Different Angle Query on Japanese Film Remakes

Michael McCaskey mccaskem at georgetown.edu
Thu Jul 6 13:14:22 EDT 2006

I'm still pursuing a study of recent Japanese/American remakes, and I am very grateful for a great deal of helpful information a while back from many people on this list about recently completed and planned American remakes of Japanese films.

As historical background, though, I'm also looking for some information about earlier Japanese remakes of US or European films, or vice versa.

I know that Kurosawa's Subarashiki Nichiyobi was, according to Kurosawa himself, a remake of a now pretty much forgotten American D.W. Griffith film about difficulties for a couple in post-World War I Germany. I think that Kurosawa's Lower Depths was a remake of an earlier French version, Renoir's les Bas-Fonds 1936, and that maybe Kurosawa's Idiot was based on Georges Lampin's earlier 1946 French version. High and Low was inspired by an American story by Ed McBain. I would greatly welcome any corrections or additions re Kurosawa remakes.

I also am trying to find some information, as historical background, on any significant pre-1940 Japanese remakes of any US or European films. There must have been some, I would think.

US and European films "set in Japan" before WWII were mostly about the doings of Americans or Europeans who happened to be in Japan, and I don't think more than one (Fanck's 1937 Atarashiki tsuchi/Tochter des Samurai) was actually filmed in Japan. I think the same was largely true of US pictures set in Japan after WWII, though Japanese locations were used, and some Japanese actors appeared. I don't know if there were any pre-1950s US or European actual remakes of any Japanese films.

Many Thanks for Any Help,

Michael McCaskey

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