The recent release of A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper wasn't just a re-make, it was a re-re-re-make with previous versions starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March (1937), Judy Garland and James Mason (1954), and Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristopherson (1976). And just like the latest version was recognized with multiple Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Actress in a Leading Role, did you know that both the 1954 and 1937 versions were also nominated for the same awards?
All of this begs the question, which version of A Star Is Born shines the brightest?
But this isn't the only question of "which was the best version" to ponder. Here are several others:
- 2018 also had another Oscar nominated re-make. Saoirse Ronan and Margo Robbie played dueling sister queens in Mary Queen of Scots. But did you know that Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson played the same two characters in the 1971 movie of the same name with Vanessa Redgrave getting a Best Actress nomination?
- Who was the better Danny Ocean? Frank Sinatra in the 1960 version or George Clooney in the 2001 release?
- Speaking of caper movies, you have the 1969's The Italian Job starring Michael Caine and then the 2003 movie of the same name with Mark Wahlberg.
- Fay Wray's name is nearly synonymous with King Kong due to the original 1933 movie. But did Naomi Watts live up to her performance in the 2005 re-make?
- Similarly, Errol Flynn's name immediately brings to mind the his roles as a swashbuckler, including his performance playing the title character in the 1938 movie The Adventures of Robin Hood. But was he the best Robin Hood? What about Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or Russell Crowe in the 2010 Robin Hood? Or how about Cary Elwes in 1993's Robin Hood: Men in Tights. And we can't forget the animated Disney version of Robin Hood (1973).
- Speaking of Disney animations, which was better, the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast? Or the 2017 live action version starring Emma Watson?
- Who played the better Willy Wonka? Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Or Gene Wilder in the 1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory?
- Then you have a bit more esoteric examples. You have Noomi Rapace playing Lisabeth Salander in the 2009 Swedish-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Which was remade into an English language version in 2011 with Rooney Mara playing Lisabeth. And then in 2018, Claire Foy played Lisabeth in the sequel The Girl in the Spider's Web.
- And then there are reboots (which are a little different than remakes). We had William Shatner who defined the role of Captain Kirk in the TV Series and then in the 1977 movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And then in 2009 we got the reboot with Chris Pine playing Kirk in Star Trek.
- And which who were the best Ghostbusters? Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd in the 1984 original? Or Melissa McCarthy and Kirsten Wiig in the all-female led 2016 version?
- And if you are talking of reboots you have to ask who was the best Spider-Man? Tobey Maguire in the 2002 Spider-Man? Andrew Garfield in the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man? Or Tom Holland in the 2017 re-re-boot Spiderman: Homecoming? Or Jake Johnson in the animated 2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (If you haven't seen "Into the Spider-Verse", I'd highly recommend it. It is a really interesting take on the whole Spider world.)
The list here goes on and on. But there is really only one way to answer any of these questions: watch each of the movies and compare them.
Which is why at Whispering Pines Lodge, we have every one of the movies listed above along with many more. You can explore all of the movies we have on our DVD Listing Page.