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Added by The O.P. on 5 Feb 2013 08:24
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Translations: Italian Films with US Adapted Titles

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Why an ocelot? Read along and find out!
A list about titles that change meaning in translation.

People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Mignon Has Come To Stay, says the English title, but the original Italian title sounds the other way round: Mignon è partita, Mignon has left!

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English title: Blood Feud.

Original Italian title: Fatto di sangue fra due uomini per causa di una vedova - si sospettano moventi politici, literally "Act of blood (violence) between two men because of a widow - political motives are suspected".

Not only the English title is way shorter, but a single "act" becomes a "feud", and almost everything else is lost in translation: the two men, the widow, politics...!

BTW, extremely long, and ironic, film titles are sort of a trademark of director Lina Wertmüller.

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People who added this item 204 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
English title: The Easy Life, which by the way evokes "The Sweet Life", literal translation of another famous Italian movie, "La dolce vita", released two years before.

But, the original Italian title is about unsafe driving!: Il sorpasso, literally "The overtaking".

In this scene, Vittorio Gassman makes the hand gesture of the horns, meaning "You are a cuckold", while he is overtaking another car.
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English title: Big Deal on Madonna Street.

Original title: I soliti ignoti, "The usual unknown persons", as the police call unidentified criminals, also to refer to usual suspects.



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People who added this item 98 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Aother Lina Wertmüller's film.

Short English title: Swept Away.

Original Italian title: Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto, which is considerably longer!, and translates to the long English title "Swept away... by an unusual destiny in the blue sea of August".



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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Don't Tell (2005)
English title: Don't Tell.

Original Italian title: La bestia nel cuore, "The beast in the heart".

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People who added this item 464 Average listal rating (244 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
English title: The Leopard.

Original Italian title: Il gattopardo. Literally, it refers to some big cats similar to the leopard, like the ocelot and other big cats. More importantly, after the success of the movie and of the novel the film is based on, "gattopardo" is used in a figurative sense, meaning someone who seemingly adapts to new circumstances... in order to stay in power anyway, like the noble in the story. "In order for everything to stay the same, everything must change" is a key quote from this movie.

An ocelot, or "gattopardo"


So, if we talk about a "gattopardo", or use the adjective "gattopardesco", it usually is not about a big cat, but about someone who pretends who change things only in order for them to remain the same!
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People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
Ciao, Professore!, the USA title, is Italian for Hi, Teacher!, but the original Italian title is completely different: Io speriamo che me la cavo, an ungrammatical sentence by a child at school, meaning something like I... we hope that I get by.
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People who added this item 117 Average listal rating (84 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
English title: White Collar Blues.

Original Italian title: Fantozzi, a family name that is a wordplay too, a mocking variant of "Fantocci", Italian for "Stooges" or "Dummies".
After the success of the movie, the name "Fantozzi" is used as a synonym of any comedic, clumsy loser, and a white-collar underdog.

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People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
English title: For Love and Gold.

Original Italian title: L'armata Brancaleone, "The Brancaleone army".
After the success of the movie, the expression "armata Brancaleone" is used to mean any ragtag legion like the one whose adventures are told in this film.

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English title: The Hawks and the Sparrows.

Original Italian title: Uccellacci e uccellini, that literally is "Bad birds and little birds".
Anyway, the meaning is not very far, and in the movie a story is told about hawks and sparrows.

Besides, a talking bird is one of the main characters, but it is a crow.

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People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Lulu the Tool (1971)
English title: Lulu the Tool

Original Italian title: La classe operaia va in paradiso, literally "The working class goes to Heaven".

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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Il federale (1961)
English title: The Fascist

Original Italian title: Il federale. In Mussolini's Italy, "il federale" was the local secretary of the Fascist party, quite an important person at the time, not any Fascist.

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US title: Viva l'Italia!, which is Italian for "Long live Italy".

Original Italian title: I nuovi mostri, meaning "The new monsters".

A different kettle of fish! :D

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English title: Be Sick... It's Free, but it's also known as "The Family Doctor", which is much closer to the Italian title Il medico della mutua. However, "Be Sick... It's Free" is spot on! In the Sixties and in the Seventis, before the National Health Service became free for virtually everybody, "il medico della mutua" was the General Practioner paid by the "mutua", the mutual health insurance schemes for workers and their families. So, the GP had become actually free for most people, anyway, as most people had health insurance.

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Lost in translation. I took the idea from fellow Listal users like Aira and others, who made similar lists for weird translations of English titles.
My list, instead, includes Italian films whose US and international titles have a somewhat different meaning than the original Italian title.

Sometimes I can see there is a good reason to have changed the title, because there are references hard to get in another language and another cultural frameset. Other times, though, the English title is just too vague and does not make justice to the film!

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