Progress, Please!

     Classic films need to be updated. They have great frameworks for plots, but watching a film that was made in the 1950s just does not cut it anymore. If half the movies that were made in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s were to be remade, it would be great! There were a lot of restrictions put on directors back in those days. The films could not do the literature justice. While they are gret to watch nowadays, I find it hard to get past some of the archaic taboos.

     For exampole, in the 1847 novel, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, Catherine is pregnant and has a child. In the 1939 movie adaptation, directed by William Wyler, Catherine is not ever pregnant, nor does she have a child. Apparently, in the 1930s pregnancy was not allowed to be shown. Also the violence and high emotions are scaled down. This adaptation does nothing for the novel. Brontë would roll in her grave if she knew that the screenwriters Hecht and MacArthur had butchered her novel. The intensity of emotion is what made the novel Wuthering Heights so appealing. Though I know Wuthering Heights has been done a number of times since Wyler's 1939 version, it would be nice to see an almost word for word remake.

     A Streetcar Named Desire, written by Tennessee Williams in 1947, would also be another great remake. The original movie, directed in 1951 by Eliza Kazan, was a wonderful film. Marlon Brando played a great Stanley. He was so tormented. A remake in today's pretense would be astonishing if they could find actors to portray the characters with such emotion as the original actors did. I think the movie should still be shot in black and white but use New Orleans as it stands today with current clothing for costumes. More of the risqué subjects can be conquered also, such as Stanley's rape of Blanche. Or the viewers should be able to see Stanley and Stella still in bed together the next morning after the horrific fight scene. There could also be flashbacks to Blanche's jaded past. One does not particularly know what exactly happened to Blanche. Everything is alluded in Blanche's past. It would be interesting to see how a director would tackled these tasks. It sounds horrible, but it would be nice to see all the things, such as sex and violence, many possibly say they hate to see, but still watch anyway. Tickets would not sell for these types of movies if people did not like them.

     Movies nowadays are pretty liberal in their content. It would be great to see some classic literature upgraded to fit the times. Just look at William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. That movie has been made countless times. The version that was made a couple of years ago was beautifully done to fit current trends. These remakes also bring younger people in touch with older literature and films that they would not normally come in contact with. For whatever reason, a movie is made it should be made with quality. For example Alfred Hitchcock's film, Psycho was remade. What a flop that was. The film makers did not upgrade it enough. Please, please, please let movies make some progress! It would introduce a whole new generation to classic literature.

Colleen Klein

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