With a new take on 'Total Recall' out Friday, we round up cinema's best do-overs
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8. "Imitation of Life" (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
Remake of: "Imitation of Life" (John M. Stahl, 1934)
One era of melodrama shifts happily – and more powerfully – into another in Douglas Sirk’s florid but unexpectedly pointed study of white and black family politics, which boldly changed key plot points from the 1934 film (and source novel by Fannie Hurst) to accommodate ongoing changes wrought by the civil rights movement. The result was a more progressive narrative, but also more vigorous filmmaking, with Sirk’s taste for off-balance composition and heightened performance naturalism at its zenith.