Better than the Original:

Cinematic Remakes that were Better than the Originals

Kurt F. Stone
Movies / Arts & Letters

Course Description

Ever since the days of the silents, filmmakers have dared remake a classic picture. It takes a lot of guts, talent and a world of self confidence. Rarely are the remakes as well received as their respective originals. After all, the originals are considered "classics" - otherwise why remake them? Then too, in the past, films were only seen in movie theaters. The average movie-goer might see the original once or maybe twice. Today, with DVDs, classic movie cable stations and YouTube, viewers are far more able to compare older and newer versions of films. In this course attendees will watch and learn about two remakes which many believe were actually superior to their original "classic" versions. In addition to seeing changes in cinematic technology and what could permissibly be put on screen (films in the thirties were actually more permissible than films movies in the forties), we will judge for ourselves which was best - the original or its remake.


1. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) starring Leslie Banks, Edna Best and the very young Peter Lorre. A man and his wife receive a clue to an imminent assassination attempt, only to learn that their daughter has been kidnapped to keep them quiet.
2. Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) starring James Stewart and Doris Day. A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.
3. The Maltese Falcon (1931) starring Ricardo Cortez, Bebe Daniels and Thelma Todd. Lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette.
4. The Maltese Falcon (1941) Written and directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statue.

About the Instructor

  • Kurt F. Stone, DD is in his 22nd year with Lifelong Learning. His passion for film is, he says, “genetic,” having been born in Hollywood, CA and raised both in and around the movie industry.

    Recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award

Upcoming programs presented by Kurt F. Stone.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
4wk S445 Kurt F. Stone Better than the Original: Cinematic Remakes that were Better than the Originals
Thursdays, March 14, 21, 28; April 4: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm