Live Poll: Worst American Remake: Non-English Language Movie

  • 1
  • Praise
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
American remakes of great foreign language films are understandable; sharing a great story with as wide an audience as possible is always a good idea. These remakes are often done with the full resources of Hollywood with bigger stars and larger budgets. However, these adaptations face the same issues that most sequels and remakes have when compared to the original.

Which American remake is the most unworthy of it's original foreign and non-English language brethren?

See the partial list of American remakes of original foreign and non-English movies here:

Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Live_Dream


  • 10 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
I know it's not on the list, but I've always loathed Juno. It's a remake of South Korean film Jenny, Juno. It was unnecessary to remake in the first place, given that the original was released in 2005 and Juno released only 2 years later. It seems to miss the point of the original altogether and spawned an idiotic fad among young teens to try and get pregnant as soon as possible. Just, no.

Photo of Jen

Jen, Champion

  • 4905 Posts
  • 2281 Reply Likes
Juno was not an remake of this film. The only things they have in common are teenage pregnancy and the name Juno.
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4216 Posts
  • 2407 Reply Likes
Thanks, for the comment. I remember reading about the similarties with Jeni, Juno, but never looked into the details of how similar it is to Juno:,_Juno#Similarities_to_Juno. However, I think it would be best to avoid listing a title whose origins are in dispute. It is not officially credited as a remake and the picture did win the 2008 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I am not saying whether it is a remake or not, just that it wouldn't be a good fit for the poll suggestion.
Photo of Jen

Jen, Champion

  • 4905 Posts
  • 2281 Reply Likes

Wiki: The film's screenwriter, Diablo Cody, commented on the coincidence in October 2007, stating that she had been unaware of the existence of Jenny, Juno prior to her own film's release. She said that, although she had not previously watched Jenny, Juno, she is now interested in seeing it.

Totally different! If the Juno character from the Korean movie was named Min-jun or Ji-hu this wouldn't have ever been an issue!
Photo of Michael_Da_Vinci


  • 26 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Secret in Their Eyes, and True Lies
Photo of leavey-2


  • 1982 Posts
  • 1628 Reply Likes
Oldboy (2013)
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
I like both, but the remake did not have the impact of the first. It is hard to separate the shock value the first had.
Photo of LD


  • 1547 Posts
  • 437 Reply Likes
Godzilla (2014)
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
(updated introduction and list November 2018)

Making an American remake of a great foreign language film into an English spoken version usually is a good idea. After all, sharing a great story with as wide an audience as possible makes a lot of sense. However, despite having bigger stars, larger budgets and the full resources of Hollywood behind them, it is often not enough. These adaptations, more often than not, pale in comparison to the masterwork and magic of the original telling.

Which American remake is the most unworthy of it's original foreign and non-English language brethren? *IMDb rated 6.4- (as of November 2018)
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
It doesn't look like Suspiria 2018 | Movie 7.3/10 4,662will make the list but  The Upside 2017 | Movie 4.4 looks to be a prime candidate.

Suspiria 2018 | Movie 7.3/10 4,662
Suspiria (1977) from Italy in Italian | Russian | English | German | Latin
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
Director: Luca Guadagnino Stars: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Doris Hick

The Upside 2017 | Movie 4.4 (543) Coming Soon 11 January 2019 (USA)
Les Intouchables (2011) from France in French
A comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia and an unemployed man with a criminal record who's hired to help him.
Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Julianna Margulies

Miss Bala (2019) Movie Coming Soon 1 February 2019 (USA)
Miss Bala (2011) from Mexico  in Spanish | English
Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.
Director: Catherine Hardwicke Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie, Matt Lauria | See full cast & crew »

After the Wedding ???? Post-Prod
Efter brylluppet (2006) from Denmark in Danish | Swedish | English | Hindi
A manager of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to New York to meet a benefactor.
Director: Bart Freundlich Stars: Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup |
Photo of Jen

Jen, Champion

  • 4905 Posts
  • 2285 Reply Likes
Want to clarify - the 6.4 threshold is for the original verion, right?

City of Angels/Wings of Desire
Funny Games/Funny Games
Cousins/Cousin Cousine
Swept Away/Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto
One Missed Call/Chakushin ari (original film is 6.2) 
Let Me In/Let the Right One In
Shall We Dance/Shall we dansu?
The Man Who Loved Women/L'homme qui aimait les femmes 
Les diaboliques/Diabolique 
Bangkok Dangerous/Bangkok Dangerous
Down and Out in Beverly Hills/Boudu sauvé des eaux
And God Created Woman/Et Dieu... créa la femme (original film is Et Dieu... créa la femme)
Vanilla Sky/Abre Los Ojos
Brick Mansions/Banlieue 13
Three Men and Baby/Tres hommes et un couffin
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4940 Posts
  • 3025 Reply Likes
Thanks, I will review the list and add any that fit the bill.

My bad, I was unclear as to the requirements: Which American remake* is the most unworthy of it's original foreign and non-English language brethren? * remake is IMDb user rated 6.4 or lower (as of November 2018). I have corrected it and made clear based on your feedback.

I think it fair to assume for the vast majority of movies, the original is going to be decently rated, otherwise why bother remaking it. Even, if the remake is decent it never seems to live up the original. City of Angels and Funny Games are two movies that are rated 6.5 or higher, but still don't live up to the original versions, Wings of Desire and Funny Games.

Ideally, I would like it to be well seen enough to have 50,000+ votes too, but I am not firm on that.
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4940 Posts
  • 3025 Reply Likes
I added Shall We Dance (2004),Bangkok Dangerous (2008) Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) Diabolique (1996), Martyrs (2015) and Brick Mansions (2014)

I left off The Man Who Loved Women (1983) ( as another remake The Man Who Loved Women is in-development) and And God Created Woman/Et Dieu... créa la femme (original film is Et Dieu... créa la femme) (both are bad), Cousins (low votes), Swept Away (better options)

The others were highly rated enough, it is hard to fault them for not living up to the original. I am questioning  the inclusion  Solaris (2002) and Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986). They both have decent Metacritic scores, 6.2 IMDb ratings and probably biggest knock is comparison to the iconic original.
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
Photo of MAthePA


  • 2063 Posts
  • 3494 Reply Likes
Great idea, but I'd suggest to avoid mixing the remakes and "based on book" in one poll. A remake can be further compared to an original movie. But when both movies are based on the same book, what has to be compared to what and how the audience actually did or did not compare between the three sources? (It stands for no problem in rare cases when a producer tells on public that movie is a remake of another movie which in its turn is based on book, e.g. The Upside (2017) - the best choice for this poll, btw.)

The great example for the above hesitation is Solaris (2002), the vast majority of bad reviews (both critics and others) aimed to "Did they really read the book?". Hey, guys, it is great that we all have an opportunity to compare a movie with the book it is based on, but should it always mean that movie is good and/or better when just a strict retelling?! Sometimes the notable art is in crystallizing and/or improving the original story by wider means of cinematography. Solaris (1971) was one of the greatest classics for some decades of my life, and really is the reteller of Stanislaw Lem original, but now I'm very happy to experience the main idea unchanged in Solaris (2002) which is reasonably better movie and not a remake of the old movie. The practice of balls-to-eggs comparing leaves some perls underrated.

After first look, the based on book in this poll (the current order preserved):
Dark Water (2005)
Solaris (2002)
The Vanishing (1993)
Death Note (2017)
My Sassy Girl (2008)

Please do not regard me as a "destroyer" here ))
I really want to suggest more options for this poll and I could, but some months ago unfortunately lost the very large list of remakes of my own compilation, still working to remake the list of remakes (tautology be the figure of grief and emptiness here ))).
Photo of Patrick Salbaing

Patrick Salbaing

  • 29 Posts
  • 53 Reply Likes
Dinner for Schmucks ... Most French comedy adaptions don't translate well because the hacks who butcher the stories with terrible dialogue end up bringing the humor to the lowest common denominator and rely on names to finance their projects. Not every viewer needs to get every subtlety. Learn from the masters! The Upside (2017) is another example of a tragedy! 
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4414 Posts
  • 2604 Reply Likes
The Upside (2017) 6.4 rating vs. The Intouchables (2011) 8.5 rating

Dinner for Schmucks (2010) 5.9 rating vs.Le Dîner de Cons 7.7 rating 

I would agree, I think a lot has to due the audience, what's marketable and what will do the best at the box office. I think European audiences are open to a lot different types of films and more edgy stories. North American audiences fall into the trap of getting formula films either because happy ending and shallower story lines or because what the studios are willing to produce based on current and past test audience results.

Jeux d'enfants (original title) aka Love Me If You Dare (2003) is my favorite French comedy #1 hit in France, but it never gets made in US or at the very least they change the ending.
Photo of Dimos Dicoudis

Dimos Dicoudis

  • 208 Posts
  • 191 Reply Likes
 "I think European audiences are open to a lot different types of films and more edgy stories. North American audiences fall into the trap of getting formula films either because happy ending"

In Greece's case over the decades, cinema was often a place for subversive humor and did not really rely that much on happy endings. For some examples of comedy films from various decades:
* "Oi Germanoi xanarhontai" (1948, "The Germans are Returning"). In an alternate-reality dream, the Greek Civil War is interrupted when Adolf Hitler emerges from hiding and a restructured Nazi Germany relaunches World War II. While most characters are reciting nonsensical political diatribes, the peaceloving protagonist is horrified to discover that the only man in the film who is preaching for peace and human brotherhood is a madman and confined in an asylum. 
*"Enas iros me padoufles" (1958, "A Hero with Slippers"). A retired general with a heroic record of service in World War II lives forgotten and in near-poverty with his meager pension. He is delighted when the State offers to erect a statue in his honor. But soon realizes that the construction of the statue is part of an embezzlement scheme involving public works, that nobody actual cares for his military service, and that his poverty is Inescapable. 
*"Yparhei kai filotimo" (1965, "In the Name of Dignity"). A government minister is proud of his successful public works and is now running for re-election. Stranded in a rural village following a traffic accident, he learns from the locals that many of his public works were either useless or dysfunctional , and that a number of party officials have been profiteering from the assignments of these public reworks. Disgusted with the situation but unable to rectify it, he chooses resignation and retirement.
*"Agapi mou, paliogria" (1972, "My love, you hag"). The ups-and-downs in the life of a married couple from young adulthood to old age and infirmity. A match-making attempt by their domineering parents succeeds only when the two young people discover that they have similar tastes in films, music, and dancing. The story follows them through the years to struggling with infertility for years and eventually adopting a son, mutual attempts at infidelity while approaching or entering middle age, the empty nest syndrom once their adult son marries and moves away, the infirmities of their old age, and the realization that they are each other's last living companion. In part created as a reply to films which used marriage as the end to their characters'problems, since here the troubles begin after the marriage. 
*"To megalo kanoni" (1981, "The Big Cannon"). A tragicomic look on the generation gap. The protagonist is a man who survived the famine and mass executions of the Axis occupation of Greece (1941-1944), sympathized with the Greek Resistance, and has had a lifelong loathing for Nazism and fascism. He is horrified to discover that his son is a Neo-Nazi who idolizes Adolf Hitler. 
*"Loufa kai parallagi" (1984, "Loaf and Camouflage"). A number of draftee soldiers during the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 are offially assigned to help produce vapid television programs for a state-owned television channel, while secretly using part of their equipment to shoot a porn film. Part of the satire contrasts the radical conservatism and brutality of the officers, with the libertinism of the soldiers. The finale has the protagonist receiving an unfavorable transfer to a border fort, while at least one of his friends has snapped due to excessive bullying from one of their superiors. 
*"Safe Sex" (1999, English title only). A large number of characters deal with their often conflincting agendas, sexual frustrations, and not-so-hidden fetishes. At the end, most of the characters meet at a funeral. But nobody gives a damn about the dead person, and everyone uses the gathering to search for new sexual partners. 
Photo of 15yearsIMDber


  • 3837 Posts
  • 4244 Reply Likes
Point of No Return is a terrific thriller with outstanding performances by both Bridget Fonda and Gabriel Byrne, not to mention Hans Zimmer's haunting soundtrack. I don't think it belongs to the list.

Many French movies, especially those directed by Francis Veber were remade for America, you won't have trouble finding them, I know The Toy, Pure Luck, Father's Day, The Three Fugitives, The Dinner (it's there)... but Point of No Return is great, seriously!
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
I love Point of No Return, I think it is great too, I even have the theatrical release movie poster framed in my home office. But, it may suffer by comparison to the original. I rated it an 8 on IMDb (I am tough on films, rarely giving 10s, 9s, or 8s), while the average IMDb user rates it 6.0. In contrast, La Femme Nikita (1990) is rated the same by me at 8, but gets a 7.4 average rating from IMDb users. Plus, Nikita even was on the IMDb Top 250 for three years in the late 1990s, peaking at 96.

I think our opinions might be in the minority on this one. The John Badham remake is a bit slicker and less grittier than the Luc Besson original. For me, I like Point of No Return a bit more. but may be biased as I am a Bridget Fonda fan. Both, films are great, just stylistically different.
Photo of NDbportmanfan 1

NDbportmanfan 1

  • 722 Posts
  • 561 Reply Likes
Dark water
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4968 Posts
  • 3050 Reply Likes
I have seen worse American remakes, but I agree it doesn't measure up to the Japanese original.
Photo of Peter

Peter, Champion

  • 6906 Posts
  • 8538 Reply Likes
In the question "it's" should be "its":
most unworthy of its original foreign

Typo in #6:
Anothy Zimmer -> Anthony Zimmer
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
Which American remake by comparison is the most unworthy of its original foreign and non-English language brethren?

Anthony Zimmer (2005) from France in French
Photo of Breumaster


  • 3097 Posts
  • 4467 Reply Likes
This is a real good list. From now I would pick 'Quarantine' or 'The Grude'. I always struggle with american remakes. I see the remake and mostly all originals dubbed. I mostly compare both versions and more often the original wins. You could ad 'Funny Games U.S.' as a test. It would be fun to see how many people vote for this remake, because it's 1:1 like the original, just with other actors. Even the same director. Try?
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
Thanks, I do the same and feel the same. I agree the original almost always win outs. The pairs that might be a horse race in some movie goers eyes are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) /The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011),
Suspiria (1977) / Suspiria (2018) and Infernal Affairs (2002) / The Departed (2006).

I only saw the American remake and have been wanting to catch the Austrian original. I did consider that pair, but for some reason (likely the English language title) I thought it was Australian, so I omitted it. I have included the pair, since there is a drop-off in scores from 7.6 to 6.5 between the two.

Funny Games (2007) Funny Games (1997)
Photo of rubyfruit76

rubyfruit76, Champion

  • 5042 Posts
  • 6033 Reply Likes
My vote will definitely go to 'The Vanishing.' The original was exquisite so the remake, which was so sterile, seemed like an abomination, lol. 'Good poll and good list.

Oh, I noticed a little typo in #18: Solraris (1972) from the Soviet Union in Russian

I'm assuming you meant either Solyaris or Solaris
Photo of urbanemovies


  • 4971 Posts
  • 3049 Reply Likes
Thank, I meant to put the title in its native language, so Solyaris. corrected

I have seen both the original foreign language movie and the American remake on just all of these. But, the combination of Spoorloos and The Vanishing really inspired me to do this suggestion. I loved the original too, especially the abrupt ending. Normally, I would love any movie with Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland , Nancy Travis and Sandra Bullock. I did like the movie and thought it was well-done and well told. But,  the extension of the ending to make it a feel good ending for American audiences ruined the entire movie for me. This pattern seems to happen way to often.
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14381 Posts
  • 15199 Reply Likes
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 14381 Posts
  • 15199 Reply Likes
Congratulations urbanemovies on your 331st live poll! As of 19-Jun-2019 9:53 PM Pacific your polls have 464,719 or more votes, for an average of 1,404 votes per poll.

Worst American Remake of a Non-English Movie
7847th Live Poll:

This is the 3,548th Title poll. Such polls have a total of 8,359,240 votes for an average of 2,356 votes per poll.
Total Number of Votes			17,469,724
Projected Date of 20 Million Votes	06-Dec-2020
Days Until 20 Million Votes		536
This is the list of urbanemovies' polls as of 13-Jun-2019:

Sorted Alphabetically

In Decreasing Order of Votes

Alphabetical List of Polls

Top IMDb Polls

IMDb Polls - Descending Order of Votes

Summary Statistics

Key Threads - IMDb Poll FAQs Index

How to Improve the Chance of Having your Poll on the Home Page