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December 1996, Week 2


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liz weis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 00:12:18 EST
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I once spent a summer in Europe with the excuse of interviewing
filmmakers and scholars about dubbing vs subtitling.  There was
no consensus there, any more than here.  A couple of observations:
In Germany in 1987 the same actor who dubbed John Wayne's voice
also dubbed Jimmy Stewart's.  So the two sound the same on their
classic westerns.  (I should have asked about Liberty Valance!)
Furthermore the actor who did major dubbing thought he could improve
performances and would change line readings/meanings.  The John Ford
club members in western Germany used to travel to Paris to see American
films.   Also, it is the small countries that have subtitling because
dubbing costs more and is only available in countries with large enough
markets to justify the costs.  In general Europeans are much less
obsessive about precise lip sync than Americans, so are less bothered
by it.  This is partially because so many more of their own films are
shot m.o.s.    liz weis  cuny
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