Top American Adaptations of Foreign Movies

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

10. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (61,519 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 84% (34,043 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 87% (39 reviews)
> Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
> Original movie: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) (Great Britain)

In 1956, Alfred Hitchcock directed this remake of a movie he had first made in England 22 years earlier, using international locales and the star power of James Stewart and Doris Day. They play a couple on vacation in Morocco who witness the death of a man who reveals an assassination plot to them with his dying breath. Their son is kidnapped to keep their silence and the two race against time to find him. Hitchcock’s original stars Peter Lorre and has an almost identical Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score – 89% vs. the remake’s 87%.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

9. Dead Ringer (1964)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (5,351 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 79% (1,912 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (9 reviews)
> Starring: Bette Davis, Karl Malden, Peter Lawford
> Original movie: La Otra (1945) (Mexico)

Paul Henreid directed “Now, Voyager” co-star Bette Davis in this film about revenge. Davis plays identical twin sisters Margaret and Edith Philips, who haven’t spoken in about 20 years, since Margaret convinced the man Edith loved into marrying her instead. After Margaret’s husband dies, Edith reunites with her twin only to kill her and steal her identity. But a shocking secret is revealed when she meets Margaret’s lover, Tony (Peter Lawford). Roberto Gavaldón wrote and directed the original from Mexico, with Dolores Del Rio playing the twin sisters.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

8. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (91,371 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (54,058 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (44 reviews)
> Starring: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
> Original movie: Shichinin no Samurai (1954) (Japan)

A galaxy of stars appeared in John Sturges’ homage to Akira Kurosawa’s epic drama “Shichinin no Samurai” – “The Seven Samurai” – which holds a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics. Instead of Japan, the setting is rural Mexico, where seven American guns for hire are tasked with protecting a village from bandits. In addition to Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson, the cast included James Coburn. Robert Vaughn, and Eli Wallach.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

7. Gaslight (1944)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (26,514 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (8,558 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (32 reviews)
> Starring: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten
> Original movie: Gaslight (1940) (Great Britain)

This thriller directed by George Cukor stars Charles Boyer as a schemer who tries to drive his new wife (Oscar-winner Ingrid Bergman) mad by making noises in the attic no one else seems to hear, dimming gaslights, and making items in the house go missing. The British original, starring Diana Wynyard and Anton Walbrook, enjoys a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score of 100%.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

6. 12 Monkeys (1995)
> IMDb user rating: 8.0/10 (595,919 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (391,252 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (72 reviews)
> Starring: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt
> Original movie: La Jetée (1962) (France)

This grim dystopian film follows a convict (Bruce Willis) sent back in time to get information about the man-made virus that has wiped out most of humankind. The basis of “12 Monkeys” is Chris Marker’s 28-minute “La Jetée,” constructed mostly of still photographs, about people researching time travel after World War III has destroyed Paris.

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