Interesting to read (Outtakes, Aug. 30) of the projected remake of Josef von Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel,” with Madonna, glamorous star of the smash hits “Shanghai Surprise” and “Who’s That Girl,” in the Marlene Dietrich role. Interesting, but mostly depressing.

It’s especially depressing to see one of the current hotshot writers, Neil Jimenez, trying to bolster his own rep with a backhanded swipe at the original. So the great films of the past aren’t special-effects extravaganzas, with the latest film heroes and the noisiest rock scores in Dolby and THX. So what? Can’t we appreciate classic films for themselves?

What will be next? A remake of all the RKO musicals with Prince and Grace Jones replacing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? A redo of “Joan of Arc” starring Molly Ringwald? A new version of Hitchcock’s classic “Strangers on a Train” with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal? (Oops--I read somewhere that that one is really in the works!)


As long as you’re finding brave writers to debunk the pop-rock “greats,” how about getting one of them to deal with Madonna? Let’s face it: Her voice is like a police whistle, her material is drivel, her wardrobe makes the Salvation Army look like Robinson’s, her acting ability is minimal--and I’d hate to think of what she must look like when she’s out of hailing distance of a talcum powder factory.

If ever a no-talent was made a star by the adoring media, this was one.


Los Angeles