21 movies that have hilarious titles in other countries
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.” The Force definitely wasn’t with those translators.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Boy Drowned in the Chocolate Sauce
Denmark gave Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory quite the dark (but also kind of hilarious) spin! While greedy Augustus Gloop does take a harrowing swim in a chocolate river, his fate is not quite that grim. While many countries kept the original title of the Gene Wilder classic, and others tweaked it to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the title of the Roald Dahl novel it’s based on), Portugal changed it to Charlie’s Wonderful Story and Spain picked A Fantasy World. But Denmark’s interpretation definitely takes the (chocolate) cake.
Die Hard: Mega Hard
Let’s face it: It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood co-opts 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 a drunk, and she did play a prostitute. (The title also happens to be a paraphrase of one of Cage’s lines from the movie.)
It’s Raining Falafel
Israel, where meatballs are not a popular dish, clearly wanted to make Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballsmore appealing to its audience. So the Hebrew title swapped out the meatballs for falafel, a more recognisable food. In the film itself, though, the animated meatballs were not altered.
In the first Step Up film, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan 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!
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…
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.
My Boyfriend is a Psycho
The point of Silver Linings Playbook is that they’re both a little crazy, Russia! However, we can’t blame translators for changing this title. Since the English phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” doesn’t really have foreign equivalents, other countries had to seek an alternative name for the film. France called the comedy Happiness Therapy, and Lithuania went with The Story of the Optimists. And finally, since a “playbook” is an American football term, the United Kingdom dropped that part and just went with Silver Linings. Seems reasonable.