There is no doubt that the French are behind some of the greatest films of the 20th century. French films have explored some of the great questions of human existence, probing the depths of the psyche and often exposing the absurdity of everyday life and our most treasured collective myths. At the same time, many French films have also been remade for American audiences.
While something is almost inevitably lost in the transition from one culture to another, these English remakes of French films still manage to retain something of the original while adding their own distinct shine.
ten True Lies (1994): 70%
Oddly enough, the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis film was based on a 1991 French film, The total ! Directed by James Cameron, it was the first film to have a budget of over $ 100 million.
It was a huge box office success, grossing nearly $ 400 million. It was rated well by 70% of critics, although many said it was not as good as previous Cameron or Schwarzenegger films. He has been attacked on other fronts as being misogynist due to his treatment of some of the female characters, including the lead role.
9 Three men and a baby (1987): 75%
Directed by Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy, Three Men and a Baby was based on the 1985 comedy film Three men and a cradle (Three men and a coffin), and followed the trials of three singles as they looked after a baby who was dropped off at their doorstep. It starred three big names in 1980s film: Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg.
It was widely praised by critics, with a new 75% rating, thanks in large part to the performance of its stars. With a box office of nearly $ 250 million, it was also Walt Disney’s first film to gross over $ 100 million domestically.
8 Wizard (1977): 79%
An adventure film from 1977, Wizard was based on the first French novel Wages of fear and its first adaptation, the film Wages of fear. Starring four outcasts trying to haul unstable dynamite from a remote South American village, production issues plagued the film and forced it to exceed its budget.
It flopped at the box office, recouping less than half of what it cost. Initially, he was not popular with critics, who criticized him widely. Since its release, more and more critics have viewed the film in a favorable light – it currently holds an overall positive rating of 79%.
7 The bird cage (1996): 79%
Starring Robin Williams as the gay owner of a Miami nightclub and Nathan Lane as the effeminate romantic partner and headliner of the club’s show, this farce was a remake of the 1978 French film. La Cage aux Folles. A supporting performance by Hank Azaria as their Guatemalan homemaker Agador delivers some hilarious comedic moments, as does Nathan Lane’s near-constant on the biggest meltdowns.
The film was a success with huge box office revenues for the time. He also performed well federally with critics, with an overall rating of 79% at Rotten Tomatoes.
6 Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986): 81%
A remake of the French play Boudu saved from the waters and its film adaptation directed by Jean Renoir in 1932, this comedy film presents Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler as a dysfunctional and wealthy couple who find a homeless man (played by Nick Nolte) in their backyard and help him recover. on foot.
It was appreciated by critics, with an overall rating of 81%. It was also a box office success, earning well over budget and hitting number one two weeks in a row. The success even helped him spawn a short-lived TV spin-off.
5 Rapid change (1990): 82%
This 1990 film is the only directorial credit Bill Murray holds, as he co-directed it with Howard Franklin. Based on the 1985 French police comedy Hold on, Murray portrays a bank robber clown trying to get out of the country with his accomplices. This plays out like a prank, as the characters encounter problem after problem as they attempt to escape.
He bombed movie theaters, failing to recover his budget. While it wasn’t well received by the public, it fared much better with critics – I’m 82% positive overall on Rotten Tomatoes; some critics consider him to be Bill Murray’s best role.
4 The 13th Letter (1951): 86%
Originally made in France in 1943 as The Crow, The Crow, the French production was withdrawn after World War II and caused problems for its director. It was remade for the American public in 1951 before restrictions on the original were lifted by the French government. The new version followed the plot of the original quite closely, with residents of a small town receiving a series of anonymous letters accusing them of various transgressions they preferred to keep a secret.
The film is popular with modern critics, scoring 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
3 12 monkeys (1995): 90%
This 1995 sci-fi film was based on The Pier (The pier), a 1962 French black and white short film made from a series of still photos and directed by Chris Marker. Starring Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe, and Bruce Willis, it shows a dystopian future after a plague and attempts to time travel to prevent it from happening.
He did well with audiences at the box office, sitting at No.1 for two weeks. Critics also received it positively, with an overall positive rating of 90%. He then spawned a four-season TV series on SyFy that ran from 2015 to 2018.
2 Some Like It Hot (1959): 95%
Directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marylin Monroe, this is a remake of the 1935 French comedy Fanfare of love. It was made without being approved by the Hays Code, because of Lemmon and Curtis’ cross-dressing and homosexual overtones.
Considered one of the best films ever made, it was a clear hit with critics and holds a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also a hit with audiences – it was one of the highest grossing films of its week-long premiere, even though it only opened in a few cities.
1 Scarlet Street (1945): 100%
A French theater play and later a 1931 film by Jean Renoir served as the basis for this 1945 Fritz Lang tragedy. It was his second film with Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett, after the years 1944 The woman at the window.
Critics upon its release gave it mixed reviews, although this was likely marred by authorities banning the film in three cities due to the darkness of some of its themes and plot. Modern critics see it more favorably, and it holds a 100% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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