Leo Eticknap comments:
> No, and some of the ones they come up with seem to me devoid of any reason.
> For example, RIEN NE VA PLUS (literally, "nothing more to come", a phrase used
> by casino croupiers to indicate that they will accept no further bets before
> spinning a roulette) was released in the UK as HE SCREWED US ALL. DAS LEBEN
> IST EINE BAUSTELLE - "Life is a Building Site" - was released as LIFE IS ALL
> YOU GET. RIEN NE VA PLUS opens with a scene in a casino. Given that DAS LEBEN
> was set on and around building sites, changing the title weakened a central
> idea of the film. Why these distributors felt the need to change the titles I
> have no idea.
The other examples cited have usually been from one English-language to
another, but translations of titles are another problem altogether.
(I'm sure there is a website somewhere that lists the titles of
American films released in Asia that create interesting issues of
But even when the title isn't terribly important, nuances can be lost.
For example, Chabrol's UN AFFAIRE DES FEMMES was released as THE (A?)
STORY OF WOMEN, but "WOMEN'S BUSINESS" or "WOMEN'S AFFAIRS" would seem
to be a much better title for a story about a village abortionist.
Souleymane Cisse's YEELEN is BRIGHTNESS in English, but I personally
feel that the French title "LA LUMIERE" (THE LIGHT) better captures an
essential element of that film.
Minnesota State U, Mankato
[log in to unmask]
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite