I was reading a theatre review in the newspaper today (for reasons unknown to even myself!) for a production of Merchant of Venice. The review was pretty good but that's beside the point. What suddenly struck me was the fact that any production of a play, is for all intents and purposes, the same as a remake of a film. Different cast/director/crew. Same material/script. However, each production of a play is usually judged on its own merit and has no expectations placed upon it. People are quite happy to believe it will be as good or better than any performance that has gone before. And often it is. With films though, it is taken for granted that they will be inferior to the original and with a few noteable exceptions ("the thing", "little shop of horrors" and "The Fly" spring to mind) they usually are:- Italian Job, Psycho, get carter, the vanishing etc, etc... So why is it that it seems almost impossible to remake a film well, when the same thing is accomplished all the time with plays? I mean, I here all the time "They shouldn't remake ....." or "It'll be crap, don't do it" when there is talk of a favourite movie being remade. You don't here people saying "don't put on a production of Richard III, it'll never be as good as the one they did last year" Anyone got any ideas why it works on stage but not on film?