Paramount, which had a hand in distributing “Disturbia” (“Rear Window” for teens) and “Eagle Eye” (“North by Northwest” for idiots), is now aiming younger with its Alfred Hitchcock remakes. As reported by Badass Digest, they’re redoing “The Man Who Knew Too Much” as “The Kid Who Knew Too Much,” in which a kid must find his lost parents. Whether or not he does this by doing a rap-rock cover of “Que Sera, Sera” is to be determined since it’s still being scripted. (At least it’s not “The Kid Who Knew Too Little,” a remake of the silly Bill Murray film released just before Wes Anderson rescued him.)
By the way, as we saw in an older list of directors who made great copies of their own works, let’s not forget that Hitch’s recycling of his own “Man Who Knew Too Much” is one of the best defenses for why remakes aren’t a terrible idea.
While that gets rolling, I thought we could all help Paramount with suggestions for what could come next. After the jump I’ve listed ten Hitch movies that could be easily adapted for children’s movies. Especially in title, which is what matters. And if only a handful of young people get turned on to the classic originals as a result, I’ll be happy if all of these get made.
After coming up with this idea, I saw that commenters at Badass Digest have already started coming up with possibilities, including “Strangers on a School Bus” (let’s not forget “Teens on a Train” is apparently in the works), “Foreign Exchange Student Correspondent,” “To Catch a Bully” and “Txt M 4 Mrdr!”
Hitch original: “Rope” (1948)
(based on Patrick Hamilton’s play, there were versions before and after the Hitch film)
Kid-ified synopsis: A couple of kids arrive early to a classmate’s birthday party, to which they weren’t invited. As payback, they knock out the host during a game of jump rope, hide him in a toy chest and then dominate over the party once the other guests get there. The movie is actually shot in one continuous take thank to the magic of video memory.
“The Girl Vanishes”
Hitch original: “The Lady Vanishes” (1938)
(also remade already, in 1979, and inspiration for a number of films, including “Flightplan”)
Kid-ified synopsis: While on a long field trip, two young girls become friends when they’re seated next to each other on the bus. One falls asleep, and when she awakens a different kid is beside her. As the bus continues to its destination, the confused kid searches for her missing buddy.
“The Wrong Boy”
Hitch original: “The Wrong Man” (1956)
(based on a true story)
Kid-ified synopsis: An average and relatively invisible student enters the school library and is immediately accused by a librarian as having been the kid who stole a bunch of books the previous day. Set to spend the rest of his day in detention, one teacher steps in and has his class hold a mock trial.
Hitch original: “Rebecca” (1940)
(based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, which has been adapted multiple times since)
Kid-ified synopsis: An unnamed girl is adopted by a wealthy man and brought to live on his large estate. But the servants and nanny there are not especially welcoming because of their loyalty to the man’s dead daughter, Becca.
Hitch original: “Stage Fright” (1950)
(based on the novel by Selwyn Jepson)
Kid-ified synopsis: A boy wrongfully accused of smoking in the bathroom seeks the help of the school’s drama star, who decides to take on the role of detective and play with other disguises, too.
Hitch original: “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943)
(already remade in 1958 as “Step Down to Terror” and a 1991 TV movie)
Kid-ified synopsis: The original involved a teenage girl so now she’s just a younger kid who suspects that her visiting uncle is a mass murderer. It would probably now be a comedy, too.
“The Late Bus”
Hitch original: “Lifeboat” (1944)
(based on the novella by John Steinbeck and previously remade as the 1993 sci-fi version “Lifepod”)
Kid-ified original: Possibly seen as more a younger “Breakfast Club,” a bunch of dissimilar middle school students interact and learn to get a long while taking the late bus home from school. Things heat up on the ride when the bus picks up the school bully along the way.
Hitch original: “Jamaica Inn” (1939)
(already remade for TV in 1983)
Kid-ified synopsis: Really just a weak reminder of “The Goonies,” a brother and sister discover that a crew of bank robbers are holed up in the hotel they’re staying in. But is their Uncle Charlie (or Joss, or whatever) in on the heist?
“Grade C for Copy – 3D”
Hitch original: “Dial M for Murder” (1954)
(based on the play by Frederick Knott, it has been remade for TV multiple times)
Kid-ified synopsis: A tennis prodigy who isn’t great at history gets a kid he’s bullying to copy the homework of the star student for him, but she anticipated the cheating and the plan backfires. Sounds pretty boring and talky, but it’ll be in 3D.
“Fear of Heights”
Hitch original: “Vertigo” (1958)
(based on the novel “D’Entre Les Morts” by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac and remade twice internationally)
Kid-ified original: A boy with agoraphobia has a crush on a girl at school, but she gets in trouble via a stunt on the jungle gym and is sent away to a reformatory. A week later, though, a new girl arrives at school who looks like the other, only with different hair. Once the boy figures out she is the same person, he tries to figure out how she avoided punishment.
Obviously it’s a little harder to adapt Hitchcock to kid movies is we have to avoid things like murder and other types of violence. And I’m still somewhat more interested in seeing more “Three Investigators” young adult mystery adaptations, only where Hitch’s involvement/appearances is brought back into the fold.
Add your own ideas for kiddie Hitchcock movies down in the comments.