Entertainment

Can’t Touch This

6 films that couldn't be remade in PC America

If Hollywood once made it, you can be sure they’re willing to remake it.

To a point.

Brands rule in today’s entertainment realm. It’s why the new TV season features shows based on movies (“Minority Report,” “Limitless”), existing properties (“Supergirl”) and slightly older shows (“Heroes Reborn”).

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The same holds true for movies, or did you miss “Poltergeist” … or “RoboCop” … or “Annie?”

The industry’s remake assembly line can only clang on for so long before the gears start to grind. Some properties simply cannot be remade in 2015. Blame political correctness, evolving mores or even technical advances. What worked beautifully years ago just isn’t possible now.

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Consider the following five films. Each scored at the time with audiences. One is considered the greatest comedy of all time, according to the American Film Institute. Yet could any of these films be remade today? Not likely.

“Blazing Saddles” (1974) — Mel Brooks’ western spoof is considered a comedy classic. The film’s rowdy approach — flatulence humor, racially charged gags and gay slapstick — would court outrage across social media. And then the apologies would commence while the production shut down. Don’t think so? Ask the film’s creator himself. Earlier this year, Bill Maher asked Brooks on the comic’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show if a “Blazing Saddles” could be made today given our politically correct climate.

“Not at all,” Brooks said.

“Mr. Mom” (1983) — Michael Keaton starred as a suddenly unemployed father forced to assume his wife’s duties when he can’t find a job … and she can. Keaton’s harried dad must learn to take care of his children, a task leading to plenty of comical high jinks. Today, stay-at-home fathers aren’t curiosities. They’re real people growing in numbers and marketing clout. The outrage over a potential “Mr. Mom” reboot would be sizable. Plus, the story simply wouldn’t make sense given the accomplished fathers who play “Mr. Mom” for real today without incident.

“Revenge of the Nerds” (1984) — The jocks at Alpha Beta made life miserable for nerds like Robert Carradine’s Lewis in this silly comedy that spawned a franchise. Then, the tables are turned! Today, geek culture rules. Nerds rock Silicon Valley. Jocks still enjoy cultural privileges, but their power base is a fraction of what it once was. Perhaps a “Revenge of the Jocks” screenplay could find some takers.

“Some Like It Hot”/”Tootsie” (1959/1982) — Drag comedies have been around for decades. Just Google “Milton Berle” and see all the times the lanky comic donned a dress to make people howl. We haven’t seen many drag comic moments in recent years. Anyone trying it today could be accused of making fun of the transgender community, insulting feminism in general or other horrible cultural crimes. That means these classic comedies will live on without competition.

“A Fish Called Wanda” (1988) — This farce gathered four sublime performers to tell a hilariously dark story. How would it play out today? Consider Michael Palin’s stutterer and all the jokes aimed at his condition. What about the incest jabs tied to Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis’ coupling? Or the dogs who keep going to heaven after a series of comical death traps? Few directors could replicate the foursome’s antics. The material itself would have to undergo a major makeover.

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