News Article

Revise & Consent

Films and remakes -- A look at movies that received bad reviews until the new versions made them seem golden, including ''The Blob'' and ''The Thing''

Nothing gets a movie respect like a remake. The original Night and the City received its share of negative reviews, but you'd never know it from the critics who trashed the 1992 version. Here are other vintage movies that, despite some initial pans, have aged gracefully.

THE BIG SLEEP (1946) ''It's likely to leave you confused and dissatisfied.'' —The New York Times
THE BIG SLEEP (1978) ''An entirely unnecessary movie. Howard Hawks adapted Raymond Chandler's classic detective story 30-odd years ago and he did it right.'' —Time

THE BLOB (1958) ''Woodenly presented.... And most of [the] trick effects... look pretty phony.'' —The New York Times
THE BLOB (1988) ''More wounding than the uneven tone...of this Blob is its increased scale. Much of [the original's] appeal...lies in [its] economy of means.'' —Los Angeles Times

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) ''In all respects...it flouts audience desire. It's not good.... It is horrible.'' —New York Post
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990) ''What about [the] original needed improving?'' —The Washington Times

OUT OF THE PAST (1947) ''The action of this new film is likely to leave the napping or unmathematical customer far behind.'' —The New York Times
AGAINST ALL ODDS (1984) ''Yet another overwrought remake.... Back in 1947, this was [the] measurably superior Out of the Past.'' —Playboy

THE THING (1951) ''Lacks genuine entertainment values.... Cast members fail to communicate any real terror '' —Variety
THE THING (1982) ''This new film bears only a superficial resemblance to Howard Hawks' 1951 classic [which was] a masterpiece of understatement.'' —The New York Times

Originally posted Apr 23, 1993 Published in issue #167 Apr 23, 1993 Order article reprints