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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Bell Bottom George's Avatar
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    Mooching through Halliwells (quiet period at work !) I notice many British films are released in the US with alternative titles, most of the time with totally unconnected names. A few I`ve picked at random ;



    Fanatic (1965)

    US Title - Die ! Die ! My Darling



    The Frightened Lady (1932)

    US Title - The Criminal At Large



    The Gaunt Stranger (1938)

    US Title - The Phantom Strikes



    The Criminal (1960)

    US Title - The Concrete Jungle



    Why the need to change the title, and why so different a name ?

    Also, anyone else know any `corkers` ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Its not a corker, because I think its rather sad.



    'The Wisdom of Crocodiles' became 'Immortality' in the USA... a terrible title.



    'Night of the Eagle' became 'Burn, Witch Burn' in the USA... an unsuitable title.



    The Hammer version of 'Dracula' became 'The Horror of Dracula' in the USA... an unnecessary title.



    I think the arrogance of American distributers as they patronise their own public plays a goodly part in it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    Well, there's a fear among distributors that if the title doesn't tell you exactly what kind of film to expect, you're in trouble. And if it's a horror film, then the title should make you expect the lowest common denominator kind of film, so DEATHLINE became RAW MEAT and EYES WITHOUT A FACE became THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS.

    I understand why this is, but it has a rather negative effect on the quality of titles.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England
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    name='D Cairns']Well, there's a fear among distributors that if the title doesn't tell you exactly what kind of film to expect, you're in trouble.


    But often, the titles in the USA are downmarket and don't predict what the movie really will be like, if it isn't equally down market.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Bell Bottom George's Avatar
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    But why is it deemed necessary by American distributors to change the name of a film ? (and vice versa - Corvette K 225 - GB Title - The Nelson Touch). Why feel the need to change the title for a particular market. Are we that different ?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    name='Bell Bottom George']But why is it deemed necessary by American distributors to change the name of a film ? (and vice versa - Corvette K 225 - GB Title - The Nelson Touch). Why feel the need to change the title for a particular market. Are we that different ?


    I sincerely hope so!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Bell Bottom George's Avatar
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    Heh Heh, that was daft of me to say such a thing. I KNOW we are different, and I`m so glad we ARE different. What I meant to say was why do the `powers that be` percieve it to be so though ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    They probably thought audiences in the UK wouldn't know what a Corvette was.



    Re the shift downmarket, I think the assumption certainly used to be, to get an audience to come to a horror film you need to make it sound as downmarket as possible!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England
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    The Story of Esther Costello (1957) became The Golden Virgin



    Northwest Frontier (1959) became Flame Over india, and I actually like that title better than the original British one.



    City of the Dead (1960) became Horror Hotel



    The Beauty Jungle (1964) became Contest Girl



    Sky West and Crooked (1966) became Gypsy Girl

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England
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    The film at the top of my 'wants' list LONELY ROAD (1936) became SCOTLAND YARD COMMANDS.



    Doesn't make any difference though - I can't find it under either title anywhere except in the BFI archive! Unless anyone knows different.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Here's a couple more American films (which I think were the original shooting names) where I prefer the British titles.



    THE JUDGE STEPS OUT INDIAN SUMMER



    THE LAWLESS THE DIVIDING LINE





    I have also thought that the British prints had already been shipped here before the change of titles and that is why they remained.





    There are lots of other examples.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    THE WORLD TEN TIMES OVER



    For US folks: PUSSYCAT ALLEY......

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Patrick McGoohan's Men in Tights movie in 1955 was named

    The Dark Avenger over here

    but

    The Warriors over there

    not even sure if he made the final cut in this one - never seen it - not credited, but he says he was there!



    His 1958 Exotic Location movie was named

    Nor The Moon By Night over here

    but

    Elephant Gun over there

    you can almost hear them saying, "Cut the crap!"



    His 1962 Kitchen Sink movie was named

    Life For Ruth over here

    but

    Walk in the Shadow over there

    biblical reference for the bible belt



    and as everyone knows his hour long

    Danger Man

    became

    Secret Agent........ man!

    They've given you a number and taken away your name

    .....





  14. #14
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    The Jolson film Hallelujah I m a Bum became for obvious reasons Hallujah I am a Tramp

    Whiskjey Galore became Tight Little Island

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    The remake of The Wages of Fear is also known as The Sorceror. The director said 'I changed the title as a reference to the evil wizard of fate'. Whatever title you see it under, it's still crap!



    Bats.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    name='Moor Larkin']Patrick McGoohan's Men in Tights movie in 1955 was named

    The Dark Avenger over here

    but

    The Warriors over there

    not even sure if he made the final cut in this one - never seen it - not credited, but he says he was there!







    This used to turn up quite a lot on both Sky Cinema and Channel 4. I'm sure someone out there has a version available for you.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Bell Bottom George's Avatar
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    The Girl On A Motorcycle (1968)

    US Title - Naked Under Leather



    Oooer ! ! !

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Eyewitness became Sudden Terror, but which way round were SWALK and Melody? Neither sounds like a US title?

    R

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    name='Aaryk Noctivagus']Its not a corker, because I think its rather sad.



    'The Wisdom of Crocodiles' became 'Immortality' in the USA... a terrible title.



    'Night of the Eagle' became 'Burn, Witch Burn' in the USA... an unsuitable title.



    The Hammer version of 'Dracula' became 'The Horror of Dracula' in the USA... an unnecessary title.



    I think the arrogance of American distributers as they patronise their own public plays a goodly part in it.




    Well, yes - arrogance was, and is, certainly a major part of it.



    I can say, though, that horror films were generally considered to be Friday night and Saturday afternoon entertainment for teenagers, and were given lurid, ridiculous titles because they were not taken seriously.



    When I was growing up in the stone age (late 60s through the late 70s), Vincent Price made two or more films every year. They were always shown in a double-bill. The lower half of the double bill was very often a British horror film with a title as lurid as the Price feature. I know that the Price films were sometimes made in Britain as well.



    It seems to me that horror films (or thrillers, as they were called here) are taken much more seriously as film in Britain. That is - they may be trash or they may be outstanding; but they are not automatically judged by the genre. They are here - or rather, they were then.



    "Night of the Eagle" would not bring in the 14 year old tocket buyers. The "Dracula" title change would have been necessary here because the old film (1933) is so much a part of every American movie buff's life.



    That is not a defense of the silly titles, but I do think it explains part of it as far as that genre is concerned. I do remember being surprised by the high quality of some of the films, such as "Theatre of Blood", with its Grade A cast. That would only happen in the US if the actor was desperate for money.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    name='Aaryk Noctivagus']But often, the titles in the USA are downmarket and don't predict what the movie really will be like, if it isn't equally down market.


    Yes, that is certainly true.

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