Names changes for movies in international markets

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Thrall, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Eric Thrall

    Eric Thrall Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just curious if anyone has some good examples of movies whose names were changed for other markets - I remember seeing something on TV once where they went over some examples, and they ranged from logical (where they actually improved the title - one example was "Dangerous Minds" becoming "Dangerous Ideas" if I remember correctly) to silly.
     
  2. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    It's stated on the DVD commentary that UHF suffered a name change overseas due to fears other countries would not know what UHF meant. I forget the insaine substitue Orion came up with.

    Going the reverse somewhat, Luc Besson's film Leon had a name change to The Professional in the US. To this day I am not sure why. The original title was retained for the extended version on Region1 DVD however (though the box reads Leon: The Professional as a hint its the same movie).

    Dan
     
  3. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    In Belgium, they changed the name of Wild Things to Sex Crimes.
    They did this because they already renamed the movie Les Petites Sauvages into Wild Things. That movie was made in the French laguage part of Belgium.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    “Pulp Fiction” was titled Violent Times when it was released in Argentina and Venezuela. Makes sense as the English title has no reference point in South America. But then, my Spanish is pretty bad, certainly not up to reading fiction (pulp or otherwise), so that observation may be incorrect.
     
  5. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Waking Ned Devine was shortened to Waking Ned in the UK.
     
  6. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Oh boy, don't get me started on title changes for the Latino market... Gah!
    I wish they'd kept "Pulp Fiction," without translating it or changing it. It just sounds cool [​IMG]
    Some notoriously lame name changes:
    - The original "Airplane!" was retitled "And where's the pilot??" From then on, several spoof movies have been retitled along the same lines, such as "The Naked Gun" becoming "And where's the cop??" I guess it tells audiences what to expect, but man, I hate those titles.
    - Pretty much any film with a difficult-to-adapt title (or simply a non-explicit one) receives a generic, b-movie title. "Two *insert profession here* in trouble" and "The nutty *insert profession here*" are notoriously overused. "Bowfinger" became "Bowfinger, the nutty director."
    - The "Police Academy" series became "Crazy Police Academy." I don't know who in the international distribution hierarchy signs off on these titles, but subtlety is not one of their attributes...
    Things like this make me so glad I learned English. Of course, that doesn't save me from the linguistic butchering other foreign films undergo here...
    ps-- "Leon" became "Leon, the professional" here. Not a bad compromise, I suppose.
     
  7. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    I've heard that Hong Kong-ese films mercifully enlist name changes all of the time when crossing the pacific. I'm hoping some chinese speaking HTF members can corroborate, since I cannot recall examples of exact name changes.
    For the film, Comrades, Almost a Love Story, apparently the actual translation from the chinese title is, War, Uhh, What the Hell is it Good For?!![​IMG]
    Seriously, all that I remember is that it was something outlandish and goofy, almost nothing to do with the known US title.
    Actually, what about Amelie? Isn't the French title, Amelie from Montmartre?
     
  8. Scott_D

    Scott_D Stunt Coordinator

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    In Australia, "Airplane!" was renamed "Flying High". I think I actually prefer the new name. Up until a few years ago I didn't even know that "Flying High" wasn't its proper name.
     
  9. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    In the UK, Saving Silverman is called Evil Woman. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Ricardo, I hear ya brother. The name changes make me cringe sometimes for the Latino market. I remember "Memento" was renamed "Amnesia", which doesn't make sense since the guy in the movie points out he doesn't have amnesia.
     
  11. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    During a time of warming relations with the Soviet Union (culminating with the 1971 Friendship Treaty), the James Bond movie "From Russia with Love" (1963) was renamed "From 007 with Love" in its Indian release
     
  12. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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  13. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    "Beaches" became "Forever Friends" internationally. not that I actually watched the movie... [​IMG]
    in addition, "Hero" became "Accidental Hero", which IMHO rather spoilt the irony of the original title. and let's not forget the Harry Potter brouhaha...
    Peter's comment on Hong Kong movies is interesting. I've seen plenty of mismatched titles in advertisements, but the only one that I recall off the top of my head is A Better Tomorrow. In Mandarin, it was called "Ying Xiong Ben Se": "Ying Xiong" meaning "hero", "Ben Se" literally translated would mean "own colours", but I think figuratively refers to the hero's own true colours, i.e. his honour. must say it sounds prettty cool in Chinese, although "A Better Tomorrow" isn't bad, I can't see what it has to do with the themes of the movies.
    BTW, Cantonese (the original language of ABT) would be pronounced differently, but it's written the same and would mean substantially the same thing.
     
  14. Sean Oakley

    Sean Oakley Auditioning

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    Joy Ride has just hit theatres here in Australia but under the ultra-lame title "Roadkill"

    Oooooohhhhhhhhh! sounds creepy now doesn't it.
     
  15. MichaelAW

    MichaelAW Second Unit

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    Here in Sweden, about half the films keep their English names, and of the other half, most are direct translations of their English titles (Klonerna Anfaller = Attack of the Clones), while others get completely different names, for example last night Foul Play (with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn) was shown on Swedish TV with the title Tjejen Som Visste För Mycket (The Girl That Knew Too Much). Go figure.
     
  16. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Why do they change the title for some International releases though? I'm pretty sure there is no other recent film named "Saving Silverman" like the UK its called Evil Woman here in Oz, and as Sean mentioned Joy Ride is called Roadkill. Its bizarre because a few months ago I saw posters in the cinema that actually had Joy Ride written on them and now we have it Roadkill? What gives?
     
  17. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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  18. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Braindead is known as Dead Alive in the US. I'm pretty sure you're right on Mad Max, Theo.
     
  19. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    UHF is called,...

    The Vidot From UHF,...

    WTF? How is that supposed to make more sense? it isn't like we don't use UHF here!! It was done terribly also, when the title UHF is supposed to come up there is just this black square with 'The Vidot From UHF' in it.
     
  20. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    Ricardo is dead on with the Latin American titles being the worst offenders. They're just so darn stupid! (except for "Star Wars", which was at least recognizable as "the War of the Galaxies" when I first saw it) I think the award for the worst title change ever goes to the Goldie Hawn flick "Wildcats", which was called "Give Me the Ball, Lady!" when I saw it in Peru. Classic stuff!
     

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