This was from the thread in New Films about the proposed remake of Rififi. I thought I would continue the discussion here rather than cluttering up that thread:
Antoine Doinel wrote:
Considering that article is now nearly a year old, and this idea has been knocking around for a while, I would imagine the project is (thankfully) stuck in development hell.
That said, I initially thought the idea of remaking Bob Le Flambeur was sacrilege but I found Neil Jordan's adaptation to be pretty damn good.
Is that The Good Thief with Nick Nolte? I've not seen it before but it is getting its first UK showing Friday night (at 2 a.m.!) I thought I might stay up late and watch it!
Having stayed up to watch The Good Thief last night I have to agree with Antoine Doinel. I enjoyed the film a lot and the alterations worked well to play with our expectations, with the safe robbery plot seemingly abandoned then obliquely reintroduced before becoming a major part of the plot again. I liked the way that the remake played with the ironies of the original, but used them in creating less of a despairing and bleak outcome. I quite liked the way the characters are softened a little and given some hope, for example the creation of the real and dummy heists help the character of Anne to not seem as stupid and manipulative as she does in Bob Le Flambeur, even though it is circumstances rather than intention that prevent her from totally ruining everything.
I still feel that Bob Le Flambeur is the better of the two films as a couple of 'comedy' moments and the Philip/Philippa character in The Good Thief aren't very good (and have made me a little worried about what Breakfast on Pluto will be like!), and while I thought the introduction of drugs was a nice idea the cold turkey sequence got me thinking a little of French Connection II, perhaps intentionally. I guess I felt that the addition of drugs isn't exactly an original one since many films have dealt with this subject. Luckily it isn't dwelt upon too much, just enough to suggest Bob's money has gone as much on this as on gambling. Drug use comes up again with Anne and is used well to suggest a reason why she blabs about the heist, so while I felt the drug theme to be a little hackneyed it seemed that the few moments it was used were well integrated into the plot. It also felt as if the filmmakers were aware of its overuse or weren't interested in getting into all the issues that drugs raise and sensibly used it very little.