Tower of Babel

I went to a few movies over the weekend, all pretty good, so brief review of each of them; The Leopard – very slow but good, The Maid – First half is dead good, but got a bit lost towards the end.

Anyway, the thing i wanted to talk about is that Burt Lancaster was talking Italian in the Leopard (even though his mouth wasn’t), which was kind of freaking me out throughout the movie. Here’s the explanation:

“According to the contract with 20th Century Fox, the entire cast had to speak English. Lancaster, realizing what a handicap this was to everyone but himself, told them they didn’t have to. This decision contributed to a linguistic stew; he spoke English, Alain Delon spoke French and the rest of the cast spoke Italian. Italian films are often shot silent and the dialogue dubbed in later, and it is surprising to hear Lancaster speak Italian in a voice that is not his. But, it’s not difficult to mentally superimpose his distinctive voice. Lancaster himself supervised the American dubbing of the film, but after the studio’s editing, it was hopeless. Only the current era, in which serious film goers routinely attend subtitled films, allowed The Leopard to be restored to its former glory.”

Kind of amazing that the actors didn’t know what the others were on about! It was also written by the real life prince of Lampedusa, Italy, which is also a little odd.

Categories: Movies

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