I never get excited when a movie, especially one that I once enjoyed, gets remade.

Chloé Grace Moretz just isn’t Sissy Spacek.

There was such a talented cast in the 1976 “Carrie” movie with Piper “The Hustler” Laurie, William “Greatest American Hero” Katt and John “Grease” Travolta.

Did Paramount really try to remake “Footloose”?

It’s just not possible to replace Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow and Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s probably the only movie viewers remember Chris Penn in, where he assumed the role of the clumsy Willard.

I once worked in a town that had a city ordinance prohibiting dancing in establishments serving alcohol, similar to the situation portrayed in “Footloose”.

There is a difference between a remake and a sequel, or a prequel in the case of the Star Wars sagas.

Some remakes, like the 2016 version of “The Magnificent Seven”, don’t even follow the original story. Of course the original Seven, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, was itself a remake of “Seven Samurai.”

My friend Google pointed out that there have been some well-known remakes of classics that were stinkers: “Planet of the Apes,” “Red Dawn,” “Total Recall,” “Karate Kid,” “Dirty Dancing” and “King Kong” among them. There have been some so-so remakes: “True Grit,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “The Fly.”

Recently my wife Kathy and I watched both the 2018 and 1976 versions of “A Star is Born.” Actually, there were two other versions of this movie made in 1937 and 1954.

In the 1954 “A Star Is Born,” Judy Garland played Vicki Lester and James Mason played Norman Maine.

The 1976 movie with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson is the classic for us, as we were in college when it was released.

I’d recommend both versions that we watched.

The similarities are stunning, and I’m not just talking about the plot of the movie.

The plot centers around talented star John Norman Howard (Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine in the new one) who has seen his career begin to decline, though in the 1976 version he drives a motorcycle off the stage before 47,000 screaming fans. He meets a talented singer, Esther Hoffman (Lady Gaga is Ally in the new version) and a star is born.

The rock concert 1976 footage was filmed at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona which featured, in addition to Kristofferson and Streisand, Peter Frampton and Santana. Price of a ticket was reported as being $3.50.

Other similarities between these two versions include:

• The 1976 movie leading female, Barbara Streisand, also directed a few scenes. The 2018 movie leading male, director and writer Bradley Cooper is also a producer;

• Barbara Streisand and Lady Gaga have the same, shall we say, facial features;

• As we know, Streisand and Gaga are both professional singers, but Kristofferson (who performed at the Stiefel once) and Cooper also sing in the films;

• The 1976 movie cost $6 million, grossing $80 million;

• The 2018 movie cost an estimated $36 million, grossing $206 million;

• The 1976 soundtrack, co-written by Streisand, included the hit song “Evergreen” which won the Academy Award for Best Original song. The 2018 soundtrack, co-written by Gaga, includes the hit song “Shallow”, winner of a Golden Globe for Best Original Song;

• Cher, Liza Minnelli, Helen Reddy, and Diana Ross were considered for the role of Esther Hoffman while Elvis was the original choice for John Norman;

• Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Beyonce and Kesha were considered to play Ally while Clint Eastwood was considered as director.

As for that city ordinance prohibiting dancing? The local club challenged its constitutionality. After the judge ruled, the newspaper where I was employed published a photo of the club’s sign which read, “We win. Open soon.” Sometimes films mimic real life.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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