MovieChat Forums > Man on FireĀ (1987) Discussion > Differences between the original and the...

Differences between the original and the remake (SPOILERS)


so far i have only seen the 2004 remake and i haven't had any luck with finding a copy of the original.
could anyone who has seen the original please tell me what the differences between the two versions are? (i don't mind SPOILERS - so feel free to let me know who lives, dies, etc.)
cheers

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The Big difference is that this movie, to be honest, is bad. The remake was pretty good.

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:)

that didn't really answer my question, though

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So not true. I am watching the remake now. A good movie but the original is a very good movie also. Both so much a child of there time. I say watch both and do not compare just enjoy.

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preach on, brother.

saw it on cable just now. only thing that makes it watchable is comparing the scenes to the new one...

stinker.

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I watched some of the original, but what i saw was good. I have to say the remake is great. For one thing it has Denzel and Dakota in it.

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oh, this one is darker and i laughed a lot, specially in the violent parts

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One of the biggest differences is that the original is set in Italy instead of Mexico and if I remember right it also set during the seventies instead of present day.

I thought the remake was brilliant. Tony Scotts visual language fits perfectly. it's not the most complex story but with the brutn out visuals it becomes movie magic.

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Lead character "Creasy" is played by a white actor in the original and a black actor in the remake.

The little girl Creasy is responsible for in the original's name is Sam, in the remake it's Pita.

In the original the little girl runs relay in her school yard, in the remake she's a swimmer.

In the original the strongest bond between Creasy and Sam is the book Of Mice and Men, in the remake it's Creasy Bear, her stuffed teddy bear. (There were some similarities along these lines, he helps her study in both versions).

Creasy's closest friend in the original (Joe Pesci) is much more involved in the story and is used to show some of the inner turmoil that Creasy must be feeling from their military past. I would strongly argue that Christopher Walkin's portrayal of the friend in the remake, although a smaller part, is much more powerful.

The original takes place in Italy, the remake in Mexico.

The remake utilizes a journalist and her ties to the police as means to help Creasy on his course for revenge. This is absent in the original.

In the original the group responsible for kidnapping Sam is working alone. In the remake the police and ultimately Pita's father are involved in Pita's kidnapping.

The process of Creasy hunting down the kidnappers is much quicker in the first movie than the second.

In the original Creasy threatens to cut off the fingers of one of the kidnappers then shoots him in the bathroom of a gay porno theatre. In the remake he actually cuts off the mans fingers, but its in his car. Afterwards he sends the car off a cliff and it explodes.

The next people involved in the kidnapping are blown up in a building where they are hiding when Creasey sets off a bomb he finds there (or maybe he brought it with him, I didn't notice). In the remake he shoots one of the kidnappers with a shot gun, scares the second, who tells him the girl is in the club, and it turns out to be a different girl who was kidnapped. Creasey burns down the club by pouring gasoline onto stacks of newspapers.

The death of the kidnapper bigshot in the original (Danny Aiello) happens after Creasey forces him to take him to Sam's location after he finds him at his house. They drive to an old garage full of trucks. A car drives by and shoots into the car they are in, hitting Aiello in the shoulder. He doesn't die, Creasey presses him for Sam's location and gets out of the car. Aiello tries to run him down with the car and Creasey shoots him. The car comes to a stop after contining on for several yards.

In the remake Creasey hides out in an old couple's apartment, waits for his caravan and fires a rocket at the cars. He takes the bigshot and his car and finds a place under a bridge where the helicopters cant find him. While the bigshot is out cold he implants an explosive devise in the man's rectum and blows him up.

In the original Sam is hidden in a truck, Creasey finds the truck and is shot by a young man who is hiding under one of the trucks. We find out that his death is faked and he is issued a passport with the new identity Lenny Lazurus (sp). The last scene shows him arriving to where Sam is staying, and she is sitting on a deck overlooking the ocean.

In the remake Creasey gets to the kidnappers family and barters for Pita's release, making a deal to exchange his own life for Pita's. They make the exchange on a highway bridge, Pita is reunited with her mother, Creasey and the kidnapper's brother go with the kidnappers. Creasey dies while observing the Mexican mountains in the back seat of the car.

The kidnapper is then shown to be killed by the lead police investigator, as he shoots him and he falls into the pool.

I loved the remake, never realizing it was a remake until today when HBO played the original.

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In the remake Creasy is an ex-Marine while in the '86 version Creasy is a former SEAL and CIA agent. (While in the book Creasy is a former French Legion and mercenary). In the book Creasy was a Korean era US Marine, who joined the French Foreign Legion paratroopers and served in Indochina (Vietnam) and Algeria. Then after the Legion he was a mercinary in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Pita is much younger than Sam from the '86 version, she was almost a teen.

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fdrich29, That was freaking awesome! Thanks, just what I was looking for. Answered all of my questions.

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Good post, but I have to admit that I think the bond between Pesci and Glenn made the story a little better than the remake. I also think Glenn did a great job and the original is just as good. It told the story without all the flash, but now adays it has to look like some garbage like Matrix to be good. People really need to appreciate the old films for what they were. All acting and no cinematography to improve the film. It really wasnt as bad as peoplemake it out to be.

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The remake has levels the original simply doesn't have.

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I think Scott Glenn is a very good actor but in the original version, he was chewing the scenery...the overacting was distracting.

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How did the story end in the book? Did Creasy get killed or survive?

Also is the original on DVD?

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The original was closer to the book by AJ Quinnell, although it still left out key elements. Creasy's background is key to the whole story (explaining why he is the "Man of Fire"), and the Scott Glenn and Joe Pesci version goes into better and more believable detail. Either way, I liked both interpretations, and I highly recommend reading the book.

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This one absolutely sucked! Scott Glen is not a very good actor in it, the narration is horrible, i did not believe Creasy was depressed and the child was even worse. It took an hour to get into anything, and i do not believe they proved his love for Sam at all. The action was nothing, this movie looked to be an ABC Sunday night movie circa 1987. The 2004 remake is 10000x better in every aspect of the story.

HBO played the 1987 last weekend. Thank god i didn't even spend .99 on a 7 day rental. It's that bad.

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Oh yeah, and Joe Pesci's rendition of Johnny B. Good....

Reason #5476.134B this movie sucked.

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biggest difference the 2004 is good , this one is not. this movie was made in 1987? it looks like it was made at least a decade earlier. very bad action scenes. and it really doesn't make sense at certain parts.
the 2 worst parts joe pesci singing into a fit of rage and creasy having to stop him....
danny aielo shots at creasy, missed, then creasy tells him "i'll kill you" danny drops his guns and cries!!! ahahahahha so dumb i really wanted to like this movie but i was sooo disappointed.

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Actually the original author considered the 2004 version to be closer to the book than the 1987 version. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20050714/social/social-and-personal.84184

"In 1987 the book was made into a lack-lustre movie starring Scott Glenn and Joe Pesci with Jade Malle as the young kidnap victim. The screenplay went through several transitions under Italian-French direction. At one stage, reading the script, Mr Nicholson mentioned that it did not appear to be following the line of the book. The script-writers replied: "You mean, there's a book...?"

Mr Nicholson, who had imagined his hero as looking like Robert Mitchum, was unimpressed by the outcome, as was the majority of the cinema-going public.

When Hollywood remade the film last year, director Tony Scott cast Denzel Washington as the hero and Dakota Fanning as the young victim but he used Mexico as the location because of the inordinately high number of kidnappings in Mexico City. It received high critical acclaim, not least from Mr Nicholson himself who was happy that it used a lot of his original dialogue."

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yeah the original is not very good. The girl actor was bad, no doubt about it. Yet, somehow I cared more for her than the girl in the Denzel version. I think it was the writing and the quote from the book. The quote showed how important friendship was to her (and ultimately him). this made me care about the girl more in the original than the remake.

Lead actor in original I'm not familiar with. didn't care for the monotone acting and especially narration. The remake had far superior actors. Better budget and effects helped a great deal. Only knock on the remake is the shaky camera syndrome, I hate that. And the quick editing is terrible too.

original is not so bad, but needs work. It showed promise in some areas, but overall just doesn't cut it. It's worth seeing though for comparison. I came here looking for what happened at the end of the original. I'm still a little confused at that. Who was the guy who shot creasy? Who got the girl? what was the scene at the end (police arresting the guys?).

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Folks... there is no original movie and no remake... basically it's two movies adapting the same book... it's no use copying a movie that wasn't even a success !
Besides watch the length 1,5h VS 2,5h. It is a different approach.


Personally I think Scott did a fantastic job !

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Very good point.

Honestly, I'm not a fan of either version. The first was slow and confusing and the second was pretentious and bombastic and had that MTV-style, strobe-light direction Tony Scott was known for (Indeed, that Tony Scott helped popularize).

So, two swings and two misses as far as I'm concerned.

But you're right: The Scott version was not a remake but rather a new adaptation of the same source material.

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The original author, Phillip Nicholson (AJ Quinnell) did prefer the 2004 version over this one simply because it mostly used his lines https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20050714/social/social-and-personal.84184

"When Hollywood remade the film last year, director Tony Scott cast Denzel Washington as the hero and Dakota Fanning as the young victim but he used Mexico as the location because of the inordinately high number of kidnappings in Mexico City. It received high critical acclaim, not least from Mr Nicholson himself who was happy that it used a lot of his original dialogue."

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Look for the original 1980 novel. In many ways the 2004 Denzel movie is closer to the novel!

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