An interesting question....

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.....from Christianity Today's This came up in response to the new Pink Panther movie, starring Steve Martin. Like me, their reaction was: Dumb move. Sellers owns the role, and it should be left completely alone. No one else ever WILL be the hilariously incompetent Inspector Clouseau (all you have to say in my family is "Does your dog bite?" or "Do you have a license for your monkey?" and you get a roar of laughter). So, their question, and mine is this:

Some roles are simply not meant to be played by anyone else. The originals were so perfect, so nearly sacred, that even the very idea of someone else playing the part is heretical. No one but Julie Andrews is allowed to be Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music's Maria. No one but Jimmy Stewart can be George Bailey. No one but Audrey Hepburn can be Sabrina or Eliza Doolittle. No one but Gable, Peck, and Gibson can be Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and William Wallace. No one but Sigourney Weaver can be Ripley. And no one but Harrison Ford can play Han Solo or Indiana Jones.

What do you think? What roles in film history are so well done, so iconic, that no one should ever even bother to try to play that character? Let us know, and tell us why you feel that way.


No one but Marlon Brando could be the Godfather or Col. Kurtz.
No one but Laurence Fishburne could be Morpheus.
No one but Robert De Niro could be Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver).
These roles are simply too iconic. They engrave themselves on our memories and impressions the first time we see them.


This one is probably more obscure than the other roles mentioned, but all the fans (of both the actor and the movie) I've met have agreed:

No one but Michael Biehn could be Kyle Reese.

Well, with the likes of Bogart and Wayne and Cagney and Stewart and Eastwood and Grant, you can pretty much name the movie. And while you could remake an Audrey Hepburn movie (and some have), it's not going to be a good career move.

Now, with the Pink Panther movies, I think we should distinguish between the movies -- which, you know, really aren't very good -- and Peter Sellers, who is very, very funny. Steve Martin's mistake wasn't in "remaking" (IMDB calls it a prequel) The Pink Panther, or even in playing Inspector Clouseau. He knew enough not to play Sellers playing Clouseau; his was a different character altogether. Rather, Martin's mistake was in not being particularly funny, as either screenwriter or actor.

The only one I'd disagree with you about is Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle. The role originated with Julie Andrews on Broadway, and should have been hers for the film. It's always bothersome when, during a musical, you know that the person singing isn't singing.
How about Paul Scofield as Thomas More? Heston tried to give it a go, but it didn't work for me.

Oh, and Val Kilmer as Doc Halliday.

Hi Mama T

There will be a remake of Gone with the Wind eventually as surely as they have made 3 King Hongs. Howeverthe Rhett Butler role will always be identified with Clarke Gable and Scarlet with Vivien Leigh

I think all the gorillas in the Congo should launch a class action against the King Hong series as bringing gorillas into disrepute. Why remake such a boring film 3 times

Bah. Gregory Peck was a horrid Atticus Finch in a wretched adaptation of a good book. Someone ought to remake it to show the world what the role could be if you cast a real boy in the role instead of a wooden puppet.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on February 14, 2006 4:22 PM.

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