Now I’ve seen both, and within only a few weeks of each other, so I think it’s not a bad time to make a comparison.
I have to start with the fact that my preference is unchanged. I think that the original is the best of the two. In fact it is the best by far. Having said that, the remake has some very good qualities in its favour. First off, it is a very true remake. Very little is changed, with the exception of the ending, which, I believe, is much closer to the book. However, I’ve not read the book as yet. When I have there’ll be another comparison of all three.
Where I think the remake went wrong is in three key areas. I’ll explain them shortly. However, for now …
IF YOU HAVE ANY INTENTION OF WATCHING THESE FILMS, PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS FOLLOWING!
- John Wayne can’t really be bettered. Bridges did a good job but I wasn’t sure what he was trying to do with his accent really. That seemed a bit strange to me.
- The (for me) quintessential line “Fill you hands you son of a bitch” is delivered properly in the original. Not so much in the remake.
- The ending. I won’t say why I don’t like the ending in the remake, but the original’s ending is upbeat and excellent, and I love it.
I’m glad I’ve seen both and I’m glad I’ve got both. In my opinion they’re both worth watching, but the original will always be the best.