Play It Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes

Overview

Play It Again, Sam is a timely investigation of a topic that until now has received almost no critical attention in film and cultural studies: the cinematic remake. As cinema enters its second century, more remakes are appearing than ever before, and these writers consider the full range: Hollywood films that have been recycled by Hollywood, such as The Jazz Singer, Cape Fear, and Robin Hood; foreign films including Breathless; and Three Men and a Baby, which Hollywood has reworked for American audiences; and ...
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Overview

Play It Again, Sam is a timely investigation of a topic that until now has received almost no critical attention in film and cultural studies: the cinematic remake. As cinema enters its second century, more remakes are appearing than ever before, and these writers consider the full range: Hollywood films that have been recycled by Hollywood, such as The Jazz Singer, Cape Fear, and Robin Hood; foreign films including Breathless; and Three Men and a Baby, which Hollywood has reworked for American audiences; and foreign films based on American works, among them Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies, which is a "makeover" of Coppola's Godfather films. As these essays demonstrate, films are remade by other films (Alfred Hitchcock went so far as to remake his own The Man Who Knew Too Much) and by other media as well. The editors and contributors draw upon narrative, film, and cultural theories, and consider ger, genre, and psychological issues, presenting the "remake" as a special artistic form of repetition with a difference and as a commercial product aimed at profits in the marketplace. The remake flourishes at the crossroads of the old and the new, the known and the unknown. Play It Again, Sam takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of this hitherto unexplored territory.

Author Biography: Andrew Horton is Professor of Film and Literature at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the Aegean Institute. He is author of the popular Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay (California, 1994) and other books. Stuart Y. McDougal is Director of the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His previous books include Made into Movies:FromLiterature to Film (1985).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of original essays on movie remakes explores the phenomenon from divergent anglesand not just the artistic. Included are a psychological examination of the motivation of a specific director (Spielberg), a Freudian dissection of an often-filmed story (The Jazz Singer), how being the product of a specific time and culture effects a remake (Robin Hood), and an inspection of popular mythology (Dracula). In their choice of essays, editors Horton and McDougal have stretched the common definition of movie remake almost beyond usefulness. They include in this category not only films that are new versions of movies previously made but also adaptations from other media; movies that allude in a single shot, camera angle, motif, or line to an earlier film; and makeovers, which they define as a film that substantially alters the original for its own purposes. Still, little serious has been written on the subject of movie remakes, recommending this for academic libraries and subject collections.Marianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., S.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520205932
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Horton is Professor of Film and Literature at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the Aegean
Institute. He is author of the popular Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay (California, 1994) and other books. Stuart Y. McDougal is Director of the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His previous books include Made into Movies: From Literature to Film (1985).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Table
Introduction 1
1 Remakes and Cultural Studies 15
2 Algebraic Figures: Recalculating the Hitchcock Formula 34
3 The Director Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock Remakes Himself 52
4 Robin Hood: From Roosevelt to Reagan 70
5 "Once More, from the Top": Musicals the Second Time Around 80
6 The Ethnic Oedipus: The Jazz Singer and Its Remakes 95
7 Raiders of the Lost Text: Remaking as Contested Homage in Always 115
8 Double Takes: The Role of Allusion in Cinema 131
9 The French Remark: Breathless and Cinematic Citationality 147
10 The Spring, Defiled: Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring and Wes Craven's Last House on the Left 162
11 Cinematic Makeovers and Cultural Border Crossings: Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies and Coppola's Godfather and Godfather II 172
12 Made in Hong Kong: Translation and Transmutation 191
13 Modernity and Postmaternity: High Heels and Imitation of Life 200
14 Feminist Makeovers: The Celluloid Surgery of Valie Export and Su Friedrich 217
15 Nosferatu, or the Phantom of the Cinema 238
16 How Many Draculas Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? 250
17 The Superhero with a Thousand Faces: Visual Narratives on Film and Paper 279
18 "Tonight Your Director Is John Ford": The Strange Journey of Stagecoach from Screen to Radio 295
19 M*A*S*H Notes 310
Afterword: Rethinking Remakes 327
Notes on Contributors 335
Credits 339
Index 341
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