The Beatles, James Bond, William Shakespeare, Monty Python—the list of supremely hip British imports is as long as a tally of Mick Jagger’s sexual conquests. But that doesn’t mean that Hollywood, always willing to exploit tried-and-true formulas, has been content to leave British originals untouched. Studios and networks have repeatedly churned out Americanized remakes of film and TV hits from the United Kingdom, to wildly uneven results.
Starting April 17, “State of Play”—a feature-length distillation of an absorbing, six-hour BBC miniseries about a murder investigation that reunites a politician (Ben Affleck) and a reporter (Russell Crowe)—tries its luck at repackaging British goods. Just in time for its release, we’ve compiled a list of the five best and five worst American remakes of beloved British properties from film and TV, proving that the gulf in quality between the most and least successful is as wide as the Thames. —Brett Buckalew, Special to Metromix