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

Louis Vuitton Outlet,Louis Vuitton
Online Store ,are famous for the Unique articules ,login Louis Vuitton Handbag On Sale to buy your articles, such as Monogram Multicolore,Monogram Canvas Handbags. Owing to the various styles and models, up-to-date styling,elegant appearance,full range of colors and designs,quality and quantity assured .Louis Vuitton Handbags have become the best seller in international market. Now, Login Louis Vuitton Handbag On Sale to choose your favorites. What's more,the latest commodities are renowned both at home and abroad for exquisite workmanship, skillful knitting and elegant design,famous for selected materials, novel designs, delightful colors and exquisite workmanship. So please take action Now!

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.

Authors (Bloggers)

Chris Finnigan is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona. He writes for Barcelona Metropolitan and is a book reviewer and reader for The Barcelona Review. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics. You can find him on twitter @chrisjfinnigan

Ben Cardew is a freelance journalist, translator and teacher, now resident in Barcelona after growing up gracefully in Scotland via Norwich. He writes for The Guardian, the NME and The Quietus, among others, on everything from music to digital media. You can find him on Twitter @bencardew

Fiona Flores Watson is a freelance journalist, guide and translator who has lived in Seville since 2003, and has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. She writes for the Guardian, Telegraph and Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Originally from Essex, Fiona is also Consulting Editor of and has her own blog, Scribbler in Seville. She has been contributing to Trans-Iberian since 2014 and tweets at @Seville_Writer

Jeff Brodsky is a freelance writer. He arrived in Barcelona in 2013 via an admittedly indirect route, living in Chicago, Arizona, Seville, Amsterdam, North Carolina and Madrid. Despite not having stepped foot in Seville for over five years, he still speaks Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Jeff’s writing has been published in newspapers and magazines in America and Europe.

Koren Helbig is an Australian freelance journalist and blogger enjoying a life of near-eternal sunshine in Alicante. She writes for publications in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, focusing on stories exploring smart and positive approaches to social issues. She hangs out on Twitter at @KorenHelbig and keeps a selection of her favourite stories at

Julie Pybus lives in a small off-grid house on a hillside in Catalunya. She usually focuses on helping charities and social enterprises with their publications and websites, but has also written for The Guardian, Country Living and The Observer. Julie launched and runs a hyperlocal website which endeavors to increase understanding between the different nationalities in her area @JuliePybus

Paul Louis Archer is a freelance photographer, multimedia storyteller and artist educator. A cross-disciplinary worker, who endeavors to encompass the mediums of photography, audio design and writing. Born in Hertfordshire of an English father and Spanish mother. Based in the United Kingdom. @PaulLouisArcher

Vicki McLeod is a freelance writer and photographer. She has lived in Mallorca since 2004. Vicki writes about her beloved island for The Majorca Daily Bulletin, the only daily English language paper in Spain; produces regular columns for the Euro Weekly News, and articles for Vicki runs PR strategies for several businesses in Mallorca and London as well as working on her own blogs and projects. She and her husband, Oliver Neilson, supply photo and text content for private clients via @phoenixmediamlr. She tweets at @mcleod_vicki.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and based in Barcelona, Alx Phillips writes about contemporary art, dance and theatre in a way that human beings can understand. For more previews, reviews, interviews and extras, check:

El País

EDICIONES EL PAIS, S.L. - Miguel Yuste 40 – 28037 – Madrid [España] | Aviso Legal