The Long Night (1947)
For the love of god, if you’re going to be crazy enough to remake an amazing movie, don’t change the ending. Why would you do that?
The Long Night is an American remake of the French classic Le Jour se Leve—and the latter is very, very French while the former is very, very American. It’s almost as though it was remade to Normal Rockwell specifications. While the French film is focused almost entirely on four specific characters, The Long Night incorporates the story’s entire quaint little Philadelphia town. I really have no idea why, because it only makes the movie seem unrealistic and hokey. The narrator at the beginning of the film tries to make the argument that this story could happen anywhere in America—although the love triangle itself (factory worker loves orphan who’s in deep with a psychopathic magician) is really unusual and eccentric. But everything about the remake reeks of Americana—it loses any of that twisty film noir-ishness of the original. The two leads, Henry Fonda and Barbara Bel Geddes and wholesome and without sin, and thus are largely uninteresting. And the ending…made me want to throw my television out the window. Seriously. Don’t tack happy endings onto your remakes, boys and girls. It’s not cool.