Preferred Citation: Horton, Andrew, and Stuart Y. McDougal, editors Play It Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1998 1998.




1. See, for example, James Goodwin, Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), and T. Jefferson Kline, Screening the Text: Intertextuality in New Wave Cinema (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

2. See, for example, Michael B. Druxman, who provides a sketchy survey of the field in Make It Again, Sam: A Survey of Movie Remakes (New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1975); and Doris Milberg, Repeat Performances (New York: Broadway Press, 1990); and Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan, Cinema Sequels continue

and Remakes, 1903-1987 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1989), two volumes that provide listings and synopses.

One— Remakes and Cultural Studies

1. See the end of this chapter for a tentative taxonomy of remakes.

2. Druxman, Milberg, and Nowlan offer commentary on remakes.

3. Essays by Thomas Doherty and Douglas Kellner provide welcome exceptions to the typical comparative studies of remakes.

4. Stuart Samuels concludes that the 1956 film "[d]irectly or indirectly . . . deals with the fear of annihilation brought on by the existence of the A-bomb, the pervasive feeling of paranoia engendered by an increasing sense that something was wrong, an increasing fear of dehumanization focused around an increased massification of American life, a deep-seated expression of social, sexual, and political frustration resulting from an ever-widening gap between personal expectation and social reality, and a widespread push for conformity as an acceptable strategy to deal with the confusion and growing insecurity of the period" (216).

5. For commentary on the abortion controversies, see Rubin and Milbauer.

6. See Simonet for comparative data on the number of remakes made by studios before and after conglomerate takeovers.

Two— Algebraic Figures: Recalculating the Hitchcock Formula

1. A good study of Hitchcock's reputation can be found in Robert E. Kapsis, Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

2. It was the French who first indulged in the allusive act in the late fifties; it was also the French who first gave serious critical attention to Hitchcock. André continue

Bazin published an essay in 1950, and he visited Hitchcock on the set of To Catch a Thief in 1955. Cahiers du Cinéma devoted an issue to Hitchcock in 1954; Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer published a book on Hitchcock in 1957; François Truffaut published his famous interview in the mid-sixties. Chabrol and Truffaut both exercised some Hitchcockian options in their filmmaking.

3. Another weakness lies in the construction of the sequence. After the initial pleasure at the design of the set—the strange-looking cottage on the high school stage—in which the characters play out their game, one's attention lapses. The sequence is too long; there are too many repetitious one-shots of each of the characters. The intensity of their interaction would have been better expressed by composing them both in the frame and refraining from cutting. When Scorsese uses a lot of one-shots or over-the-shoulder shots in expository sequences, it can indicate his lack of full commitment to the film. There was much of this in Cape Fear and The Color of Money .

4. Another unexpected appearance of Bruno occurs when Guy and his fiancée visit the National Gallery in Washington. There is no real menace here: just an interruption of strained domesticity.

5. In the original Cape Fear , Sam's wife also has bad dreams and when she awakes thinks she sees Cady: it's only a clothes rack. Similarly, the man who the Bowdens' daughter thinks is pursuing her in the high school is only the janitor. Scorsese abjures these peekaboo conventions of the horror-thriller.

Another take (or remake) of this essay, with full-motion images, is available in the September 1994 issue of the online, subscription journal, Postmodern Culture . The URL is

Three— The Director Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock Remakes Himself

1. An interesting recent example is The Vanishing , first made in 1989 by the Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer and remade by him in Hollywood in 1992-93.

2. In her final appearance in one of her father's films, Psycho (1960), Patricia played a recently married woman who complains about headaches on her honeymoon.

3. In the first version, Clive comments over the phone to Betty that Albert Hall is a place and not a person. The confusion of places in the second version begins with Hank's remark about how North Africa looks exactly like Las Vegas, the city they had visited the previous summer. The confusion between personal and professional identities is underscored by casting Doris Day as Jo and Bernard Herrmann as the conductor.

4. This is in contrast to the Lawrences, who act out much of the drama within a taxi-ride's distance of their own apartment.

5. This glance of recognition recalls Thorwald's equally penetrating and chilling gaze across the courtyard at L. B. Jeffries in Rear Window . break

6. See, for example, Robin Wood (368 ff.) for discussion of these parallels.

7. This mistake is shared by critics as well. Robin Wood speaks of the Conways (368).

8. However, Hitchcock reuses the taxidermy theme to good effect in Psycho .

9. Wendy Lesser argues that the musical piece itself is a "remaking" of the earlier piece and demonstrates how any musical performance continually remakes a musical score. She also stresses the way Bernard Herrmann is a surrogate for Alfred Hitchcock throughout this scene.

10. This is the culmination of a positive characterization of Mrs. Drayton that Hitchcock has been developing throughout the film. The turning point comes shortly before this, when—in the ambassador's study—the order is given to kill the boy and Mrs. Drayton cries out in horror. It is another element in the conscious creation of the Draytons as doubles for the McKennas.

11. In Notorious , Devlin (Cary Grant) had rescued Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) from her father figure, Sebastian (Claude Rains), while Sebastian's mother looked on. Note that Notorious begins with doors opening to reveal Alicia's real father—whom she must renounce—and closing on her husband-father figure, whom she must also renounce.

12. See Wendy Lesser for a more detailed discussion of the relationship between Vertigo and The Man Who Knew Too Much (141-144).

Four— Robin Hood: From Roosevelt to Reagan

1. The Hollywood producer Rob Wood, a longtime fan of the television series, has recently repackaged these episodes, colorizing them, reediting them to include slow motion for action scenes, and updating the music for today's audiences, with pleasing results.

2. The plot line of Adventures is heavily influenced by the themes introduced by Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1819). J. C. Holt, Robin Hood (London: Thames and Hudson, 1982), 183-186, discusses how this differs from previous Robin Hood themes.

3. The filmmakers apparently had no discomfort in having a black man kill an older white woman as the means of repaying his debt to a white male. Nor do the filmmakers have much sensitivity to the kind of feminist view of witches found in the often-reprinted essay "Witches, Midwives, and Nurses" by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English; much less do they take into consideration mainstream scholarship such as Alan C. Kors and Edward Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, 1100-1700 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972).

Five— "Once More, from the Top": Musicals the Second Time Around

1. No less important in terms of the way the genre functions are the sequels-series, a possible fourth type. Sequels (e.g., Grease II [1982] and Staying Alive [1983]) are generally self-explanatory. Certain films function similarly to sequels but are properly called series since they follow the same patterns of other films but without necessarily addressing the activities of the same characters. (The most obvious examples are the Golddiggers and Broadway Melody films of the thirties.) Series films use an established formula and occasionally repeated material to take advan- soft

tage of earlier films' successes. However, unlike true remakes, which derive more or less from specific earlier films, series films use a broad array of antecedents.

2. Silk Stockings and The Wiz (and a few other films, Sweet Charity among them) are complicated by an intermediary step: a Broadway musical version of which these films are screen adaptations.

3. An alternate form of reinterpretation reverses the process and uses established songs but with newly developed narratives (e.g., Singin' in the Rain [1952] and Pennies from Heaven [1981]).

4. In The American Film Musical Rick Altman proposes three subgenres—the fairy tale musical, the show musical, and the folk musical—each with its own semantic and syntactic elements. All three have had their share of remakes, but partially because it has been the site of considerable critical attention the show musical seems especially profitable to explore in the context of remakes.

5. What Price Hollywood? produced by David O. Selznick, who also produced the 1937 A Star Is Born (directed by George Cukor, who also directed the 1954 remake), was clearly an inspiration for various scenes and moments in both the 1937 and 1954 films. The complicated romantic relationships of this film, however, as well as its attack on the press for invading a star's personal life, are so different from any version of A Star Is Born that it seems inaccurate to consider them specific remakes of What Price Hollywood? Patrick McGilligan suggests that "[i]ts tough storyline about the pressures of Hollywood stardom has been stolen from and remade many times" (80).

6. The screenplay credits for the 1976 A Star Is Born cite only a story by William Wellman and Robert Carson as its basis. According to the credits of the 1937 film, the Wellman-Carson story was itself the basis of the original screenplay. (David O. Selznick's uncredited contribution has been much recognized; see Haver and McGilligan.) The tale of the writing of the 1976 film reveals a great deal about the preproduction process of remakes. John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion wrote the first two drafts while quite proudly having seen neither earlier version; they were interested only in the title recognition as a way of getting studio support for a film about the rock and roll business (Dunne, 30). After a third draft, the pair left the project, and numerous other writers (fourteen, according to Dunne) contributed versions. Subsequently the director, Frank Pierson, showing some allegiance to the two prior films, "past[ed] bits and pieces of every draft starting from 1936 into the third draft by Joan Didion and John Dunne" (Pierson, 52).

7. Any analysis of Cukor's A Star Is Born is complicated by textual questions. The film initially released was radically altered without the participation of the director or other principal creators. Although much footage was irretrievably lost, a restored version was released in 1983, which used master sound tapes, alternate takes not included in the director's cut, and still photographs to simulate narrative action. The full story has been documented by Ron Haver in A Star Is Born: The Making of the 1954 Movie and Its 1983 Restoration . I have used the restored version as my source.

8. The decision to use CinemaScope, a patented system controlled by Twentieth Century-Fox, was made only after Warner Brothers had failed in numerous attempts to exploit its own kinds of wide-screen processes. In fact, the decision to continue

use CinemaScope occurred only after several days—and three hundred thousand dollars worth—of production on the film (Haver, 126-32).

9. It is significant in this regard that Garland sings all the songs in the 1954 version; emphasis away from the male lead seems also the result of James Mason's being one of Cukor's alternate choices to play Norman Maine. Cary Grant—Cukor's first choice—adamantly refused, and Stewart Granger walked out after finding Cukor's methods incompatible with his own (McGilligan, 219-20).

10. Other than the conflation of Gaynor-Blodgett in the 1937 film, there is no demonstration that this Esther-Vicki has the ability to play a leading role. Indeed, the only two "performances" in the film thus far would argue otherwise: First, at the party where Gaynor's Esther meets March's Norman Maine, she adopts various guises as she offers hors d'oeuvres to the guests; second, just prior to the discussion with him in the cafeteria, she practices different voices for her first speaking part. Both instances suggest that she has no individual persona. Except for the short scene shown at the preview, throughout the film there is only hearsay evidence that this character is worthy of the designation star .

11. A further affirmation of Barbra Streisand's own acclaim by a concert audience—and perhaps an even greater blurring of the function of audience in this version of A Star Is Born— lies in the fact that the outdoor concert scenes of the film were filmed as part of a real concert for a crowd of fifty thousand who paid admission for an all-day performance. On the morning of the concert, Streisand, initially apprehensive about her reception by the audience ("These are rock and roll kids. They'll hate me. They'll boo me off the stage. What do they know about what I do?"), walked onstage, "looked at the crowd and said, ' Holy shit! ' They went crazy. Crazy . She owned them from that point on" (Graham and Greenfield, 374-75).

12. Robert Lang's American Film Melodrama provides a full discussion of the relationship between women's identity and patriarchy as fundamental to melodrama (3-13).

13. Wade Jennings asserts that the film itself had been re-released several times between 1937 and 1954 and that the film had also been adapted for radio on more than one occasion—not just in 1942 with Judy Garland (327).

Six— The Ethnic Oedipus:The Jazz Singer and Its Remakes

1. The part of Jack Robin's father was first offered to Rosenblatt with the promise of a salary as high as one hundred thousand dollars. According to Rosen- soft

blatt's biographer, the cantor refused because of his religious convictions but eventually agreed to appear in one scene as himself only after laying down strict conditions, including a ban on makeup (Rosenblatt, 1954, 289). I thank Lewis Porter for calling my attention to this text, as well as for many other helpful suggestions.

2. For a more rigorous approach to the semantics of films such as The Jazz Singer , I recommend the much more detailed "coding sheet" with no less than twenty-seven categories that George Custen (1992, 237-39) developed for his work on biopics.

3. In a curious way, the documentary of a tour by the pop singer Madonna, Truth or Dare (1991), vaguely recalls many of the conventions of the Jazz Singer , including a conflict with working-class ethnic parents, a (mildly blasphemous) recuperation of the family's religious heritage into the star's performance, and the wary reconciliation with the father. The sexual capital of African Americans is also a crucial factor in this narrative—Madonna tours with a troupe of black male dancers and with two female singer-dancers, one of whom is black. And like 90 percent of white pop singers today, Madonna relies heavily on vocal styles and body language steeped in African American traditions.

4. In his book on Yiddish cinema (1991b), Hoberman discusses Der Vilner Balebesl and several related films in greater detail. For studies that contextualize The Jazz Singer with other American films about Jews, see Erens (1984) and Friedman (1982).

5. In 1982, the SCTV (Second City TV) troupe did a parody of the Diamond film on their NBC series, in which the father—played by "Sid Dithers" (Eugene Levy) with dread locks—is a Jewish recording executive who wants his son to make hit records. The son, played by Al Jarreau (who is African American), wants to be a cantor. In still another Jazz Singer parody, Krusty the Klown told the story of his estrangement from his orthodox Jewish father on a 1992 episode of The Simpsons: as in so many of the remakes, the program culminates with the father accepting his son's profession and enjoying his performance, even to the point of throwing a pie at the "camera" as the episode ends.

6. Lewis, who owns exclusive rights to his 1959 Jazz Singer , has expressed dissatisfaction with the program and has made it unavailable for public viewing. I have obtained most of my information on Jerry Lewis's Jazz Singer in conversation with Scott Bukatman, an ardent student of Lewis's work, who was given access to the program by Lewis himself.

7. I can only speculate that Warner Brothers decided early on to omit blackface performance scenes from the 1952 Jazz Singer after receiving complaints about Doris Day's blackface imitation of Al Jolson in I'll See You in My Dreams , released one year earlier in 1951. I'll See You in My Dreams , like the 1952 Jazz Singer , was directed for Warners by Michael Curtiz and starred Danny Thomas. This was not the end of blackface in the cinema, however. In 1953, Joan Crawford performed under cork in Torch Song . As far as I can tell, the tradition does not reappear until it reaches a socially conscious stage with Black Like Me (1964). Elliott Gould does a brief parody of blackface and Jolson in The Long Goodbye (1973), and there is a sentimental but vaguely sinister revision of the practice in Soul Man (1986).

8. As the author of an article that employs psychoanalytic methodologies in order to insist upon the phallic nature of the jazz trumpet (Gabbard, 1992), I feel continue

compelled to comment on the scene in which Goodman, at a crucial moment in his sexual development, hands his clarinet to the black musician Fletcher Henderson. Although there may be moments when a clarinet is only a clarinet, the long black instrument can perhaps be conceptualized here as a prosthesis for Goodman's sexuality, first charged with phallic qualities when Goodman learns to play jazz from black artists. Even though the mature Goodman never abandons the clarinet in his public life, he eventually becomes sufficiently confident as a sexual being to put the prosthesis aside. Handing the phallic instrument to Fletcher Henderson while Kid Ory is present brings to completion a process that began when Ory taught Goodman the full potential of the clarinet while twice mentioning Fletcher Henderson's name in conversation. Hollywood's racial codes may have demanded that a woman like Donna Reed-Alice Hammond should require a suitor more sophisticated than one tutored by blacks, who simply "play what they feel." According to his logic, Goodman can successfully approach her only after he has put his large black prosthesis aside.

9. Rogin (1992) tends to overstate the racism inherent in the original Jazz Singer 's imitation of black music. Rogin implies that African American jazz artists of the twenties—he specifically names Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, and King Oliver—played an urban, revolutionary music quite separate from Al Jolson-Jack Robin's songs of nostalgia for the old plantation (448). In fact, many of Rogin's canonical black jazz musicians performed exactly the kind of music that he lays at the door of Jolson and The Jazz Singer . During the 1920s and early 1930s, Louis Armstrong essentially built his popularity upon "coon" songs like "Sleepy Time Down South," "Shine," "Snowball," and "Shoe Shine Boy," while Fletcher Henderson recorded "Old Black Joe Blues," "Darktown Has a Gay White Way," and "Cotton Picker's Ball." In 1927 King Oliver recorded a song called "Aunt Jemima." While it is true that this repertoire was probably forced upon black entertainers by white impresarios, it is also true that this was the only system through which we can come to know these black entertainers. Rogin seems to suggest that a pure, uncorrupted, uncommercialized black music is somehow knowable without the apparatus of the culture industry.

Seven— Raiders of the Lost Text: Remaking as Contested Homage in Always

1. Michael B. Druxman's Make It Again, Sam: A Survey of Movie Remakes remains the most comprehensive investigation of Hollywood remaking practice to date. Druxman views remaking as a function of industry pragmatism, variously undertaken because of "product" shortages; the cost effectiveness of recycling previous scripts; the profit potential of deploying new stars and techniques in proven vehicles, et cetera. He describes the transformation of some thirty films at length and cites many other remakes briefly. His approach is avowedly more anecdotal than hermeneutic.

The following common remake categories are based upon Druxman's work, and my overview of the subject:

The acknowledged close remake: The original film is replicated with little or no change. Advertising and press book material may inform viewers of the remaker's intention to hew to the previous movie's narrative and characters. Verisimilitude often constitutes a strong selling point. Notable examples are found in the Biblical epic subgenre (e.g. Ben Hur, 1907, 1925, 1959).

The acknowledged transformed remake: Transformations of character, plot, time, and setting are more substantive than in the acknowledged close remake. The original movie is openly, but variably, mentioned as a source, and mention ranges from a small screen credit to significant promotional foregrounding. Remakes in this category during the past two decades include A Star Is Born (1976), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Stella (1990), and Always (1990).

The unacknowledged, disguised remake. Major alterations are undertaken in time, setting, gender, or—most particularly—genre. The audience is deliberately uninformed about the switches. Disguised remaking peaked roughly from the thirties through the early fifties—the heyday of the studio system, when the relentless demand for new films, wedded to a perennial lack of fresh "material," compelled frequent reuse of earlier screenplays. Any list of disguised remakes would be formidable. See Druxman, particularly pp. 13-24, for examples.

2. The second volume of William Luhr and Peter Lehman's study of Blake Edwards's oeuvre ( Returning to the Scene ) undertakes an elegant inquiry into the complex, usually unacknowledged aesthetic and ideological premises of remaking. Edwards is cited as a consummate improviser who refuses to valorize the original as a historically fixed, forever completed project. He assays "not so much . . . to remake the film as . . . to replicate the conditions that allowed the film to be made . . . [returning] to the creative moment when the original film could have developed in any number of directions" (209-210). Again, his "remakes often question the premises of what they reprise, and often attempt to reformulate the mainstream cinema of which they are a part . . ." (224). break

Corollary to Luhr and Lehman's theories, Robert Eberwein suggests that a remake always exists under the sign of erasure, effecting "a kind of reconstruction of the original. . . . Erasing it [presents] an opportunity to recuperate the voyeuristic lack we experience in our viewing of the original . . ." ("Remakes Writing under Erasure," presented at the Florida State University Conference on Literature and Film, 1988, 3). Eberwein suggests that the remaker's efforts invade implicitly forbidden territory, analogous to the child's "invasion" of the primal scene.

Allusions to material from previous films have been escalating in American cinema since the seventies. In effect, these comprise remakes in miniature, embedded pars pro toto in the "parent" film's associative matrix. Noël Carroll's authoritative study of allusions provides valuable insights into the remaking of an entire film, as well as the citation of its parts (51-81).

3. Spielberg's production team consulted with government and private fire-fighting agencies during the making of Always . The film's numerous departures from fire-fighting realities thus do not proceed from ignorance, but rather seem to have been dictated by a combination of melodramatic license (for instance, had Pete actually dropped chemicals from his craft upon Al Yackey's burning plane, the latter would most certainly have crashed), the director's penchant for hyperbole, and sexism. Holly Hunter's Dorinda is one of a few female personnel at the fire-fighting station and related locales, whereas the percentage of female smoke jumpers actually ranges from twenty-five to thirty. Pilots, however, are exclusively male as of this writing. (Information supplied by Arnold Hartigan, Public Affairs Officer, Boise Interagency Fire Center, 3905 Vista Avenue, Boise, ID 83705).

4. In A Guy Named Joe, Pete is still subject to military discipline after his death. His squadron of ghostly "advisers" is commanded by an anonymous general (Lionel Barrymore), probably modeled after Billy Mitchell. He rebukes Pete for letting his jealousy affect his tutelage of Van Johnson, with a stirring homily about making the world safe for democracy. Corollary to its transformation of Joe's protagonists into New Age post-Reaganites, Always metamorphoses the squadron and its commander into Hap, a female angel-cum-EST facilitator (played with tooth-grinding sweetness by Audrey Hepburn). She gently chides Pete for his samsaric attachments with no-brainer epigrams that could have been culled from the back of Celestial Seasons tea bag packages.

5. I am indebted to Professor Krin Gabbard for these observations.

6. Robert B. Ray explores the tutoring of the American "loner" in films like Casablanca and Air Force (1943) on the communitarian values required for winning the war.

7. Ariel Dorfman comments tellingly on the trend toward infantilization in the mass culture of late-twentieth-century capitalism (145-53). Dorfman's arguments are exceptionally pertinent to Spielberg's oeuvre as director and producer in recent years.

8. "Pastiche is . . . the imitation of a peculiar or unique style, the wearing of a stylistic mask, speech in a dead language . . ." (Jameson, 16).

" . . . [I]n a world in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, all that is left is to imitate dead styles, to speak through the masks and with the voices of the styles in the imaginary museum . . ." (18). break

9. "[T]he very style of nostalgia films [is] invading and colonizing even those movies today which have contemporary settings: as though . . . we are unable today to focus on our own present, as though we have become incapable of achieving aesthetic representations of our own current experience . . . an alarming and pathological symptom of a society that has become incapable of dealing with time and history. . . . [W]e seem condemned to seek the historical past through our own pop images and stereotypes about that past, which itself remains forever out of reach" (20).

10. "American political life has never been a consistently reliable source of sustenance; and most people who grew up in the '50s and '60s have come to count, for their sense of value and style and even identity, on the ambient culture that has given postwar American life its special richness. . . . [T]his culture seems to have reached a very high level of technical accomplishment, and then to have run out of anything fresh to say. . . . [It] seems thrillingly vacant. The wonderful package has nothing inside. . . . There is a genuine aesthetic frisson in emptiness . . ." (22).

11. I am indebted for this transliteration to Zachary Bayer, chief librarian of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1048 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028.

12. Inter alia, above interviews; Mott and McAlister Saunders; Smith, 135-45.

13. According to the history supplied by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Professor Henry Jones is a noted medievalist caught up with proving the historical reality of the holy grail. The death of his wife left him to raise his son. His scholarly obsession and unremitting criticism made the latter revolt against his authority. During his teens, Indy left home to pursue his own peculiar archaeological ambitions. The stormy relationship of Jones Senior and Junior echoes the fractiousness of Adam and Cal Trask in East of Eden, previously cited by Spielberg in describing the signatory moment of rebellion against his own father.

The Last Crusade openly portrays angry division between father and son as in no other Spielberg film to that date. The Joneses' search for the grail is a rather heavy-handed symbol of their quest to heal their rift. Their mutual competitiveness is enormous; vis-à-vis the oedipal motif in Always, the film has Indy unknowingly sleep with the same woman his father had bedded in aid of finding the grail.

14. In Hook, business pressures and the strain of repressing his fabulous past have diminished Peter Pan—now Peter Banning—to a dim shadow of his former self. He is specifically estranged from his latency-age son, whom Hook woos after kidnapping him with promises of being a better father.

In an overview of Spielberg's career, I noted that every privileged Spielbergian psychological theme is folded into Hook: childhood as paradise, heart over head, the middle-class family menaced from without and within—and chiefly a father who has to rise above his failings to save the day. I further speculated that Spielberg may have identified both with Banning-Pan and the son, insofar as Hook was meant to rescue the director himself from a midlife creative stall. The film arguably afforded him an opportunity to continue the project of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: to process again a variety of youthful traumata, including his parents' divorce, and, centrally, to heal the narcissistic wounds caused by the failure of Always with another blockbuster success (44-48, 80, 83). break

15. Such as, for instance, a preoedipal-oral relationship between the remaker and the original film, informed by primitive wishes for incorporation by, and fusion with, the "materialized" source. In this regard, see Holland's analysis of the reader's oral relationship with the literary text (63-103).

16. My remarks are obviously pitched at the oedipal relationship between a male remaker and his subject, predicated upon the industry-driven reality that virtually all remaking has been done by men of films made by other men. I have so far been unable to discover remaking of a "male" original undertaken by a female director or other key female cinema figure (and I welcome information on this subject). In the highly unlikely circumstance of a woman remaking another woman's film, the elaboration of an Electra configuration around the source movie, corresponding to the male oedipal dynamic, seems plausible.

17. The articulation between neurotic conflict and artistic effectiveness must be viewed as exceptionally problematic. It is analytically naive to suppose that in every instance a serious oedipal conflict related to the original film would necessarily compromise the aesthetic effectiveness of the remake. For instance, an oedipally motivated hostile "defacement" of the source film could still be accomplished through great art, if in a spirit of great contempt.

18. Since emerging as a major force in Hollywood, Spielberg usually wields this sort of influence over the pictures he directs. While in most cases he has not written the screenplays of his films ( Close Encounters was a notable exception), crucial conceptual, narrative, and visual elements often reflect his choices. He is intimately bound up with script selection, then rewriting and/or interpretation during film production. Thus it may reliably be assumed that, much like Hitchcock, the salient psychodynamics of the screenplays he chooses to process closely reflect his own preoccupations.

Eight— Double Takes: The Role of Allusion in Cinema

1. The audience's perception of the interplay between a new text and an older text to which it refers is examined in Peter J. Rabinowitz's "'What's Hecuba to Us?': The Audience's Experience of Literary Borrowing."

2. For a discussion of the emergence of an American audience literate in the history of cinema (and of the implications for filmmakers), see Noël Carroll's "The Future of Allusion: Hollywood in the Seventies (and Beyond)."

3. In fact, Hughes's sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), confirms the filmmaker's intention to place the series in the context suggested above by repeating, when the criminals first confront Kevin, the image of the "M" branded into Harry's palm. Even more telling is a detail in the film's opening. In establishing the sequel's premise, a newspaper's front page announcing "Wet Bandits in Daring Escape" is blown against the McCallisters' door. Beneath the photos of the two escaped convicts are the captions "Marvin Murchins" and "Harry Lyme." Equal to Hans Beckert in the extent of his wickedness toward children, Harry Lime, the villain of Carol Reed's famous mystery, The Third Man (1949), supplies hospitals with stolen and diluted penicillin for children infected with meningitis, who consequently suffer brain damage or die after administration of the adulterated continue

drug. Identifying Harry Lyme, Kevin's nemesis, with both Beckert and Lime, John Hughes leaves little doubt that he wishes the Home Alone series to be understood in terms of a classic cinematic tradition of children imperiled by adults.

Nine— The French Remark:Breathless and Cinematic Citationality

1. The spoken words "appearing" in the mouths of the characters in the top half of the screen or "off" to the side might be said to be inverted in the written form at the bottom. Une version is French for a translation into the mother tongue, as well as being, as in English, the expression that distinguishes different forms, especially different language forms of a given film (e.g., version originale, version française ).

2. For a lengthy comparison of the two films, see Falkenberg.

3. However, McBride's film has the very Godardian shot through a large doughnut that gives the appearance of the iris that Godard uses for some of his fades, and during which the word "nuts" appears briefly.

4. The differences between French dialogue and English subtitles are worth repeating. First of all, as Ropars points out, Michel's dying words remain somewhat inaudible, but the difficulty is not with the word "dégueulasse," which is heard quite clearly, but rather in the difference between " C'est vraiment dégueulasse " ("It's really shitty") and " Tu es vraiment dégueulasse " ("You are really shitty"). That is relayed into English by an ellipsis, as follows:

Michel: Tu es (C'est) vraiment dégueulasse.

Patricia: Qu'est-ce qu'il a dit?

Policeman: Il a dit: "Vous êtes vraiment une dégueulasse."

Patricia: Qu'est-ce que c'est 'dégueulasse'?

5. For discussion of the chiasmus, see Derrida (165-66).

6. For further discussion of this, see Wills, 1986 and 1991.

Ten— The Spring, Defiled: Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring and Wes Craven's Last House on the Left

1. See Gerald Mast, A Short History of the Movies, 5th ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 547.

2. See Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion, 1993 ed. (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992); Leonard Maltin, ed., Leonard Maltin's TV Movies and Video Guide (New York: Signet, 1992); Steven H. Scheuer, Movies on TV (New York: Bantam, 1987).

3. Unless a readaptation of a literary work refers to the previous adaptation(s) and not directly to the written source, the readaptation should not be considered a remake. Thus, Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991) and Werner Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (1979) are remakes, but Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), or any other recent Shakespeare production is not.

4. Ibid., 1254.

5. A shocking variety show of vengeance, elaborately schemed and painstakingly executed, is one of Craven's trademarks, seen, for example, in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Deadly Friend (1986), and Shocker (1991). God left Craven's world, and left it without a blueprint; the revenge with shaving cream spread on the floor, invisible strings attached to murderous hammers, chain saws, short circuits, etc., is the only plan possible in the total chaos.

6. Narrative, verbal, stylistic, casting, and other references to the source are precisely what should decisively distinguish a remake from a "rip-off" (Maltin). Thieves conceal and pretend to not have taken what they took—something that neither Wes Craven, nor any other true remaker, credited or uncredited, ever does.

7. No one could claim the absence of differences between the classical and the pop culture for reasons other than polemical. Thus, for example, the authorship of the popular myth is more "anonymous" than that of the classical myth. Orestes continue

belongs to Aeschylus and 007 to . . . well, not exclusively Ian Fleming, but maybe because of this James Bond is even more mythical than Orestes. Myths emerge from the existential anonymity and, having passed the stage of individual expression, should lead back to anonymity, this time cultural.

8. Between 1992 and 1995, several Hollywood remakes of the relatively recent European productions— Scent of a Woman ( Profumo di donna, Italy, 1975), Sommersby ( The Return of Martin Guerre, France, 1982), The Vanishing (Netherlands, 1988), Point of No Return ( Nikita, France, 1990), and my Father, the Hero ( Mon Père, le Héro, France 1992)—were released; several more are currently in production. While a short temporal gap is caused directly by the "exploitation" aspect of remaking a successful (or potentially commercial) feature, these remakes could not have been done if the source films did not originate overseas. A scenario in which Joe Dante, John Carpenter, or Walter Hill are remaking a Jim Jarmusch, a Jon Jost, or a Henry Jaglom picture yet remains in the realm of fantasy. break

Eleven— Cinematic Makeovers and Cultural Border Crossings: Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies and Coppola's Godfather and Godfather II

1. Since the Perhan figure echoes the Al Pacino character in Coppola's trilogy, we can say that Kusturica presents in one film what Coppola develops in three, recognizing once more that Godfather III came out after Time of the Gypsies .

2. Mihic is one of the most if not the most prominent of Yugoslav screenwriters. For many years, it was not uncommon to see in an industry that produced no more than thirty or forty films, three or four films with Mihic scripts. This fact alone means that in choosing to work with Mihic, Kusturica was embracing the creator of many of the most memorable Yugoslav films.

3. Emir Kusturica, interview by author, Moscow, July 1989.

4. For Kusturica to use Bora Todorovic in the role of the godfather was itself a significant piece of casting. As the Brando and John Wayne of Yugoslavia rolled into continue

Thirteen— Modernity and Postmaternity:High Heels and Imitation of Life

1. Thompson is the only critic I have found to actually compare High Heels and Imitation of Life, and he only does so in passing.

2. The character Dominguez is also known as Eduardo (in addition to posing as Lethal). Hence it is also possible that he is masquerading as the judge. There is no stable baseline of identity from which to operate.

3. Morgan discusses the strict distinction between high and low culture in Spanish society (28).

4. David Kehr also noticed the parallels between the narrative of High Heels and the details of the Turner-Crane-Stompanato scandal.

5. Thanks to Chris Holmlund for pointing out to me the fleeting appearance of the racial theme in High Heels .

6. The show aired on October 8, 1992.

7. The parallels between the dialogue in Imitation and High Heels were also noted by Thompson (62).

8. See also the article (cited below) by Kristina Straub for a discussion of the dangers of postmodernism for feminism. break

9. In talking of the "old dream of symmetry," Irigaray is characterizing Freud's constant tendency to imagine female development as parallel to and/or "symmetrical" with that of the male.

10. See also Modleski, 76-89.

11. Though Hutcheon catalogues the objections to the appropriation of post-modernism by feminism, she ultimately rejects that position.

12. Thompson mentions the film noir atmosphere in High Heels (62).

Fourteen— Feminist Makeovers: The Celluloid Surgery of Valie Export and Su Friedrich

1. The number of operations and other procedures Richards underwent in her changes from man to partial woman to man to woman is mind-boggling. In addition to those I have already mentioned, Garber also lists the removal of Raskind's Adam's apple and breast reduction surgery: after initial hormone treatments Raskind married a woman and found himself embarrassed by his large breasts. The whole cycle began all over again three years later with the end of the marriage. The final stage of Raskind's change to Richards included a penectomy and the construction of a vagina using penile tissue. See further Richards's autobiography.

2. In passing, Garber comments that Jackson's age has become increasingly indeterminate, in part as a result of his operations but primarily thanks to his androgynous, ageless, and "raceless" performances. See Garber, 1992: 185.

For years pulp magazines and newspapers have tried to "explain" Jackson's androgyny in order to capitalize on his appeal. According to the weekly magazine For Women First , for example, Jackson "owns up to two nose jobs" but "sources close continue

to [him] number his rhinoplasties as high as seven." The magazine goes on to cite a medical expert, identified as "David Alessi, MD, clinical assistant professor at UCLA," who claims Jackson "looks as if he's had cheek and chin implants, lip reduction and skin lightening. . . . He may have also had liposuction under the chin" ("Plastic Surgery under Fire," 1992: 23).

On an Oprah Winfrey special aired February 10, 1993, Jackson vehemently denied such allegations. He maintained that he had only twice undergone plastic surgery, though he refused to say what had been altered. He also revealed that he suffered from a skin disease that made areas of his skin "white," and said he used powder and makeup to even out the blotches.

3. I have only seen Export's three feature films— Invisible Adversaries ( Unsichtbare Gegner , 1976), Menschenfrauen (1978) and Practice of Love ( Praxis der Liebe , 1984)—on video. All are available for rental or purchase from Facets Multimedia, 1517 West Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 (800-331-6197).

4. See, for example, Lyon, 1991, and Mueller, 1983.

5. Export claims the surrealists are precursors of Viennese action art and Western feminist performance art. See Export, 1989.

6. Friedrich's longer films— The Ties That Bind (1984), Damned If You Don't (1987), and Sink or Swim (1990)--are available from Women Make Movies, Canyon Cinema, and the Museum of Modern Art. Three of the shorts— Cool Hands, Warm Heart (1979), Gently down the Stream (1981), and First Comes Love (1991)--are distributed by Women Make Movies and Canyon Cinema. Canyon Cinema distributes a fourth short, But No One (1982), as well.

7. The term comes from Friedrich's presentation at the 1992 MLA feminist film session I organized, entitled "Lesbian Tongues Untied."

8. See Holmlund, "Fractured Fairytales and Experimental Identities."

9. The title of Export's article is, of course, itself a makeover of Antonin Artaud's The Theater and Its Double .

10. In interviews, Siegel maintains only that "the majority of people in the world . . . are pods, existing without any intellectual aspirations and incapable of love" (Braucourt, 1972: 75). See also Kaminsky, 1991: 154-57. LaValley, however, argues that Siegel was also critical of conformist right-wing 1950s America, though his critiques in Invasion were less pointed than those scripted by left-leaning screen-writer Daniel Mainwaring. See LaValley, 1991: 911. For other interpretations, see, for example, Biskind, 1991: 193-97; Kaminsky, 1991: 178-81; Laura, 1972: 71; LaValley, 1991: 3-17; Rogan, 1991: 201-5; Sayre, 1991: 184; Sobchak, 1987: 123; Steffen-Fluhr, 1991: 206-21; and Warren, 1982: 287.

11. As the film opens, an offscreen news broadcaster reports that Chancellor Kreisky's SPO is engaging in "Watergate methods" in its hunt for left-wing radicals. A bit later this same broadcaster mentions Henriette von Shirach, wife of the Nazi youth leader, in connection with a story on the rise of neo-Nazism in Austria. Later mention is made of the prevalence of corruption in the Second Republic.

12. See, for example, the description Export offers in Hofmann and Hollein, 1980: 108.

13. See Couder, 1984, and Lukasz-Aden and Strobel, 1985: 249.

14. See Warren, 1982: 284; Laura, 1972: 72; and LaValley, 1991: 11. break

15. Steffen-Fluhr reads the film as more overtly misogynist than I do. For her, the film's major theme is "a dialectic between sleep and wakefulness, between deadly 'alien' passivity and passionate human activity (i.e. between stereotypical female and male modes. [ sic ]) This dialectic is further complicated because, in Invasion, 'to sleep' is linked to the euphemism for sexual intercourse, 'to sleep with'" (Steffen-Fluhr, 1991: 214).

16. Because Export repeatedly shows the effects imperialist wars have on people of color, one might argue that she also calls attention to the racial politics which, Robert Eberwein maintains, underpinned the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers . See Eberwein's essay in this volume.

17. Unlike the first and last sequences of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which Siegel had to add on to satisfy test audiences and his producers, Export's opening sequence is not part of a frame story, although the principal elements it incorporates are repeated again, with modifications, at the end.

18. An old man looks ominous, for example, even though he is just mowing the lawn, because we see him from behind or suddenly in extreme close-up in the foreground of a shot. Since Siegel has hidden the man's face and/or unsettled three-dimensional space, we cannot be sure of his "humanity."

19. In the last section of her chapter "Spare Parts," provocatively titled "Postscript: The Transsexual on the Cutting Room Floor," Garber explores a related question: how transsexuals have been represented in recent mainstream and independent films. She does not discuss experimental films or examine the relationships between experimental makeovers and mainstream originals, however. See Garber, 1992: 110-17.

20. The related question, "When is a woman a human being (in patriarchal societies)?" is never articulated, though it is obviously the starting point for Export's analysis. Thanks to Lucy Fischer for this observation.

Similarly, Elizabeth Lyon argues that Export inverts the question that Miles asked himself when confronted with the pod Becky's entreaty to "sleep" with her. For Lyon, Export thereby "shift[s] the ground from telling the difference between alien and human to posing the question of the relation between sexual identity and the body" (Lyon, 1991: 1).

21. Export's second feature film, Menschenfrauen, incorporates still other performance pieces from this time period.

22. Helke Sander talks about her own feminist filmmaking in one of Anna's videos, and the end of Invisible Adversaries quotes Rahel Varnhagen, a nineteenth-century Austrian writer recently rediscovered by feminists.

23. Joanna Kiernan makes a similar point about some of Export's short films: "[T]he audience is a necessary part of the transference and the polemic" (Kiernan, 1986-87: 185).

24. Menschenfrauen does briefly take up lesbianism. The ending is especially telling: the two main female characters, both pregnant by the same man, leave him for each other.

25. MacDonald maintains that Friedrich made Damned If You Don't as a response to the taboo on cinematic and narrative pleasure imposed by certain 1980s feminist filmmakers, because she views such a strategy as a dead end. She says, "I like continue

films that are both sensual and entertaining, that engage me emotionally as well as intellectually. . . . [With Damned If You Don't ], I wanted to make something I (and viewers) would enjoy" (MacDonald, 1992: 295 and 299).

26. From the start, Powell insisted that "the atmosphere in this film is everything. . . . Wind, the altitude, the beauty of the settings—it must all be under control" (Powell, 1987: 562-63).

27. How much the association of the exotic and the erotic, the Oriental and the feminine, is destined for a Western male gaze is clear in the anecdote Powell provides about his friend Stewart Granger's infatuation with Jean Simmons as Kanchi: "When Stewart . . . saw Jean eating a squashy fruit with a ring through her nose, he went straight out, proposed to her and married her. I always said it was the baggy umbrella she carried. It was the final erotic touch" (Powell, 1987: 585).

28. Powell and Pressburger cast fancifully clad British actresses as the most important female Indian characters. May Hallatt played Ayah, the old guardian of the brothel-nunnery and Jean Simmons played Kanchi. Yet as Antonio Rodrig points out, for all Powell and Pressburger's imaginative re-visioning of the Orient, in Black Narcissus "India is not just a decor or a visual backdrop. The natives possess many faces . . ." (Rodrig, 1985: 5). Translation mine.

29. Henry Sheehan argues that Powell and Pressburger's title is itself a self-reflexive send-up of racism. For him "the pair's unconsummated flirtations with kitsch" represent "self-conscious depictions of the reality that lurk[s] beneath analysis" (Sheehan, 1990: 39).

30. On the attraction of habits for transvestites, see Garber, 1992: 210-23.

31. Katharina Sykora makes a similar comment, writing that Friedrich "filters out the erotic connotations through the editing of single frames, revealing the commonality in the women's rivalry, namely, the function 'Man' as the means of confirmation and understanding of their own sexuality" (Sykora, 1989: 100). Translation mine.

32. See Brown, 1984 and 1986.

33. As I show in another article on Friedrich's work, "Fractured Fairytales and Experimental Identities: Looking for Lesbians in and around the Films of Su Friedrich," reviewers of Damned If You Don't disagreed profoundly on these questions. Martha Gever took an implicitly separatist stance, arguing that Friedrich "introduces a male character in order to exile him from her story" (Gever, 1988: 15). MacDonald insisted, in contrast, that Friedrich is "willing to share . . . pleasure with men (her use of a male and female tightrope walker to announce the love making suggests that the sexual pleasure of women need not be confined to women)" (MacDonald, 1992: 287).

34. As one example of such imaginings, see my discussion (in "Displacing Limits of Difference") of Marguerite Duras's experimental makeover, Her Name of Venice in Deserted Calcutta (Son Nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert (1977), of another of her experimental films, India Song (1976), itself reformulated from a novel ( The Vice Consul [ Le Vice Consul ]) and also staged as a play. The two films share the same sound track and setting, and both deal with imperialism and racism, but Her Name of Venice voids the screen of any and all characters, making it impossible for specta- soft

tors to verify racial or ethnic identity. At one point two actresses appear, motionless, in silhouette, but they are clearly not characters.

I only wish that Roswitha Mueller's intriguing study of Valie Export's work, Valie Export: Fragments of the Imagination, had been available when I wrote this essay in 1992, for it is extremely pertinent to the arguments I advance here.

Fifteen—Nosferatu , or the Phantom of the Cinema

1. Ingmar Bergman employs images of vampirism—neck biting and blood sucking—to powerful effect in Persona (1966), his most self-reflexive film.

2. Not loosely enough: Stoker's widow successfully prosecuted Murnau, which may account for the disappearance of the original negative.

3. Herzog's simplification of the narrative frame has the same effect as would eliminating the frame story from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , thereby restoring the screenwriters' original subversive intent.

4. Badham's Dracula also foregrounds the sexual themes, with Lucy portrayed as an early twentieth-century feminist who openly responds to the count's seduction.

5. This scene recalls many similar hallucinatory moments in Herzog's work, most notably the response of the raftsman in Aguirre, Wrath of God first to seeing a ship atop a tree and then to being shot by unseen natives: "That is no ship. That is no forest. This is no arrow."

Sixteen— How Many Draculas Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?

1. Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror, (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, Germany; F. W. Murnau, 1922); Dracula (United States; Tod Browning, 1931); The Horror of Dracula, Dracula (Great Britain; Terence Fischer, 1956); Count Dracula (El Conde Dracula, Italy, Spain, West Germany; Jess Franco, 1970); Nosferatu (The Vampyre, Nosferatu, Phantom der Nacht, West Germany; Werner Herzog, 1979); Dracula (United States; John Badham, 1979); Bram Stoker's Dracula (United States; Francis Ford Coppola, 1992). The two television versions are Dracula (United States; Dan Curtis, 1973) and Count Dracula (Great Britain, United States; Philip Saville, 1977). The names of the characters in Murnau's work were changed from those of the characters in the novel (e.g., Dracula is called Orlok) because the film was made without copyright clearance. The long-standing rumors of the superiority of the Spanish-language version to Browning's film, with which it was made simultaneously, have been discredited by the recent release of that version on videotape. The Spanish version, directed by George Melford, is better edited and lacks some of the gaps in the English version, but it does not have the performances of Lugosi, Frye, and Van Sloan nor the moody atmosphere of Browning's film. Since both films are basically the same version of the Dracula myth, with the same script and sets, I shall discuss only Browning's better known and more effective work. See Waller and Flynn for surveys of the vampire film in general.

2. Franco's Count Dracula begins with titles claiming that the film is exactly the way Stoker wrote the novel; Dan Curtis's television version was titled Bram Stoker's Dracula on the screen; and both Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart claim that their version, Bram Stoker's Dracula, is the first version true to the book (Coppola and Hart, 3 and 6).

3. Louis Jourdan's understated performance in the 1977 television version, which appeared on Masterpiece Theater, anticipates this approach, though his Dracula does not have the same rapturous relationship with Mina.

4. Film buffs will find many filmic allusions not only to the earlier Dracula films and to horror films such as Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973) and Kubrick's The Shining (1980) but also to Jean Cocteau's surrealistic fantasies Orpheus (1949) and Beauty and the Beast (1946), not to mention the entire German expressionistic canon.

5. A point made by Coppola himself in an interview (Biodrowski, 34).

6. According to Melton, the common assumption that "Nosferatu" is the Romanian word for the "undead" is wrong (435).

7. Necrophilia plays an important part in psychiatric case histories of vampirism (Noll).

8. Jess Franco's film first suggests this connection, and Dan Curtis's 1973 television version more directly associates its Dracula, played by Jack Palance, with Vlad Tepes. See McNally and Florescu for an extensive discussion of Vlad Tepes and his relationship to Stoker's Dracula. But also see Farson, in his biography of Stoker (127-34), and Ambrogio, who argue against any significant influence of the historical figure on Stoker's characterization of the count.

9. Although polemical and not fully reliable, Montague Summers's The Vam- soft

pire: Kith and Kin, in its opening chapter, gives a fairly good idea of the ways in which ecclesiastic writers usurped the subject of vampires.

10. Karl Abraham sees the oral phase of the child divided into two stages, the first focused upon sucking and the second, the "oral-sadistic stage," which is related to teething, marked by biting and devouring (447-53).

11. Otto Rank claims that the fantasy of the vagina dentata is a result of anxiety aroused by the mother's genitals because of the child's "first separation from the libido-object" through the act of birth (48-49). At an earlier point he states that this primary anxiety for the mother's genitals is exacerbated by the father's prohibition of the child's return to the mother and is eventually displaced on other objects (13). Although Rank's analysis of this fantasy clearly makes it applicable to both male and female children, the vagina dentata is also a male fantasy that conveys the fear of both sexual intercourse and women. Roth mentions the vagina dentata in relation to the devouring woman of the novel Dracula (119-20).

12. Gary Oldman says that he sought to make his Dracula in Coppola's film androgynous in order to unnerve people sexually (Abramowitz, 56).

13. Melanie Klein describes the child's fantasy of the "combined parent," a figure possessing a combined vagina and penis (245-46). The image of the vampire's mouth and fangs may also be the projection of such a fantasy.

14. In eastern Europe, a vampire was sometimes thought to be the risen body of a dead werewolf (Summers, 20).

15. Nina Auerbach's total negation of Coppola's film in her recent study of the vampire figure (see especially 209n) seems to explain her general dismissal of "animalism" in "twentieth-century Dracula films" (88).

Seventeen— The Superhero with a Thousand Faces: Visual Narratives on Film and Paper

1. A basic distinction (all too often neglected) must be made between comic strips, published daily in newspapers, and comic books. Witek (6-10) provides a useful discussion of their difference in terms of narrative structures, production, and reception. It seems to me that the term "comics" itself is extremely problematic, because, pace Thomas Inge, the medium does not simply belong "to the great body of humor which Americans cherish in their oral tradition" (Inge, 15). I would like to remark at the very beginning that there is little that is "comical" in the works discussed in this essay.

2. As table I in Parsons (68) shows, comic book circulation reached its nadir in 1979.

3. As Inge notes, "[T]he first of a series of short films based on Frederick Burr Opper's Happy Hooligan, which began March 20, 1900, appeared that same year" (143). The crossover between early comic strips and films flourished between 1900 and 1906. It would be interesting to investigate to what extent this was due to the structural and narratological similarities between the two media at this early stage of their history (development over a short period of time, prevalence of humorous situations, etc.). Though naturally limited in scope to its subject, Donald Crafton's biography of French caricaturist and comic strip, animation, and film pioneer Emile Cohl provides an excellent illustration of the close relation between the two media at the turn of the century.

4. The Yellow Kid has sometimes been called the "first" comic strip (Daniels, 2), although, as Couperie et al. (11-21) and Reitberger and Fuchs (11-12) point out, several protostrips in the late 1880s and early 1890s have some claim to the title (for a history of the precursors of the medium, see Kunzle). In using the Yellow Kid as a convenient "point of departure," I follow Boichel's argument that the Kid was "the most notable character of [his] period" (4-5). Incidentally, there is some disagreement over the "birth date" of the Kid, who in 1896 was already a recurrent figure of the cartoon series Hogan's Alley (begun by Richard Outcault in 1894). It was not until the character was given a bright yellow nightshirt, from which his name derived, that he became the focus of the series. According to Inge (138), the Kid displayed his nightshirt for the first time on January 5, 1896. Nye (217), Couperie et al. (19), and Reitberger and Fuchs (12) all give the date February 16, 1896. break

5. See especially Barbieri, chapter 10. Collins (172-73) and Eco ( Apocalittici e integrati, 145-67) comment on the problems of reading the language of the comics in terms of film.

6. Apparently Fellini actually worked in the comics industry early in his career, writing stories of Flash Gordon for the Italian publisher Nerbini after Fascism prohibited the importation of American comics. Recently, Fellini collaborated with Milo Manara on a comic version of "Viaggio a Tulum," a script published in the newspaper Corriere della sera but never made into a film (Mollica). The first part of "Viaggio a Tulum" (the comic) appeared in Corto Maltese 7, no. 7 (1989).

7. Translations from Barbieri and from Eco, Apocalittici e integrati, are mine.

8. I compare this effect to a lap dissolve because the panels are effectively juxtaposed one on the other. This is also comparable to a match cut, which establishes a sense of relation between two contiguous but otherwise unrelated shots. To remain within the confines of Coppola's Dracula, the effect achieved in the comic book is similar to that of the sudden cut from the scene in which Van Helsing cuts off Lucy's head to the following one, a close-up of a hunk of roast beef. This violent cut was unfortunately not reproduced in the comic adaptation, as the two scenes mark the transition between issues three and four.

9. The two-page spread is the "largest" but not the only perceptual unit. Many comics alternate pages of narrative and pages of publicity, so that often a single page will be the basic unit of composition, the accompanying page having no relation to the story.

10. Of course, animation brings together the best of both worlds. Cartoons starring Popeye have been popular since Fleischer Studios began producing them in 1932 and have helped boost the celebrity of the sailor in America and abroad. Altman's film, however, has practically gone unnoticed.

11. Signet has published a novel based on James V. Hart's screenplay of Coppola's movie and co-authored by Fred Saberhagen and Hart himself. Like the film—and this I find quite amazing—it is entitled Bram Stoker's Dracula . In order to distinguish it from Bram Stoker's (no italics) Dracula, Signet reissued the latter with the logo "The original classic novel." Now, my question is: "original of what? " By the way, let me add that, according to a publicity page that appeared in the comic adaptation, these are the only "two official tie-in novels." From the point of view of copyright, at least, the source (I assume that's what that "Bram Stoker's" is supposed to signify) and the adaptation of a self-acknowledged adaptation have the same status.

12. In this case the distinction between comic strip and comic book is important. The "division of labor" here outlined is seldom seen in comic strips, especially humorous ones.

13. When this essay was written (February 1993), Superman had recently met his untimely demise at the hands of Doomsday in Superman 75 (January 1993), an event preceded by a well-organized publicity campaign. His later "resurrection" (see in particular The Adventures of Superman 500, June 1993, and Superman 82, October 1993) adds a further layer to the Christological parallel.

14. The treatment of comics characters (especially superheroes) as myths is so pervasive as to be almost commonplace. See, among others, Reitberger and Fuchs continue

(100), Boichel (6 and passim), and Williams (18). Stan Lee, creator of characters like Spiderman and the X-Man, used to compare his activity to the foundation of a modern mythology (one of his creations, the mighty Thor, was lifted out of mythology altogether). John Ostrander, writer of the latest comic book series dedicated to the Spectre, has recently written: "I've always felt that superheroes were the modern equivalent of the stories told in myth and, as in myth, the same element is liable to reinterpretation from storyteller to storyteller. That gives it continuing vitality."

For the discussion of other popular media in terms of myth, see Lozano (soap operas) and the essays in the collection Media, Myths, and Narratives , edited by James Carey.

15. A longer version of the essay appeared in Eco's Apocalittici e integrati , first published in 1964.

16. The translation of Eco's essay presents some ambiguities. It is clear from the context that he is discussing comic books rather than comic strips (the Italian term, fumetto , does not distinguish between the two). Furthermore, the words romanzo and romanzesco in Italian have a more general meaning than English "romance" and "romantic," employed here, and their meaning is closer to "novel." Again, the context makes it clear that Eco is specifically concerned with popular novels.

17. For an excellent and concise summary of the Batman's career(s), see Boichel.

18. See Uricchio and Pearson for a list and a discussion of the "key components [that] constitute the core of the character of the Batman" (186).

Eighteen— "Tonight Your Director Is John Ford": The Strange Journey of Stagecoach from Screen to Radio

1. I use the word "Indian" in this essay since my reference is to conventional genre representations and constructs, not Native Americans.

2. The racial ideology of the film is disturbing in more ways than its depiction of American Indians as savages. Buck, the comic, cowardly male character, whines about his Mexican wife, Juliette, and her family, as well as the beans she always feeds him. Although Juliette is never seen in the film, she is characterized with the twin stereotypes of Hispanics: all her family members move in with them and they eat nothing but beans. Even her marriage to Buck contributes to this negative stereotyping: such a woman, the film implies, would not be a fit wife for Ringo, the Anglo heroic male. Chris, the Hispanic proprietor of the second stagecoach stop, is dominated by his Indian wife, whom he cannot control and who turns out to be a thief.

3. Many Ford scholars have commented on this and related points I make about the film. Stagecoach contains a number of formal motifs, including one of Christianity that is developed visually with the image of the church in Lordsburg and aurally with the parodic sound track version of "Shall We Gather at the River?"; hats play an important role in visually defining the characters; and the narrative is carefully structured around a day/night patterning. For discussion of these and related aspects of the film, see Place, McBride and Wilmington, Baxter, and Bordwell and Thompson. break

Afterword: Rethinking Remakes

1. For some acute remarks distinguishing remake from sequel, see Thomas M. Leitch, "Twice-Told Tales: The Rhetoric of the Remake," Literature-Film Quarterly 18, no. 3 (1990): 138-49.

2. This is one side of a familiar point of view in the discussion of adaptations, in which the film version can never aspire to the heights of the literary version, unless of course the original work is "bad," i.e., a genre work. See, for example, George Bluestone, Novels into Film (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Califor- soft

nia, 1961). The general approach is summed up in a line whose source I wish I knew: "The only good copies are those that make us see the ridiculousness of worthless originals."

3. Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence (New York: Oxford, 1973) may be useful here for its proposal of a theory of rereading that stresses that "strong" artists need to actively mis read, while "weak" artists are content to be imitative and derivative. But Bloom's judgments, if not his categories, may need adjustment to be applied to film. break


Preferred Citation: Horton, Andrew, and Stuart Y. McDougal, editors Play It Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1998 1998.