Friday, January 10, 2014

The Toys

Writer/director Francis Veber's Le Jouet (1976) was remade by Richard Donner as The Toy (1982) starring Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason. Several of Veber's original French screenplays have been turned into American remakes: Three Fugitives (1989); Pure Luck (1991); My Father the Hero (1994); The Birdcage (1996); Father's Day (1997); Dinner for Schmucks (2010). In a recent post I gave Zack Snyder a bit of a ribbing for borrowing heavily from Donner's Superman: The Movie (1978) during the opening Krypton sequences of Man of Steel (2013), but it would seem Donner is just as guilty of lifting from his sources too. Unlike Snyder, at least Donner never made the comment: "respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the [previous] movies." I doubt The Toy was meant to be anything more than an obvious remake. However, it's just further proof that Hollywood (the dream factory) should be more aptly dubbed: the Xerox factory.

Veber's Le Jouet (1976) on the left and Donner's The Toy (1982) on the right

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