10 Films Hollywood Should Have Remade Instead Of Ben Hur

If you remake it, they will come.

Buena Vista Pictures

Based on a novel by Lew Wallace, Ben Hur tells the story of a Jewish merchant who seeks revenge on the former friend that imprisoned his mother and sister and forced him into slavery. First filmed (in one reel) in 1907, the story reached the big screen again in 1925 and 1959 respectively, with the latter version winning a then unprecedented 11 Oscars.

Timur Bekmambetov directs the latest remake, but don’t expect it to match its predecessor’s awards haul. Though the trailer promises epic battles and effects-heavy action sequences, its only Morgan Freeman’s dreadlocks that distinguish it from Gladiator, 300, Gods Of Egypt et al.

That’s the problem with the modern multiplex – every “new” movie is a variation on an imitation. If your local plex was an ice cream store, they’d stock 57 varieties of vanilla.

Hollywood knows its future lies in trading off famous titles, but that doesn’t mean they have to keep remaking Wuthering Heights, Beauty And The Beast or The Magnificent Seven. The number of bad movies crying out to be improved by a well-intentioned reboot is considerable, so here are 10 pictures that could give remakes a good name.

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Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'