The cinematic remake has long been critically dismissed as little more than evidence of the commercial might and creative poverty of Hollywood. While it would be foolish to deny the commercial imperatives which surround the remake, it is a far more complex process than these accounts would have us believe. Although it is possible to discern patterns that help us to understand why particular films get remade and why industries embrace the practice at specific junctures, there are no hard and fast rules. This article emphasizes the location of the remake within the broader landscape of adaptation, translation and rewriting, revealing the welter of images and meanings to emerge and reemerge as texts are revisited by film-makers, audiences and academics alike. Films are shown to be highly intertextual artefacts which lend themselves to reworking in a number of different ways. The remake is thus shown to be both a feature of an extensive network of cultural reproduction and an echo of the very identity of film itself.