Craig Kennedy's recent comment in my Tell No One review thread made me ponder the numerous instances in which well-regarded foreign films were quickly remade by Americans. It made me think, are there any cases where the American film ended up actually being better? (Or even as good?)
The only recent one that I think was a definitive improvement was Christopher Nolan's remake of Insomnia. I still like the original but it's a case where I actually prefer the remake.
Fritz Lang famously remade Jean Renoir's La Chienne (1931) into Scarlet Street (1945). La Chienne is an excellent film, but Scarlet Street remains more memorable. More of a draw, Lang's remake of Renoir's The Human Beast (1938), the somber Human Desire (1954), coming hot off the heels of the then-misunderstood The Big Heat (1953), which was considered another disappointment in a string of such at the time for Lang by many critics. (In the cases of Lang's two Renoir remakes, it should be noted that there was at least something of a significant gap in time between the originals' releases and Lang's efforts.)
Anyway, I just wanted to get the ball rolling, and let you folks bring up examples, both classic and modern as well as try to think of those outstanding cases where the remake was actually either as good or even better than the original.