Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Because Indian cinema reflects multiple styles, cultures, and languages, successful films in one market are often remade in others.
Here is a look at an original and the remakes:
Original - Our Hospitality
Release Date: 19 November 1923
Description: Black-and-white silent comedy. Thus begins the saga of Willy McKay (Buster Keaton), who is the unfortunate son of a family who is part of the Canfield-McKay blood feud - a loose reference to the Hatfield-McCoy feud of West Virginia (1863–1891). Having been taken to New York by his mother when he was a small child, McKay returns to his family home in the south. On the trip, he befriends Virginia (Natalie Talmadge). When he arrives at his destination, he meets up with one of the Canfield sons who tries to dispatch him. Circumstances intervene and Willy finds himself a guest in the Canfield home. Southern hospitality keeps him safe as long as he stays inside the house. Once he leaves, his hosts will continue the blood feud with him as their target. As he tries various methods to escape his fate, he and Virginia - also a Canfield - fall in love. After a death-defying escape, the feud is resolved when Willy rescues and marries Virginia.
Remake 1 - Maryada Ramanna
Release Date: 23 July 2010
Director: S. S. Rajamouli
Music by: M. M. Keeravani
Description: Telugu comedy thriller. Adding slapstick humor and some magical moments to this homage to Our Hospitality, this remake places the family feud in Andhra Pradesh. Ramu (Sunil) returns to his ancestral home, befriends Aparna (Saloni Aswani) on the train, and is invited into the home of his blood feud rival, Ramineedu (V. Nagineedu). While are many scenes which clearly reference scene snippets from the original film, the story has a definite south Indian flair. Throughout the story, unlucky Ramu remains an endearing innocent trying to escape from an enmity not of his own making. The introduction of rival love interest for Aparna adds complexity to the story. While the climax includes a daring escape, the resolution offers a twist which makes this film even more memorable.
Remake 2 - Son of Sardaar
Release Date: 13 November 2012
Director: Ashwni Dhir
Music by: Himesh Reshammiya
Description: Hindi masala action comedy. This version borrrows heavily from the plot of Maryada Ramanna but is unique unto itself. This time the hometown is located in the Punjab region and pits Jaswinder "Jassi" Singh Randhawa (Ajay Devgn) against the Sandhu family, headed by Billu (Sanjay Dutt). This production is big, bold and fully of great sight gags, action sequences, and slo-mo effects. It leverages the best of Maryada Ramanna and adds additional elements - including a love interest for Billu in Pammi (Juhi Chawla). Devgn's ability to be comic, romantic and action hero makes this a great vehicle for him. Mukul Dev is particularly entertaining as a dim-witted Tony. Salman Khan appears in a cameo role and the end titles song.
Why I Love These Films: Our Hospitality is a classic for many reasons. Though not identified as an action film, Buster Keaton's performance certainly fits into modern action genre. And the train ride is unusual, to say the least. Both remakes carry over the hospitality idea but place the story in decidedly Indian rural landscapes. Adding a second love interest in Maryada Ramanna - and a third love story in the case of Son of Sardaar - adds complexity to the story. Both remakes offer hilarious moments. Maryada Ramanna's Ramu is almost childlike and the film has several magical moments. Son of Sardaar's Jassi is always looking for the good in others, but is quite capable of defending himself when it becomes necessary. Watching all three characters outwit their hosts is what makes these films entertaining. However, my favorite remains Son of Sardaar.
- While Our Hospitality concludes with a reminder to "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself", Son of Sardaar ends with a reminder that Sikh Guru Nanak said "Where there is forgiveness there is love. Where there is love, there is God."
- Maryada Ramanna was also remade in Kannada as Maryade Ramanna and in Bengali as Faande Poriya Boga Kaande Re and in Tamil as Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham ("For the wise man, even grass is a weapon") which was just released on 10 May 2014.
- The bicycle in Maryada Ramanna was considered a friend and integral part of the script. It was sold at auction for Rs 1,51,000 (around US$2,500).