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.
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.
fdrich29, That was freaking awesome! Thanks, just what I was looking for. Answered all of my questions.
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.
The remake has levels the original simply doesn't have.
I think Scott Glenn is a very good actor but in the original version, he was chewing the scenery...the overacting was distracting.
How did the story end in the book? Did Creasy get killed or survive?
Also is the original on DVD?