As even the most causal films fans are aware there is nothing more certain in this world than death, taxes and sequels to hit movies. On rare occasions a sequel will be nearly as good as the original. Even more rarely a sequel will be the equal to the first. And once in a very blue moon the sequel will even surpass its predecessor. Generally speaking however, sequels stink, stank and stunk, especially when the story in the original needed no follow up.
Of course some sequels are natural (see Godfather Part 2) and others appropriate as in the Raiders of the Lost Ark series. Still they rarely capture what was special about the parent film. Usually they are lazy ways for producers to cash in on a hit film by luring audiences into a cheap imitation.
It wasn't always this way. Yes, there were some sequels in days of yore such as The Thin Man series, but this was the exception. What if, however, today's cinema bigwigs had been running the show 75 years ago? Can you imagine the tripe audiences would have been exposed to? Never mind, I've done your imagining for you. Here are ten possible sequels that could have been made during Hollywood's Golden Age. Thank God they weren't.
Casablanca II - - Rick and Louie on the Run. The two members of the that "beautiful friendship" operate cafes throughout Nazi occupied territories and they're always on the lookout for sexy resistance members (married or single, makes no difference to the boys) to help escape. Will the Germans finally catch on or can our two heroes continue to outwit them?
Arsenic and Old Lace II -- The Ladies on the Loose! The Brewster spinsters are out of the funny farm and are hosting arsenic laded teas for elderly gents again. You'll roar with laughter at the madcap antics of their nephew Mortimer to foil their shennigans. Meanwhile Mortimer's whacky homicidal brother escapes prison and adds to the merriment.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington II -- Smith's Revenge. Not satisfied with vindication and a seat in the U.S. Senate, Jefferson Smith wants revenge against those who plotted against him and lied about him. Armed to the teeth with the latest in sophisticated weaponry, Smith goes on a bloody revenge to settle scores.
Duck Soup II - - Freedonia's Blitzkrieg. Emboldened by their victory over Slyvannia, self proclaimed dictator Rufus T. Firefly finds other nations whose ambassadors have called him an upstart. Pinky, Chicolini and Mrs. Teasdale lead Freedonia's brutally efficient armed forces to a series of devastating victories. Can Freedonia be stopped?
Grapes of Wrath II -- The Joads Strike it Rich. When we last left our favorite Okies their prospects were dim, but their luck quickly changes with a fortuitous discovery of gold by Pa Joad. Tom's back in the fold and there's no more battles with the law. But when love comes a calling the Joads find that all that glitters isn't gold.
Angels With Dirty Faces II -- The Angels Clean Up. With their hero dead and apparently having gone to the electric chair a coward, the boys turn over a new leaf and dedicate their time to performing good deeds. But what happens when school and homework interfere with their charitable work?
It's A Wonderful Life II - - Old Man Potter Strikes Back. George Bailey appeared to be the richest man in town by virtue of all the friends he had. But mean old Mr. Potter is fighting back. He's turned over a new leaf and is now the nicest man in Bedford Falls. Can the new Mr. Potter woo more friends than George?
Bringing Up Baby II -- Baby Has Babies. Everyone's favorite leopard, Baby, has had babies of her own. You'll roar with laughter at Baby's owners, Susan and David as they try to cope with the kittens, especially when some old dinosaur bones go missing!
The Big Sleep II -- Everyone Wakes Up. Life seems grand for Philip Marlowe and his new bride Vivian. They're retired on her riches when suddenly all the murder victims from the original feature appear as ghosts and haunt them! The accent is on horror on this time.
Ninocthtka II - Love on the Run. Ninotchka and the count are together again and for good but their troubles aren't over. Soviet assassins have exacted terrible revenge on Iranoff, Bujanoff and Kopalski and the two lovers are next on their list.