MovieChat Forums > Storm Over the Nile (1956) Discussion > What a truly pointless remake

What a truly pointless remake

I just saw this on TV in the UK and I have to wonder what on earth Korda
was thinking of? This is a very weak remake of his much superior 1939
version of 'The Four Feathers' (also shown on the same TV channel a few
days ago!).

This might remind you of that lame remake of psycho a few years back - the
movie feels identical but everything is just second rate and redundant
compared to the original.

What goes on in the mind of film makers? It's hard to believe someone
would put up a huge load of cash to remake a film that's already been
done so perfectly in the past.

Oh well, I'm off now to watch Tim Burton's version of 'Willy Wonka' ;-)


lol I recorded the 1939 version on my dvr frocm and then unknowingly also recorded this storm over the nile version. I thought they were different films. I watched the 1939 one and thought it was amazing. Then I decided to watch the storm over the started and I thought for the longest time that something screwed up and it just re-recorded the movie...I mean it is like word for word, frame by frame remake...indeed what is the point? I mean 1939 vs 1955...thats not even 20 years I could see doing 1939 and then in 2009 remaking the movie with the better technology and it would be wonderful if they were that faithful to the remake...but with less than 20 years...ummm wtf...


I think that the reason for the remake was to give the story a new look in the then still fairly new CinemaScope process. Apart from that, although, in my opinion, it is not better than the original version, it is just as good as the original version, with the same script, same director, same film company and actors who were just as good as the actors / actresses first time round and beautiful, rich Technicolor.

Benjamin Frankel's music score was equal to Miklos Rozsa's and had the added advantage of being recorded on magnetic tape in stereo, as opposed the inferior technology used on the Rozsa version, recorded optically on film, which in 1939 had the frequency range of an old 78 rpm shellac record.

Although Clive Baxter (1939) and Paul Streather (1955) were both excellent in their short but very memorable scenes as Harry Faversham as a boy, I think that Paul may have had just a slight edge over Clive, but not much. I can watch both versions and enjoy them equally. As for the more recent remakes, especially that with Heath Ledger, they're dreadful and not a patch on the 1939 and 1955 versions and, as with all modern films, the colour is very dull and lifeless and heavily toned down.


Many movies have been remade, sometimes (as here) under different titles, and while some remakes (The Dawn Patrol, The Maltese Falcon, The Blob) are better than the first efforts, most are inferior.

The Four Feathers has been filmed under that title four times (1921, 1929, 1939, 2002), plus a TV movie in 1978. Storm Over the Nile was of course a remake in all but name. The 1939 version is by far the best-known, and generally considered the best. The 1929 semi-silent produced by David O. Selznick was also very well received. Filming a remake within a few years of an earlier version wasn't at all uncommon back in the heyday of the major studios, particularly before television allowed people to watch an older film long after its theatrical release.

I think the problem with Storm Over the Nile is not that it was a remake, but that it culled so much of its footage, as well as its script, from the 1939 film. Looked at solely in terms of originality, it is by far the poorest version. Korda would, I think, have done better simply to have remade it under its traditional title, and filmed all new footage. Borrowing so much from the 1939 movie makes the 1955 film look cheap.

Storm isn't a bad movie but it can't hold a candle to the 1939 film. The (often artificial) addition of CinemaScope doesn't make it "better". I don't at all agree that the cast, direction, cinematography, color, music or any other elements are in any way equal, let alone superior, to those in the '39 film. Thanks in large part to its heavy use of footage and dialogue from the earlier film, Storm Over the Nile has so little to offer of its own that it is indeed a pretty pointless remake. Add to this the weaker quality of those aspects that are its own (above), Storm is simply not in the same league.

Had The Four Feathers never existed and Storm been made on its own, it would have been an entertaining, if essentially routine, adventure movie. As it is, while enjoyable enough, it can't escape the vast superiority of the film that literally gave it birth.