The main reason to remake a film is the main reason to make a sequel or a reboot or anything else connected to existing intellectual property: Brand name value.

Everyone in Hollywood wants a hit, and at least according to conventional wisdom, the quickest and easy way to produce one is to make something with a built-in audience. And sure, enough there are plenty of remakes that have traded on viewers’ familiarity with the original movie as a means to generate boatloads of box office, like King KongDawn of the DeadAlice in Wonderland, and The Lion King to name just a few.

All of those movies share a title with the earlier film that inspired them. Occasionally, though, a remake will go a different route, and try to carve out its own identity by going with a different name than its predecessor. On the surface, that seems to contradict the whole point of doing a remake. Why try to hide the fact that you are remake something that was previously very successful?

The answer should be obvious: Sometimes you don’t want the audience to know your movie is a remake. If other remakes suddenly start flopping at the box office, or polling suggests audiences are sick of remakes/sequels/reboots, you might want to mask your film’s origins. In other cases, the connections between movies might have been obvious when the remake was made, but as the years and decades pass, the remake becomes so iconic it replaces the original in the minds’ of many movie lovers.

No matter the reason, there are some famous remakes, and others that fly under the radar. The 15 movies below all fall into the latter category.

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