Over the last few years, it's felt like Hollywood's announced a remake of some beloved childhood property of ours almost every week. While it's easy for us to get mad and complain about how there are no original ideas anymore, it turns out Hollywood's actually been doing this for years; we just didn't notice. In particular, these 12 movies are beloved by audiences who don't seem to know that they're actually remakes!
The Thing (1984)
Remake of: The Thing From Another World (1951)
That's right, one of the most beloved horror movies of all time is sort of a remake/sequel hybrid to a movie from the 50s! Both focus on a team of researchers (one in the Arctic, one in the Antarctic) who unearth an alien spacecraft and begin to be picked off one by one by the alien itself. The major difference is that the alien in the original was just a generic monster, not the shapeshifter of the John Carpenter movie.
Remake of: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Forget the terrible 2016 remake, turns out the version a lot of people think of as "the original" is a remake itself! Studios were big on remaking their old black and white silent movies (the same thing happened with The Ten Commandments), and in the case of Ben-Hur, the result is one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of all time, taking in 11 Oscars.
Remake of: Scarface (1932)
Featuring what is arguable Al Pacino's most iconic role as Tony Montana, Scarface is a cornerstone of gangster movies. Turns out though that it's actually a remake of another excellent movie of the same name, which focused on Chicago gangsters and was loosely based on the life of Al Capone.
Angels In The Outfield (1994)
Remake of: Angels In The Outfield (1951)
That's right, the 90s mainstay starring Christopher Lloyd is actually a remake of the same movie from the 50s!
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
Remake of: Yojimbo (1961)
The movie that established Clint Eastwood as a new type of cowboy for a more modern, cynical age, A Fistful of Dollars was the first of many iconic westerns that were remakes of samurai movies (Sanjuro became For A Few Dollars More, Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven etc.) The original movie isn't significantly different: a lone wanderer stumbles into a town beset by two rival gangs, and pits them against each other to ultimately save the town.
I'll be amazed if anyone knew the rest of these were remakes too...
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Remake of: The Incredible Journey (1963)
The 1963 original was still a movie about pets trying to find their way back to their owners, but the biggest difference is that it had a narrator instead of talking animals.
Cape Fear (1991)
Remake of: Cape Fear (1962)
Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro were a pretty unstoppable duo in the later years of the 20th Century, and both are in top form for Cape Fear. This is good, because the original, which starred Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, was no slouch either, and at times was even more sinister.
The Parent Trap (1998)
Remake of: The Parent Trap (1961)
The movie that introduced a lot of people to Lindsay Lohan (who played both herself and her twin sister) was actually a remake of the movie of the same name from 1961!
The Fly (1986)
Remake of: The Fly (1958)
David Cronenberg's The Fly is one of the best (and grossest) horror movies of the 80s, but did you know that it was a remake? The original from 1958 stars horror icon Vincent Price in a similar story that, while obviously more dated, is just as much fun.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Remake of: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
This is one of the rare examples where a movie not only got a remake, but it was a remake directed by the same director! Alfred Hitchcock spent a lot of the color and sound era of cinema remaking his black and white movies from pre-WWII, and his best-known is probably The Man Who Knew Too Much with Jimmy Stewart.
The Last House On The Left (1972)
Remake of: The Virgin Spring (1960)
You probably saw this entry and thought we'd be talking about the terrible 2009 remake of this movie (which put director Wes Craven on the map for horror). Surprise! The original is actually a remake of a movie by Swedish art legend Ingmar Bergman, and while Craven's movie is definitely more graphic, both are intense experiences.
True Lies (1994)
Remake of: La Totale! (1991)
This one is a bit of a loose remake. Both movies are about a family man who's secretly a government agent, but the original is played more as a comedy, while James Cameron's True Lies is about as typical an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie as you can get.