15 Movies That Have Hilarious Titles in Other Countries
When American movies travel abroad, their titles can get a little lost in translation. Check out what your favourite films are called overseas!
The War of the Stars
That’s the French title for Star Wars; in Spanish, it was The War of the Galaxies. Makes sense! The title isn’t the only thing that got a major switch in translation. In Germany, the Millennium Falcon became the “Speeding Falcon.” In France, Han Solo was instead Yan Solo and his Wookie sidekick got the name “Chico.” And their ship? The “Millennium Condor.”
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Knight of the Night
It kind of makes sense…? In Spain, that was the title of The Dark Knight. You may have thought that the Batman movie got its title from its brooding protagonist and gloomy cityscapes, but in Spain, they were much more literal—it’s because so many scenes take place at night!
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Super Power Dare Die Team
You’re not going to be able to guess this one: Super Power Dare Die Team would have been the Chinese title for the Ghostbusters reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones—had it ever been released. Guidelines in China forbid movies that “promote cults or superstition,” though the country’s censors said the official reason was that it wouldn’t appeal to the Chinese audience.
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A Very Powerful Whale Runs to Heaven
The beloved tearjerker Free Willy is known for its happy ending. The Chinese saw things differently, giving the movie the above title instead. Then again, Willy did jump (not run) to the metaphorical heaven of the open ocean.
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Die Hard: Mega Hard
Let’s face it: It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood coopts this Danish title for Die Hard with a Vengeance. In Denmark, mega means huge, but it also signifies a million. Those Danes are intense. Die Hard: A million times hard.
I’m Drunk and You’re a Prostitute
The Japanese get points for brutal honesty with this title for Leaving Las Vegas. Nicolas Cage won the Best Actor Oscar for his devastating performance, and his co-star Elisabeth Shue was riveting in her role in the acclaimed drama. Nonetheless, he was portraying drunk, and she did play a prostitute. (The title also happens to be a paraphrase of one of Cage’s lines from the movie.)
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In the first Step Up film, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan (now Dewan-Tatum!) come from opposite sides of the tracks. But they’re able to bond through dance and it’s beautiful. Whoever titled the French version of the film, simply cut to the chase and called it “Sexy Dance.” That pretty much nails it!
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Yep: Grease. Everyone loves Olivia Newton-John as Sandy during her epic transformation in this iconic musical from 1978. John Travolta as Danny is the one that she wants, even though he’s a tough guy greaser. In 1950s slang, that means he slicks his hair back and has a bad reputation. But for the movie release in Argentina, the title was simply Vaseline. Talk about lost in translation…
He’s a Ghost!
The Sixth Sense has one of the greatest twist endings of all time—unless you happen to live in China. Although most audiences were stunned by the movie’s revelation in the final minutes, Chinese viewers were already clued in by the title.
A Twin Seldom Comes Alone
This German designation for the reboot of The Parent Trap is quite… literal. It was Lindsay Lohan’s first starring turn—the 1961 original starred Hayley Mills. The story is about twin sisters, raised apart by feuding parents, who decide to reunite the family; the twins are played by a single actress in both film versions. Maybe that’s why the German title-writer decided to get philosophical with this title.
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The Teeth of the Sea
The marketing of the blockbuster Jaws was brilliant for its minimalist simplicity. With one word, audiences got a taste of the horror to come. The visual of the iconic movie poster—a woman swimming above a massive open-mouthed shark—gave the single word “Jaws” its power and impact. In France, the effect was a bit muted: The Teeth of the Sea sounds much less scary and a lot more confusing.
Mom, I Missed the Plane
The French must have decided that every parent’s worst nightmare—forgetting a child behind—is actually the child’s fault. That can be the only explanation for altering John Hughes Home Alone to the above title. That’s right: Kevin missed the plane, and he brought all this home alone burglar mayhem stuff on himself!
Dimwit Surges Forth
Adam Sandler comedies are not usually known for their inspirational, overcoming-the-odds tales of high stakes struggle and survival. So it’s not clear why The Waterboy was titled Dimwit Surges Forth in Thailand. However, the dimwit’s rinky-dink team does, ahem, surge forth in the end.
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Anthony Hopkin’s gave an acclaimed performance as the disgraced president in the biopic Nixon, a drama that humanized the flawed American leader. Oliver Stone’s three-hour epic intended to depict the complexity of Nixon’s impact on history. In China, the film was released with the title Big Liar. Why mince words?
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Fantastic Emotional Turmoil
The beloved Pixar film Inside Out told a complicated emotional tale to child and adult audiences alike. However, multiple countries struggled with a quick, clear title for this movie: In China, the movie was called, The Great Team Inside the Head. Russia went with Jigsaw. Vietnam chose The Puzzle Emotions. But Taiwan may have taken the day by dubbing it Fantastic Emotional Turmoil. That works!
Originally published as 15 Movies That Have Hilarious Titles in Other Countries on ReadersDigest.com.