With Hollywood being dominated by movie remakes in modern times, there are some films that should never be remade but probably will be. Iconic, era-defining movies have often been remade for modern audiences with limited levels of success. Some films like 12 Angry Men have been remade to a degree of quality with audiences enjoying the modern adaptation. In comparison, the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake was received poorly. Disney’s live-action remakes have had varying degrees of success but show that Hollywood is still very much interested in adapting classic movies. While some remakes bomb at the box office, cashing in on well-established IPs makes sense for filmmakers.

There is a level of inevitability about some films being remade, with their iconic status making them more digestible for modern audiences. Even if people complain about constant remakes, curiosity about how certain films will hold up with a new cast, director, and occasionally story is why they are still constantly being developed. There are some movies, however, that should never be remade. Their original releases were perfect, and a modern version would only be a poor imitation. These movies are prime examples of movies that should never be remade but probably will.

10 Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump.

Tom Hanks has had a career full of classic performances, but the one no one could do justice is Forrest Gump. This heartwarming movie highlights Hanks’ range, and he puts in an Oscar-winning performance to cement how important his portrayal was to the success of the movie. Forrest Gump was released in 1995 and as such, doesn’t need a more modern touch since it still very much holds up today. Trying to cast someone to replace Hanks while also attempting to retell the story that was already expertly done would only ruin the legacy of the original.

9 Goodfellas

Goodfellas promo featuring the main cast.

Goodfellas has the sort of plot and themes that would interest many audiences today. By no means is the movie dated, but the Goodfellas’ iconic cinematography and shots do give it a look more stylistically suited to the era it was portraying. A modern version might feel too clean and lack the grittiness and personality that the 1990s version had. Additionally, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Paul Sorvino are irreplaceable, not only being perfect for their parts but having plenty of gangster movie experience between them to make the performances convincing. Finding a modern cast to pull off these roles would be incredibly tricky, if not impossible.

8 Casablanca

Rick Blaine and Ilsa looking at each other while drinkingĀ in Casablanca

A movie like Casablanca is era-defining and is made equally special by being shot during the unique period it was set. The film was set during WWII and released in 1942 making its appeal and meaning at the time extra special. While many other movies set in WWII focus on the horrors of the time, Casablanca manages to tell a love story while incorporating themes of the war. Its uniqueness made the film win an Oscar, and it’s still remembered today as a classic. A Casablanca remake is not needed nor desired by audiences, but the film does have all the factors needed for a remake to be considered.

7 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

With the success of Netflix’s Ratched, the idea of a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest remake has never been more likely. Remaking the iconic movie may be an eager move from studios after seeing a modern appeal for the show, but this is one film that should never be remade. Ratched is the perfect demonstration of how to take an iconic film and add something new and fresh, rather than just redoing an already brilliant movie. Jack Nicholson is a one-of-a-kind actor and while fan casting Randle McMurphy is a fun idea in theory, no one would be able to live up to Nicholson’s iconic performance.

6 The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Clint Eastwood stands in the desert in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Western movies are far less popular than they were back in the era of Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was a star of the genre which was so prominent during the 60s that it helped deliver one of the greatest movies of all time. While there will be natural temptations to try and modernize a film that is nearly 60 years old, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly really shouldn’t be remade. There is no iconic Western star ready to take Eastwood’s place and while the film was a gem of its time, there are arguments to suggest it wouldn’t hold up the same, especially being remade to fit a more current audience.

5 Die Hard

Bruce Willis shouting while holding a gun in Die Hard.

The debate around whether Die Hard is a Christmas film or not makes the film a prime candidate to be remade. Releasing a Die Hard remake around Christmastime seems like a box office hit waiting to happen. While a remake is likely, studios should avoid remaking the film as it is simply an of-its-time classic. After Bruce Willis’ aphasia diagnosis, replacing him as John McClane would come across as tasteless and disrespectful to the actor’s legacy. Die Hard is arguably Willis’ most memorable role and something that shouldn’t be tampered with in an attempt to cash in on the franchise’s success.

4 Jaws

The shark attacks Brody in Jaws 1975

Jaws is one of many hits from director Steven Spielberg. While something like Jurassic Park has seen a reboot in the form of Jurassic World, Jaws is a movie that doesn’t need to be adapted. Meg 2’s success at the box office highlights that there is already a modern replacement for the killer shark genre, meaning a remake for Jaws is not necessary. This success, however, only makes a remake more likely as this style of movie is back in fashion, but a remake would not only have the original to compete with, it would have the new era of shark movies to contend with as well.

3 Gone With The Wind

Poster for Gone with the Wind showing Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

As a hugely successful movie, Gone with the Wind should be untouchable in terms of a remake. The movie earned an incredible amount of money during its original box office run back in 1939. Taking inflation into consideration, it is certainly one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. While this might make a remake an almost guaranteed hit, audiences’ tastes have changed significantly. Those who want to watch Gone with the Wind would likely want to watch the original and there isn’t much a new version of this movie could add to the classic.

2 Back To The Future

An image of Marty looking serious in Back To The Future

The concept of making a modern Back to the Future sounds fun on paper, but the reality is it would be a failure compared to the original. While predicting the future in a modern adaptation could be fun, it is doable in other sci-fi films without tarnishing the legacy of the classic trilogy. The fun factor of these predictions and the success of the franchise makes a remake likely, but even Back to the Future’s director had a blunt response when asked about the possibility, suggesting it would be unnecessary. Movies exploring the future and making predictions are fun, but doing so under the Back to the Future name is best avoided.

1 The Godfather

The Godfather's Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone.

Often dubbed as the greatest film of all time, it is obvious why The Godfather remake may be desirable. With a trilogy already made, there is little to expand on that hasn’t already been covered within 3 films. Full of iconic characters and performances, names are already associated with The Godfather that can’t be replaced. It is the type of movie that many modern actors and directors will have grown up idolizing but is better kept as inspiration rather than a new project. It is hard to improve on perfection, and The Godfather may be as close as it gets to perfection in the world of cinema.

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