Based on a Sam Spade novel, the original 1931 Maltese Falcon was by no means a bad film—in fact, it was in many ways more faithful to the book, as it was shot before the infamous Hays indecency code. But the 1941 version had Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre. No contest.
While the original version of this film, The Shop Around the Corner, featured Jimmy Stewart, the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan version edges out its source material due to Nora Ephron's witty, and surprisingly forward-thinking, script. Moreover, in the film, Meg Ryan's jerk boyfriend writes for The New York Observer, which pretty much seals the deal for us.
The original Howard Hawks version, The Thing From Another World, was a well-loved science fiction classic, so John Carpenter faced quite the challenge in setting out to remake it in 1982. Though it initially faced mixed reactions, it's stood the test of time, influencing all manner of contorted body imagery seen in modern horror movies today.
Terry Gilliam's 1995 time travel film, tinted with his signature insanity based on the anxieties of modern life, saw stellar performances by Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt and vastly improved on the gimmick that drove the French short upon which it was based, 1962's La jetée. Both films make nods to their Hitchcockian origins with an homage to Vertigo.
Based on a Norwegian film, this Al Pacino vehicle was Christopher Nolan's first effort after his breakout hit Momento. As with nearly all his movies, Nolan's version plays up the question of identity, brilliantly casting Robin Williams as a supernaturally creepy villain.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's capacity for comedy is impressive, if often misdirected (see: Twins, Junior), but it's never been utilized better than in True Lies. The 1991 French original, La Totale! was more of a straight comedy, but James Cameron's remake seamlessly blended the comedy and action elements, and the end result was exceptional.