With a new take on 'Total Recall' out Friday, we round up cinema's best do-overs
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5. "A Star is Born" (George Cukor, 1954)
Remake of: "A Star is Born" (William A. Wellman, 1937)
Wellman’s partly Dorothy Parker-penned meditation on the snakes-and-ladders pitfalls of Hollywood celebrity itself unapologetically ripped off a 1932 film, “What Price Hollywood?” Ironically, the latter was directed by George Cukor, who returned decades later to the story for the greatest and most operatic of the numerous official and unofficial remakes, which range from Barbra Streisand’s 1976 effort to Mariah Carey’s “Glitter.” (Even Clint Eastwood is having another go.) No prior or subsequent version of the chestnut has boasted a lead turn as chillingly, sorrowfully informed as Judy Garland’s – it’s a written cautionary tale enacted by a living one.