Perfume, Street Gangs and Vampires
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
So what if your idea isn’t “new.” Don’t be afraid to take a new swing at an old ball.
The 1937 Hungarian play, Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, inspired the 1940 American romantic comedy The Little Shop Around the Corner starring James Stewart. That filmed spawned the 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime, starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. The plot of the original Hungarian play remained the same when the story was remade yet again as the 1963 stage musical, She Loves Me featuring music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.
Playwright Miklos Laszlo and his estate must have been rolling in royalties because his 1937 play Parfumerie inspired yet another version of his core plot of pen pals anonymously falling in love: the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail written by Nora Ephron and starring actors Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
The 1957 stage musical West Side Story was a ground breaking hit. The 1961 movie version was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, a number that remains impressive today. Though the drama takes place in 1950s New York City, West Side Story’s creators never hid the fact that they ripped its plot directly from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, published 360 years earlier in 1597.
Author Bram Stoker published the Gothic horror novel, Dracula in 1897. That’s not kept successive storytelling generations from creating their own version of Stoker’s vampire:
In the 1960s, the television soap opera Dark Shadows featured popular vampire character Barnabas Collins.
Author Ann Rice established herself in the late 1970s with a series of novels called The Vampire Chronicles. The 1990s movie adaptations starring actors Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise helped to widely popularize Rice’s books.
Thanks to novelist Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, teenagers now have their own version of vampires who frolic by daylight without shriveling to dust.
See? It’s all been done before but not your version.