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Covering everything from the major news of the week and burning social issues, to expat living and la vida local, EL PAÍS’ team of English-language bloggers offers its opinions, observations and analysis on Spain and beyond.

Reworking titles

Por: | 12 de abril de 2011

Destino-ocultoReleased last month, the intriguingly titled The Adjustment Bureau is a romantic sci-fi movie adapted from a short story by legendary author Philip K Dick and starring Matt Damon. In Spain, though, the film is known as "Hidden Destiny" (Destino oculto), the kind of instantly forgettable, easily interchangeable title normally reserved for early 90s erotic thrillers starring Shannon Tweed. Does, say,  “La agencia de ajustes” really sound so bad in Spanish? 

These day movie titles aren’t subjected to such free translations as they used to be, with distributors more likely to offer a direct rendering or just stick with the original – to wit, we've recently had La red social (The Social Network) and Cisne negro (Black Swan) or The Fighter and Toy Story 3 in Spanish cinemas.  

But at least the old rejigged titles had a certain amount of imagination: remember "With Death on The Heels" (Con la muerte en los talones) or "Red Telephone? We're Flying to Moscow" (¿Teléfono rojo?, volamos hacia Moscú)? That’s to say North by Northwest and Dr Strangelove

Anyway here are a few more renamings of classics to peruse: 
"Land However You Can" (Aterriza como puedas) Airplane
"The Price of Power" (El precio del poder) Scarface
"Knight Without A Sword" (Caballero sin espada) Mr Smith Goes To Washington
"Hidden Youngsters" (Jóvenes ocultos) The Lost Boys
"One of Ours" (Uno de los nuestros) Goodfellas
"Life Sentence" (Cadena perpetua) The Shawshank Redemption
"Until His Time Came" (Hasta que llegó su hora) Once Upon A Time In The West
"In Between the Dead" (De entre los muertos) Vertigo
"The Ghosts Attack the Boss" (Los fantasmas atacan al jefe) Scrooged
"Zombies Party" (Zombies party) Shaun of the Dead
"Chihiro’s Journey" (El viaje de Chihiro) Spirited Away
"Death Had A Price" (La muerte tenía un precio) For A Few Dollars More
"The Legend of the Indomitable" (La leyenda del indomable) Cool Hand Luke
"All In A Day" (Todo en un día) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Any others people would like to share?      

Hay 38 Comentarios

More reduce to generic now making the cable rounds:
Play It Again, Sam = Suenos del Seductor

More reduce to generic now making the cable rounds:
Play It Again, Sam = Suenos del Seductor

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Pues eso. So much for the stupid ethnical homogeneity they are seeking around Brussels...

A particularly bad case of reducing to generic:
Out of Sight = Un Romance Muy Peligrosa (A Very Dangerous Romance)
Loses all the wordplay variants, slang phrase and U.S. culture references. Why not Fuera de Vista?

In this particular case:
"The Legend of the Indomitable" (La leyenda del indomable) Cool Hand Luke
I like the Spanish version of the title more than the English original, same for other mentioned in the comments, Centauros del desierto, instead of The searchers

I haven't read all the comments, I'm sure someone will have mentioned the Billy Wilder's "Some like it hot", with Tony Curtiss, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, whose Spanish adaptation was "Con faldas y a lo loco" (Going crazy in skirts, loosely translated)

"Does, say, “La agencia de ajustes” really sound so bad in Spanish? "
Yes, terrible. Bear in mind that English usually holds more meaning and direction in fewer words than Spanish. I understand this movie title was translated as "Los agentes del destino" in some Latin American countries, I find it more suitable than "Destino oculto", which, I agree, sounds like some after-lunch forgettable TV movie. "La huida" would have been a nice option if it wasn't taken.

How about: "Highlander" ---> "Los inmortales"? Spoiler alert!

For me the best was S.O.B., an American film directed by Blake Edwards. The issue is even mentioned in Wikipedia.

"S.O.B." can stand for "Standard Operational Bullshit", "Sexually Oriented Business" and more generally "Son Of a Bitch" (Hijo de Puta).

In Spain, however, the movie was called "S.O.B. - Sois hOnrados Bandidos" (You Are Honest Crooks), although the second word begins with an H, not with an O.

- Original Title: "The Manchurian Candidate".
- Spanish TItle: "El Mensajero del Miedo" (something like "Fear's Messenger").

@Marc Prim | 14/04/2011 22:18:18. Obviously, you mean 'in full swing',

The most ridiculous of all; Afterhours, of Scorsese, in Spain was: "Jo, que noche!" (something like, Damn, what a night!)

Cadena Perpetua (Life Imprisonment)---->The Shawsank Redemption

Dos Granujas a Todo Ritmo (Two rascals on full swing??) ------>The Blues Brothers (!)

Don´t you forget about Jungla de Cristal (Glass Jungle) for Die Hard and then Jungla de Cristal II III ... Glass Jungle II, Glass Jungle III...

What about "Canción triste de Hill street" supposed to be "Hill Street Blues"?

For me, the craziest one is Robert Rodríguez's "Curdled", which became the absurd "Tú asesina que nosotras limpiamos la sangre" (something like "Focus on killing — we will take care of cleaning the blood")

My favourite:
"El crepúsculo de los dioses" (Twilight of the Gods")
= Sunset Boulevard (B Wilder)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind--->Olvídate de mí (Forget about me!)

Devil's seed (La semilla del diablo) = Rosemary's baby
It spoils the movie!

Un clasico... "They shoot horses, don't they?" became "Bailad, bailad malditos" (something like "Dance, dance, damned you!")

"Atrapado por su pasado" = "Carlito's way"
"Atrapado en el tiempo" = "The groundhog day"

Centauros del desierto - The Searchers (J. Ford)

ice princess= soñando soñando triunfe patinando

Los comentarios de esta entrada están cerrados.

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