Stop Trashing the Thin Man Remake!
Since reports of a Rob Marshall/Johnny Depp Thin Man remake have surfaced, all I’ve heard from the classic film community is negative comments about how it’s a stupid idea, leave the original alone, how dare they, etc. Even though The Thin Man and five sequels are some of my favorite movies ever, I’m not going to criticize the film before I see it and here’s why:
1) Remakes can be good.
I adore the movie High Society (1956). It’s got a soon-to-be-princess Grace Kelly, fabulous outfits, and Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra sing a bunch of Cole Porter songs. It’s the perfect Saturday morning movie. It’s also a remake of 1940′s The Philadelphia Story. Is it as fantastic as it’s original? Not really, but it’s still a delightful little film. Even the five Thin Man sequels don’t measure up to the first film, but I still get a huge amount of enjoyment from watching them. Then there’s An Affair To Remember (1957), the much-loved remake of 1939′s Love Affair. Other successful remakes include Scarface (1983), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Father of the Bride (1991), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and The Departed (2006).
2) The abundant negativism just makes us look stuffy and out of touch.
On Twitter, the classic film community is beginning to sound like our grandparents who had to walk ten miles to school, in the snow, uphill both ways. Let’s not alienate any young people from the medium we love so much because we come across as crotchety film snobs.
3) A remake introduces a whole new audience to the original.
Hey, at least kids will hear the names Nick and Nora and know it’s something other than bedsheets and pj’s! With all the media discussion about the remake, the original gets a ton of press and garners interest from young fans who never knew it existed. New classic film fans! What more can we ask for?
So while I don’t think that anyone can replicate the cinematic awesomeness of William Powell/Nick, Myrna Loy/Nora, and Skippy/Asta, condeming the remake won’t help our case either. Not that I’m working on a case… unless it’s a case of scotch.