Remade The American Way

TITLES: SOMMERSBY AND THE VANISHING

GENRE: MISSING-PERSON DRAMA, EXPORTED TO HOLLYWOOD

THE BOTTOM LINE: Cultural transplants improve two European art-house hits.

Americans -- go figure. They can't make a better car or car stereo. They can't stanch their national debt. They can't impose a new world order. But they can fix up a foreign-movie drama like doctors slapping an anemic newborn into shape until it is a bionic baby. It looks so smart, so strong, so very . . . Hollywood.

Sommersby, about a young Tennessee husband who goes away to the Civil War and comes home a changed man, is...

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