not all film remakes have the same title as the original, limiting the comparisons between the two. An example of this is Never Say Never Again which was released in 1983. This was a remake of 1965’s Thunderball with the title change being the most significant alteration to the plot.