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Foreign Remake
The story is recycled out of a 1983 French film named Les Comperes, as part of a trend in which Hollywood buys French comedies and experiments on them to see if they can be made in English with all the humor taken out.
Roger Ebert reviews Father's Day (1997)

Say you're a writer/director who has managed to make a good film outside of the Hollywood system. Congratulations! Hollywood is so impressed with your movie that they want make it for themselves and change everything. You say yes, and heck, they might even let you direct it, but don't hold your breath. First off, your script needs a total rewrite to massage out all the Values Dissonance. Then all your unknown actors are swapped out for Hollywood stars. The setting will probably get changed, and production values get upgraded by a factor of ten. The resulting Foreign Remake might turn out better or worse than the original depending on the minds at work.

OR:

Say you're a Hollywood veteran who is spending a quiet evening on the internet. Suddenly you stumble across the synopsis for a Bollywood movie that looks suspiciously like the popular film you made three years ago. In fact, it's the exact same premise. And it was released to theaters a year ago. Why haven't you heard anything about this until now? After watching the DVD, you discover that it's a garbled version of your film, where everyone is singing and dancing, and the sex scene is replaced with a walk in the rain. What the hell?

Ultimately, whenever something is remade in a different country, it's a foreign remake. Hollywood and Bollywood tend to get the most attention for theirs, but it happens all over. India, in fact, often does this internally: because different parts of India have different official languages, successful movies in one language will often be remade in one or several other languages, for the benefit of a different audience.

Related to The Remake.

Common Tropes:

Compare Disneyfication. See also Transatlantic Equivalent, which is exclusive to television.

Contrast with Canada Does Not Exist, where by design or by imposition, Canadians make their own foreign remakes without making a domestic original first.


Listed in alphabetical order with American release name and Original name (plus years and country of origin for the original ones)

    open/close all folders 

     American/English-language versions of foreign films 
  • Algiers (1938) — Pepe Le Moko (France, 1937)
  • Astro Boy (2009)
  • Bangkok DangerousBangkok Dangerous, both directed by the Pang Brothers
  • Big (1988) — Da grande (Italy, 1987)
  • The Birdcage (1996) — La Cage Aux Folles (1978)
  • Brothers (2009) — Brøders (Denmark, 2004)
  • City of Angels (1998) — Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (West Germany, 1987)
  • Criminal (2004) — Nueve Reinas (Argentina, 2000)
  • Death at a Funeral (2010) — Death at a Funeral (UK, 2007)
  • The Debt (2011) — The Debt (Israel, 2007)
  • The Departed (2006) — Infernal Affairs (Hongkong, 2002)
  • Dinner for SchmucksLe dîner de cons, Dinner for Idiots/The Dinner Game (France, 1998)
  • The Eye (2008) — Gin Gwai (Malaysia, 2002)
  • Father's Day (1997) — Les Compères (France, 1983)
  • Funny Games (2007, US-French co-production) — Funny Games (Austria, 1997) : The former being a shot-for-shot remake in English by the same director (Michael Haeneke).
  • Gaslight (1944) — Gaslight (UK, 1940)
  • Gigi (1958) — Gigi (France, 1949)
  • Godzilla (1998) — Gojira (Japan, 1954)
  • Godzilla (2014) (2014) — Gojira (Japan, 1954)
  • The Grudge (2004, US-Japanese co-production) — Ju-on (Japan, 2000)
  • Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) — Hachiko Monogatari (Japan, 1987)
  • Head Above Water (1996) — Hodet Over Vannet (Norway/Sweden, 1993)
  • Insomnia (2002) — Insomnia (Norway, 1997)
  • The Invisible (2007) — The Invisible/Den Osynlige (Sweden, 2002)
  • Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) — Un Indien dans la ville (Indian in the City) (France, 1994) - Siskel And Ebert put both on their "worst of the year" lists in back-to-back years.
  • Just Visiting (2001) — Les Visiteurs (France, 1993) : Distinct in that the writer and the stars of the originals reprised their roles in the remake. More of an anglophone sequel with the elements of a remake, really.
  • K-Pax (2001, US-German co-production) — Man Facing Southeast (Argentina, 1986) : Though K-PAX is originally based on a novella.
  • The Lake House (2006) — Siworae, aka Il Mare (South Korea, 2002)
  • The Ladykillers (2004) — The Ladykillers (UK, 1955)
  • Last Kiss (2006) — L'ultimo bacio (Italy, 2001)
  • Let Me In (2010, US-British co-production) — Let the Right One In (Sweden, 2008)
  • M (1951) — M (Germany, 1931)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960) — Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954). This became a trope.
  • The Man With One Red ShoeThe Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (France, 1972)
  • My Sassy Girl (2008) — My Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001) - This film also received a Bollywood remake and a Tollywood remake.
  • The Next Three Days (2010) — Pour Elle/Anything for Her (France, 2008)
  • Nightwatch (1997) — Nattevagten (Sweden, 1994). Remade by its original director Ole Bornedal for the American market.
  • No Reservations (2007, co-production with Australia) — Mostly Martha (Austria/Germany, 2001)
  • Oldboy (2013) — Oldboy (2003)
  • One Missed Call (2008, US-Japan co-production) — Chakushin Ari (Japan, 2003 + a TV series sequel, 2005)
  • Paris, When It Sizzles (1964) — Holiday for Henrietta (France, 1952). Also remade as Alex and Emma (2003).
  • Pathfinder (2007) — Pathfinder (Norway, 1987), probably better known by its Norwegian name (Veiviseren) or Sami name (Ofelaš)
  • It has never been officially confirmed, but the 2004 Scarlett Johansson flick The Perfect Score is very probably an unofficial Americanised remake of the obscure 1997 Irish movie How to Cheat in the Leaving Certificate.
  • Point of No ReturnLa Femme Nikita (France, 1990), both by Luc Besson
    • Point of No Return (US, 1993)
    • Hei Mao (Black Cat) (Hongkong, 1991)
    • La Femme Nikita (US first-run title)/Nikita (syndication/international title) (1997, American TV series)
    • Nikita (2010, American TV series)
  • PulseKairo
  • Pure Luck (1991) — La chèvre (France, 1981)
  • Quarantine (2008) — Rec (Spain, 2007)
  • The Ring (2002) — Ringu (Japan, 1998) - The sequel of The Ring was directed by the director of the original and its sequel.
  • Scent of a Woman (1992) — Profumo di donna (Italy, 1974)
  • Shall We Dance (2004) — Shall We Dance (Japan, 1996)
  • Shutter (2008) — Shutter (Thailand, 2004) : Notably, it pretends that it's a J-horror remake, when the original is Thai.
  • Sleeping With The Enemy (1991) — Yaraana (India (Bollywood, specifically), 1995)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959) — Fanfaren der Liebe (West Germany, 1951)
  • Sorcerer (1977) — The Wages of Fear (France/Italy, 1953)
  • Taxi (2004) — Taxi (France, 1998)
    • Hollywood of course had to export their remake around the world. Wherever the original Taxi had been released before, the remake was renamed something like New York Taxi.
  • The Thirteenth Letter (1950) — Le Corbeau: The Raven (France, 1943)
  • Three Fugitives (1989) — Les fugitifs (France, 1986)
  • Three Men and a Baby (1987) — Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle) (France, 1985)
  • True Lies (1994) — La Totale (France, 1991)
  • Twelve Monkeys (1995) — La Jetée (France, 1962) : A borderline example, since the original was a short film made up of mostly still images, and the "remake" was a fully fleshed out story. Also, Gilliam's movie is more of an Inspired By / Spiritual Successor of the original.
  • Vanilla Sky (2001) — Abre los Ojos (Spain/France, 1997)
  • The Vanishing (1993) — Spoorloos/The Vanishing (1988) : Both the original and the remake had the same director.
  • Welcome to Collinwood (2002) — I soliti ignoti (Italy, 1958)
  • White Dwarfnote  (1995 Made for TV) — Red Beard (Japan, 1965)
  • The Woman In Red (1984) — Un éléphant ça trompe énormément/Pardon Mon Affaire (France, 1976). The Trope Maker, in fact.

     Non-American Foreign Film Remakes 

     TV Shows 

     Other Media Remakes 
  • The Captain Future series of novels were adapted into a tokusatsu series in Japan titled Captain Ultra, which was unrelated to Tsuburaya's Ultra Series despite the name, although it was treated by the network as such since it was picked up as a filler series between the finale of Ultraman and the premiere of Ultra Seven.
  • Elite Beat Agents is an American remake of the Japanese game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.
  • The NES game Flying Warriors by Culture Brain is a remake of the Famicom game Hiryu no Ken 2 developed on the Hiryu no Ken 3 engine, rather than just being a straight localization of either game (in contrast to its predecessor Flying Dragon, which was just an English version of the original Hiryu no Ken).
  • In Nomine is an American remake of French tabletop roleplaying game In Nomine Satanis/Magna Veritas.
  • There was recently an American comic-book remake of the Japanese Visual Novel Saya no Uta. And, unlike in the original, they actually decide to show her true form.
  • As a kind of homage to this trope, the very-Japanese-style-horror PS2 game Siren was remade as Siren Blood Curse on PS3, along with all the changes that normally get applied to Hollywood remakes of Japanese horror (though the original Siren and its sequel did both get English releases first time round). While Siren Blood Curse is still set in a Japanese village, the all-Japanese cast of the original has been replaced with an American TV crew sent in to do a documentary about the legends surrounding the area.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man got his own tokusatsu series in Japan courtesy of Toei.
  • Hayao Miyazaki's Manga title A Trip To Tynemouth is his version of British author Robert Westall's short story collection Break of Dark.
  • "The Wizard of the Emerald City" is a loose Russian translation of The Wizard of Oz. After the first novel the book series follows its own direction.
  • In the early 20th century, many musical shows from London, Vienna and Berlin were imported to New York with the scores largely or completely replaced. In the case of Blossom Time, the American version of Das Dreimäderlhaus, the score was newly adapted from the same source (Franz Schubert).

     Not Quite Remakes 
  • Black Swan is not exactly a remake of Perfect Blue, though it's almost the same plot—but with the setting changed from idol singing to ballet. It is so similar, however, that the director actually did license Perfect Blue in order to include a scene taken from the anime.
  • A persistent rumor is that Aaron Spelling tried to license Degrassi Junior High but created Beverly Hills 90210 after he was rebuffed by the Canadian show's producers.
  • In the early years of talking pictures, a number of movies were filmed simultaneously in different languages, using the same sets but mostly different casts and crews. Perhaps the most famous is the Spanish version of Dracula, whose direction by George Melford is widely reckoned to be superior to Tom Browning's direction of the English version.
    • Another good example is the 1932 German film F. P. 1 antwortet nicht starring Hans Albers and Peter Lorre, which was simultaneously produced in English (as Flying Platform 1 Doesn't Answer) with Conrad Veidt and in French with Charles Boyer.
  • Comic example: DC Comics has made several attempts to launch a Judge Dredd comic in America, but none of them lasted very long.
  • An inverted Pinball example: Chicago-based Stern Pinball's Striker Xtreme (a soccer-based game) was re-released a year later as NFL for an American Football audience.
  • Sid and Marty Kroft's DC Follies may have been based on the British series, Spitting Image.
  • Belarus had a sitcom titled The Theorists which was their version of The Big Bang Theory. It was also completely unauthorized. CBS had begun legal proceedings when the cast of The Theorists discovered their show was a rip-off and quit en masse, forcing its cancellation.

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