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Remakes That Worked
The 50 best movie do-overs
Back Page 22 of 50 Next
Best Movie Remakes | 29. Night And The City

Night And The City
Irwin Winkler, 1992

What's good about the remake?
All shifty glances and calculator eyes, Robert De Niro brings a touch of Shakespearean villainy to the boxing ring as grasping shyster Henry Fabian ("That's all I ever do: take the money and run. Why can't I have a piece? Why can't I be the man?"). He's a different kind of protagonist to Richard Widmark's mealy-mouthed Fabian, still a high-water mark in back-alley antihero.

How does it compare
to the original film?

Shifting the storyline from London's darkened laneways to the mean streets of Manhattan, Winkler's remake also swaps pro-wrestling, then in the not-especially-noir grip of Wrestlemania, for boxing. But Jules Dassin's mighty noir was given additional urgency by Alan King's menacing mobster.
The Original
Night And The City, Jules Dassin, 1950

Did you know...
Fabian's fate in Night And The City mirrors Dassin's own exile to Europe during the McCarthy witch hunts.

Back Page 22 of 50 Next


Have your say
Which is your favourite from our list? Any other remakes that we've missed off our list? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments
1 Heat
Posted on Monday July 8, 2013, 20:12 by Enzino
Thanks for mentioning Val Kilmer. Man, where has his career/looks gone? Read More

2 Man On Fire
Posted on Thursday June 13, 2013, 12:21 by Bleaz79
Man on Fire technically shouldn't be in here as Tony Scott took his inspiration directly from AJ Quinnell's book & not the Scott Glenn flick. Read More

3 "Object" lesson? Who edits this rag?
Posted on Tuesday July 17, 2012, 05:22 by Miguel Cortes
I'm not even sure how a film 'works,' but if it can, let me know; I've got five hundred movies and a thousand hours' worth of chores to catch up on. If I had an editor's position at Empire, I would have put this laundry list of films to work catching all the little errors in this piece that make Empire as laughable as the New York Times, or a high school paper at best. There is no such thing as an "object lesson" -- a phrase appearing in one of the last ten or fifteen flicks on the list -- but rather an "abject lesson." An object lesson would be no more than a lesson in objects. This is English Language 101. Also, to rank the King Kong remake with the reeking performances of Jack Black and Colin Hanks at a higher point in the list than Michael Mann's perfection of his own "Heat" is not a little disconcerting. Considering you've included made-for-TV originals and remakes, where in God's name was "I, Claudius"? Yet still you found room for &quoRead More

4 I am a legend
Posted on Wednesday March 14, 2012, 12:11 by Stathis
this is a "the omega man" fantastic remake. I think it could be in the list... in the top ten! Read More

5 Quarantine?
Posted on Tuesday February 7, 2012, 15:06 by Carmooo
Any piece of world cinema remade pretty much immediately to cater for the needs of ignorant people, unable to watch a subtitled film should not be mentioned. antastic movie which is head and shoulders above the american remake. Read More

6 RE: A King named Kong/ The Good the Bad and the ignorant
Posted on Monday August 2, 2010, 17:54 by mattjtemp
I thought Jackson's Kong was a bad film, only saw it the once in the cinema, but for me it was too much budget and elbow room given to a director who had shown his propensity for bloating a film when given enough rope (just compare the first Lord of the Rings to the last)..   The character development, especially of the crew, seemed pointless, more like filler, as ultimately they were just fodder, compare that to the secondary character development in Heat which is much more paired down and more efficient, by showing a group meal out on both sides and other smaller examples.   The other part that lost me with Kong was the manipulation of its own rules, I'm fine for believing in a gigantic ape, or aliens, or even the plot lines in some Rom-Coms, I can suspend with the best of them, but there must be rules within that, a character can't do one thing, then not be able to do it later, or weigh a certain amount one time and not later.   There was a dinosaur staRead More

7 KING KONG's not wrong
Posted on Wednesday July 21, 2010, 19:00 by Mooncalf
Just for the record as there's a lot ofbad mouthing it here - many people really like King Kong too. I thought it was a great movie and cried my eyes out in the cinema. 83% on Rotton Tomatoes and 7.6 on IMDB - pretty healthy I'd say. Read More

8 RE: The Italian Job?
Posted on Tuesday July 20, 2010, 20:33 by kneerash
King bloody Kong! And to include it in the pic on the home page, come on Empire, I know you gave it 5 stars in the original review but it is possibly the worst remake in history. Terrible casting ( Watts and Black???) poor action and the effects were not great, the scene with King Kong throwing Watts around and fighting a dinosaur looks like a cartoon. Put it this way the most emotinally believable thing in the movie is a CG monkey!   I will say though the Thing at number 2 is spot on, actually I would personally put it ahead of heat. Read More

9 RE: The Italian Job?
Posted on Tuesday July 20, 2010, 13:17 by hughjass
L: Lemure Hang your heads in shame, Empire. Shame! itto. I thought it was dreadful and riding on the back of the name of the original was a travesty. Whislt I'm complaning, I thought Funny Games was dreadful too. Haven't seen the original, so can't compare like for like but what really irked me was the scene near the end of the movie where the film cheats by taking a smug turn into Sci-Fi/Fantasy terroritory in an attempt to 'have it's cake and eat it' - and lecture the audience about it's expectations. There's nothing wrong with wanting to see justice metered out - people work all week and go to see a movie to escape for a couple of hours - and part of that is seeing the bad guy meet his deserved end. Also - the two villians had all the charisma of a lump of coal. Characterwise, either one of them would have p*ssed their pants if confronted on their own. Read More

10 RE: Pathetic, you lost all credibility
Posted on Sunday July 18, 2010, 18:57 by Piles
Really, EMPIRE, must you persist in making me click next a billion times to read through your lists? Surely you get enough hits already. Read More

11 RE: Pathetic, you lost all credibility
Posted on Sunday July 18, 2010, 18:27 by Smokinator
r u on frickin' drugs? fistful of dollars is a classic and war of the worlds is awesome.what a dumbass Read More

12 RE: The Ring
Posted on Saturday July 17, 2010, 04:08 by speedy1383
I personally like the remake better than the original as well.  The original had elements of "The Dead Zone" in it which really dragged the movie down.  I'm glad the remake took out that crap.  Unfortunately both films kept the bad ending.  But I certainly would take the remake any day over the original. Read More

13 RE: Absolute rubbish
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 16:19 by mattjtemp
It's possibly a stretch to call it a remake but there are huge parallels between Stand by Me and Boyz and the Hood. Both great films. Read More

14 RE: 50 Remakes That Worked
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 14:01 by ncc74656
How can you class Quarantine as as good remake,  any film that is shot almost excatly like the original 6 months after should not be mentioned Read More

15 RE: Halloween
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 12:02 by mattjtemp
Good call on The Quiet American, one of my favourite Caine films of recent years.   The Maltese Falcon, I genuinely had no idea that was a remake, interesting article.   Horrified by the ommission of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, one of the most perfect remakes in my book, my big red book in my head that is full of rubbish, but still in my book. Read More

16 RE: "Airplane!" is a remake?
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 10:41 by Helen OHara
Hemibell, the makers of Airplane! actually bought the rights to the earlier film so that they could use lots of the dialogue from it, so it's a much closer relationship than that between most spoofs and their source material. Read More

17 RE:
Posted on Friday July 16, 2010, 08:57 by grucl
You could argue that Vertical Limit is also a remake of The Wages of Fear what with the "nitroglycerine needs to get up that moutain" plot and all. Read More

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