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Top 10 Awful Rip-Offs of Great British Movies


Written by Richard Bush If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top ten rip-offs of great British films. For this list we’ll be focussing on highly revered British films that for one reason or another received a remake but didn’t prove as successful with critics or fans when compared to the original, or just plain exploited their success for a payout. Special thanks to our user RichardFB for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Awful Rip-Offs of Great British Movies


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top ten rip-offs of great British films.

For this list we’ll be focussing on highly revered British films that for one reason or another received a remake but didn’t prove as successful with critics or fans when compared to the original, or just plain exploited their success for a payout.

#10: “Alfie” (2004)


This is a fine example of a film’s individual performances being good, and yet the foundations being shaky. 2004’s “Alfie” stars Jude Law as the eponymous womanizer, played by Michael Caine in the 1966 original. Law does hit all the right notes, but this remake merely goes through the motions and doesn't achieve anywhere near the same social commentary as Michael Caine's outing, which was at the core of the original’s charm. At times it focusses far too much on entertaining rather than educating. Michael Cain’s version managed to do both.

#9: School for Scoundrels (2006)


This remake follows young Roger, a bit of a geek who attends a confidence-building class in order to win the affections of a girl he likes. Problem is, his teacher has the same idea. Love triangle plots are a proven science, the main problem here is that the original 1960’s “School for Scoundrels” featured a brilliant Ian Carmichael and an even greater Terry-Thomas - Jon Heder and Billy Bob Thornton in the remake - yeah. Add to that the lack of the original’s classic one-liners and you’ve just got, well, a film - certainly not worthy of the same name.

#8: “Clash of the Titans” (2010)


The 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans” was like “Jason and the Argonauts” meets “Flash Gordon” - based in myth and fun as hell. It also educated viewers on key mythology, like Medusa and the gods. Skip ahead 30 years and all of that gusto is lost in the obscurity of a CGI-drenched action film, hugely deviating from the source material in order to add extra woo factor - including forced 3D effects. It merely rides the wave of mythological classics made years before it. The cast was actually pretty good - Mad Mikkelsen, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington. What a shame.

#7: “Village of the Damned” (1995)


There’s something inexplicably terrifying about creepy English children with blonde hair, glowing eyes and telepathic abilities, especially in black and white. That’s what 1960’s “Village of the Damned” was all about. The 1995 remake however, not so much. Swapping the setting to America instead of England, and shooting the whole thing in glossy colour, instantly lost it the proven formula of the original, which offered something matter-of-fact and eerily realistic. Adding the likes of Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill and Kirstie Alley to the cast list didn’t do it any favours either.

#6: “Bedazzled” (2000)


Both the 1967 and 2000 versions of “Bedazzled” follow a very similar storyline - man sells soul to the devil for seven wishes to try and impress the girl of his dreams. What follows are a series of farcical, failed scenarios where he tries to win her over. Now, the tongue and cheek duo of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook simply cannot be matched by Brendan Fraser and Liz Hurley. Simple as that. What felt risque and cheeky in the original, is recycled for cheap laughs which was, in director Harold Ramis’ words, aimed at teenagers. Yeah, you can tell.

#5: “Straw Dogs” (2011)


The 2011 remake of “Straw Dogs” takes the cute couple being terrorized by locals plot and shifts it to Mississippi instead of the English countryside. It also changes a fair few things about the characters and storyline, ultimately to make it more digestible. In turn, this results in a loss the original’s gritty, claustrophobic feel. I mean this is a film that seems to revel in visceral violence, whereas the original made you fear every dirty, blood-soaked second of it. Ultimately, it feels more “Hunger Games” rather than “Battle Royale”.

#4: “The Ladykillers” (2004)


Balancing between black comedy and slapstick is incredibly difficult, but 1955’s “The Ladykillers” managed to do it, with powerhouse performances from the likes of Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. The 2004 remake however took its tricking of an old woman, heist storyline and turned it on its head, substituting subtlety for outright ridiculousness, with a posh, sweet-talking Tom Hanks as the lead. It’s not bad per say, it’s just nowhere near the same brand of comedy, which trivialises any relation to the original film. Stick to your own original ideas Coen Brothers, they’re much better.

#3: “The Italian Job” (2003)


This remake performed well at the box office and has received above average reviews. So why is it on this list? Well, because it bases itself, albeit loosely, on the 1969 film “The Italian Job”, and by that we mean it capitalises on its name with a plot that is completely different. Yes it mirrors some of the classic scenes, mainly the Mini Cooper getaway, and yes the cast was decent, but it’s more convoluted “Ocean’s Eleven” rather than classic heist movie. Even the 2003 trailer “They’re not in it for the pay, they’re in it for the payback” - not the same film then?

#2: “Get Carter” (2000)


Sylvester Stallone - gun in hand taking down bad guys to avenge his brother's death - sounds like your bog standard revenge flick, right? Well, that’s kind of our point. Created in the shadow of Michael Caine’s 1971 classic cockney gangster flick, the remake seems generic and, well, pointless in comparison. The original drew on current, culturally-significant themes of the time, like the porn industry and the London underworld. The remake seems to just emulate these themes but use them to glamorise violence. The only real similarity is that the lead characters share the same name.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“The Jackal” (1997)

“The Omen” (2006)


#1: “The Wicker Man” (2006)


This is a film renowned for its weird and terrifying themes that leave the viewer questioning pretty much everything they know about their own ideology - of course, we’re talking about the 1973 original here. You’d be forgiven for mistaking this 2006 remake, starring Nicolas Cage, for a dark satirical comedy, as it features a series of overacted, Cage rage moments with the actor punching and kicking women, hijacking bicycles and just plain screaming at people. Seriously, this film is nothing like the original - for all the wrong reasons. Want proof? Just watch the bee scene.
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