"Gundown"- what the heck...?


(Romaine Fielding) #1

As someone who grew up watching American Westerns primarily, I have been amused/mystified as to the way this term (Gundown) is used in Spaghettis. I assume it means something similar/identical to “showdown” or, perhaps, gunfight.
One of my favorite Spaghettis is The Big Gundown but when I mention it to non-Spaghetti fans I have to explain the title. (La Resa Dei Conti works so much better)
Is this a bad translation? A word that has common usage in Europe but I am unfamiliar with? Or, am I just unaware of its usage in American Westerns?
Gracias


(Stanton) #2

I think the “Gundown” title was provided by the american release company, if so, it’s not an european idea.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #3

Thats the one thing I hated about the Big Gundown. The english title made it sound like a run of the mill SW. Account Rendered may have been a better title for me.


(Romaine Fielding) #4

I don’t get it then. This is not really a word in English. It is a sort-of-recognizable but awkward usage. It only confuses American fans. Same, of course, with The Stranger’s Gundown.
Why give this as part of a title for American release if it is unrecognizable as a word used in American English? Or in American westerns? Really weird to me.
Somebody must know the answer to this but I’ve not seen this mentioned anywhere…


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #5

I think awkward grammar is a staple of SW english titles.

I’m still trying to figure out “Django Kill, if you live Shoot!”

Its like the italians ran a translation through altavista!

And I never understood “Django the bastard” either. Why did they call him a bastard? WHY!? LOL


(Romaine Fielding) #6

[quote=“Col. Douglas Mortimer, post:5, topic:885”]I think awkward grammar is a staple of SW english titles.

I’m still trying to figure out “Django Kill, if you live Shoot!”

Its like the italians ran a translation through altavista!

And I never understood “Django the bastard” either. Why did they call him a bastard? WHY!? LOL[/quote]

Yeah, you’re right, it does seem to be a staple of SW titles. One of their charms, actually. But like you said earlier, a better translation of La Resa Dei Conti would have beeen preferable to “The Big Gundown”.
If you have to make up an English title, at least use words really used in English!
I don’t know how many other titles have this usage but at least twice somebody thought it was a good idea.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #7

I remember reading about how Leone insisted on calling Fistful of Dynamite, Duck you sucker because he thought it was a common american phrase even when James Coburn and Rod Steiger denied it.