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Some of the Best Remakes of Foreign Films

Hollywood often looks internationally for inspiration for its next hit. From Norway to Japan, the search for fresh stories to tell often leads filmmakers to discover some of the world’s most talented creators and help them to reach a wider audience.

To celebrate the release of COLD PURSUIT on 24th June, based on the excellent Scandi-noir hit In Order Of Disappearance, we take a look at some of the greatest remakes of foreign films of all-time. Of course, that all depends on what country you are based, but for the sake of this piece, it is including films made outside the UK and US.

The Departed – dir. Martin Scorsese (2006)

Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. The story follows an undercover police officer who attempts to infiltrate a gang. Meanwhile an unknown member of the gang has trained as an officer to gather intel on the police and their every move. When both sides realise they have a mole in their midst, both men need to try their best identify the “rat”, whilst still keeping their covers. The Departed, which starred Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, was a box office hit and won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Talented Mr Ripley – dir. Anthony Minghella (1999)

The Talented Mr Ripley is a story based off a novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. However, it is not the first movie adaptation, Purple Noon (1960) was first to turn this story into cinema. The story is set in the 1950s and follows Tom Ripley, a young man who is struggling to make ends meet in New York. To make money he forges signatures and impersonates people. After befriending and then impersonating a wealthy shipbuilder’s son, he becomes infatuated with him and his lifestyle but ultimately must take extreme measures to keep his cover when things start going wrong.

The Ring – dir. Gore Verbinski (2002)

The Ring, an American horror film starring Naomi Watts and Brian Cox, is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata. The plot is based around a journalist who sets out to investigate the death of her niece and her friends which leads her to a videotape. After watching the tape, she must solve the mystery before she reaches the same fate as her niece. The Ring evolved into a popular franchise and paved the way for numerous other remakes of Asian horror films.

The Magnificent Seven – dir. John Sturges (1960) / dir. Antoine Fuqua (2016)

After the 1954 Japanese hit samurai drama Seven Samurai, American directors were keen to remake the story for Western audiences. Two of the most notable remakes include John Sturges adaptation in 1960 and Antoine Fuqua’s in 2016. The main plot across these films consists of seven fighters who are charged with protecting a small town from a group of bandits. These two remakes chose to set them as Westerns to appeal to American audiences.

Cold Pursuit – dir. Hans Petter Moland (2019)

Cold Pursuit is a Western adaptation of the Norwegian black comedy action film In Order of Disappearance (2014) which was also directed by Hans Petter Moland. The Scandi-noir story follows a snowplough driver who seeks out revenge on a group of drug dealers after they murdered his son by methodically killing the chain of command from bottom to top. When the gang catches on to the disappearances, they blame a rival gang and war breaks out, but will this grieving father get payback or will he be caught in the middle of an escalating battle?

What are your favourite remakes of foreign films?

COLD PURSUIT comes to Digital Download on 17th June and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Steelbook on 24th June. Pre-order your copy now:

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