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The current movie industry seems to be engaged in an orgy of remakes to reduce the risk of funding completely new scripts. We have had a recent remake of Total Recall and are about to get a remake of Robocop. Sometimes the remakes happen very quickly (the Swedish movies Let the Right One In and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were both remade in English very quickly).

Some of the scripts start as books (The Big Sleep, for example), some start as plays (The Front Page was originally a stage play but was remade as a movie several times, in 1931 and 1974 as The Front Page and in 1940 as His Girl Friday) and others as screenplays (Robocop seems to have started as a screenplay).

What is the most remade story?

NB For clarity let us exclude series where a character such as James Bond repeats and stick with those where the story credit references a single play, book or original script.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Any other requirements? I guess a book has a much higher chance of being turned into a movie multiple times than just a screenplay, though those wouldn't then necessarily be remakes of a particular movie/screenplay but just different interpretations of the book. The recently brought up 9 versions of Les Miserables already set quite a high limit in this case. I also think The Count of Monte Christo has been done a feeled thousand times. –  Tom Cody Jan 11 '14 at 21:32
If the numbers are dominated by books rather than original scripts or plays, then I might suggest splitting the question. But right now I don't want to be more specific. –  matt_black Jan 11 '14 at 21:34
A Christmas Carol may be the most adapted book, while Romeo and Juliet may be the most adapted play. I'm not sure, so I leave this as a comment for now. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet#Screen –  Meat Trademark Jan 11 '14 at 21:47
@matt_black I gave a +1, but the question in the title is different than the question in your text. I think you should consider changing the title question. –  Ben Plont Jan 12 '14 at 17:02
Hands down The Three Musketeers. I count at least 25 times since 1903. –  user12923 Jul 27 '14 at 3:15

5 Answers 5

It depends on how you define it, as you can look at something like Hitchock's Psycho, which was remade almost scene for scene and shot for shot, or adaptations of works. You can also limit it by Hollywood, Bollywood, German, etc.

The Great Gatsby has been made into a film seven different times in the US, but the overall record holder for a same name film is undoubtedly Romeo and Juliet. I believe the number of times that it has been made into a film a little more than 1300 times in various countries and languages. I don't believe this counts "knockoff" type films where the story is same/similar but the title is different.

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I think Romeo and Juliet is the best technical answer, and would add that there are countless movies (made by Hollywood and religious groups, et al.) based on the bible. –  Ben Plont Jan 12 '14 at 16:59
@BenPlont Though most probably on different excerpts of it. –  Tom Cody Jan 12 '14 at 18:21

My money is on Romeo and Juliet. But without proper in depth research, my money maybe ill-placed.


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If we limit it to Hollywood, then one particular remake comes to mind...

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) dir. Don Siegel which then was re-made as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) dir. Philip Kaufman which then was then re-made as The Body Snatchers (1993) dir. Abel Ferrara which was finally re-made as The Invasion (2007) dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel.

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That's only 3, which isn't a lot by Hollywood standards. –  matt_black Feb 1 at 19:53

Movies dealing with specific Bible stories can be found in this list from wikipedia.
Pay special attention to the lists of titles related to:

Adam and Eve (8, including foreign films),
Moses and Exodus (10),
King David, David and Goliath (11),
Jesus' life (20-30 english language + 20-30 foreign language),
Revelation/Apocalypse (15-20)

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The trouble with some of these examples is that they are not really the same story. Movies about Jesus are common but most of them just focus on one part of the story not the whole story so are not really remakes of one single story. –  matt_black Feb 1 at 19:56
Well sure, sometimes the movies only deal with Tuesday. Some others may concentrate on Thursday. But generally the Life of Christ is the Life of Christ and King David's story is King David's story. –  wbogacz Feb 1 at 19:59

I would guess Cinderella is the most remade movie, there are a million versions of that one!

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Well, 89 certainly, that imdb.com is aware of. –  wbogacz Apr 19 at 22:08
Can you please elaborate on this answer, what makes you believe that? What are the sources or statistics? –  Mooz Apr 20 at 0:11

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