Friday, October 20, 2006

A film by any other name

Sometimes there are a couple of films come out close enough together, with a resemblance to each other that one wonders if it is intentional. Studios may start a competing project in order to cash in on a fad, or simply to rip off a good idea that circulates around the film making community.

I bring this up because the trailers for "The Prestige" look so much like those for "The Illusionist" I had to check to see if they were both based on the same work. Don't think it can't happen. Valmont (1988) and Dangerous Liaisons (1989) are both versions of the novel "Les liaisons dangereuses". Dead Man on Campus and The Curve, both released in 1998, are based on the urban legend that if one's college roommate commits suicide, one would receive straight A's.

The Prestige is from the Christopher Priest 1995 novel of the same name, while The Illusionist is based on Steven Millhauser's 1990 short story called "Eisenheim the Illusionist." While they do have different sources, and ultimately have a different set of points to makes, they both have the same "Look and Feel."

Now the thing is I want to see both, but inevitably I will always compare one against the other. I will not be able to give a fair viewing to the film I see second. Am a prepared to make the distinction between "turn-of-the-century Vienna" and "late 19th century London?" Does my "Giamania" trump the desire to see David Bowie as Nikola Tesla?

For a much more detailed list of similarly related films please review the Wikipedia Article here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_with_similar_plots

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2 comments:

iRob said...

"Dark Water"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382628/

"From the Depths of Dark Water"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308379/

I've wondered about this one for a while.

Drhaggis said...

Looks like a US remake of the Japanese film within 3 years of the first one. Same thing with The Grudge and The Ring.

I know that they say that there is nothing new under the sun, but these filmakers are not even trying.