The many thoughts, opinions and preferences of dubbing


(Dakota) #1

Howdy! What are your own thoughts on dubbing? I know that there is a wide spectrum of opinions and I am curious to hear what you prefer when enjoying a spaghetti western?

I personally find that dubbing can add to the enjoyment of many westerns as the over the top voices are often entertaining and fun. For example, in an average scene where some random old man says something like “where you headin’ to mister?”, its always better to hear a silly hootin’ wild voice that barely matches up, over a serious voice with subtitles. It sometimes is the difference between memorable characters and standard exposition.

However, I am not one of those “omg I freakin’ hate reading” people. I have no problem watching the original versions, and in certain cases like Django (1966) I HAVE to watch the original version because of how bad Djangos dubbed voice is. What are some dubbed westerns that you cannot watch?

Then you have movies like the big gundown. The italian version is far superior, but I do not like a voice actor dubbing over Lee Van Cleef, his voice is too iconic and enjoyable. Therefore I watch both versions. Any other westerns where you watch both/multiple versions? Any actors who shouldn’t be overdubbed?

Overall, I watch dubbed versions but am completely open to the original, and don’t complain if that’s all I get. I definitely think that if you refuse to watch either dub or sub you should try to open up a bit. Both are excellent


(Jonny Powers) #2

I’ve always favored English dubbing over subtitles, though if no dub exists then I’ll understand. It’s always been more of a making sense rationalization - it is set in America after all. Plus recognizing the voice actors’ voices is also fun, or seeing an actor with a voice different than he’s usually heard with.


(Dakota) #3

Interesting, I never thought about the inaccuracy of everybody in mexico or america speaking Italian! Funny cause I always call american films out whenever a movie is set in paris or something and everyone has a vaguely european accent. Guess I dont think too much about realism when i am watching westerns. lol


(Novecento) #4

My general approach is to watch in the language the main actor(s) use(s) to hear their real voice(s). If that does not exist (e.g. “Django”) then I generally favor Italian as the dubbing is usually superior.


(scherpschutter) #5

If an actor has a very distinct voice - Van Cleef and Coburn are good examples - I usually prefer the English dub, but I must say that the voice actor dubbing Lee in his spaghetti westerns did a very good job. Voice acting is - or at least was - very common in Italy and they have a wide range of voices, and their dubs are very good. In the case of Gemma I prefer the Italian version of the movie.


(Dakota) #6

The actor who dubbed lee’s voice did do a great job, it just never quite fit for me once I got to know Lee. Have not seen Gemma, will put it on my list!


(Dakota) #7

Superior in what way? Being in sync with lips, tone of voice…???


(scherpschutter) #8

Among other things, often they sound more natural as well.

The English dubs of the best movies are usually okay, but some of the dubs of the minor movies are horrible.


(Dakota) #9

The horrible dubbing in the minor westerns is something I love. If I am watching a bad western I definitely prefer cheesy dubbing. Terrible dubbing often can take a movie from bad, to so bad its good.

High quality films should be seen in their original language, especially with most non-westerns. I think films like the 400 blows, seven samurai etc should never ever be viewed with dubbed tracks.


(Dakota) #10

Lmao. Went to look up Gemma only to realize you meant the actor…


(Mark) #11

I watch a lot of new foreign films on DVD and Netflix, as well as attending my local Intl. film festival yearly. I prefer subs and the fluidity of the spoken languages, voices. They’re not dubbed anyway so it’s moot. If there’s an exception to that it would be older films with appealing cinematography, namely SW’s, I don’t wish to be distracted from the visuals so I do prefer dubs. Of course many such films of both aren’t nearly as chatty as American films so a compromise can be achieved pretty often.


(Dakota) #12

Subtitles often distract me from appreciating the cinematography too, especially if it cuts right when I am done reading. Usually there aren’t any subtitles during a nice landscape shot so overall its not too bad.


(captainquirk) #13

English and Italian if possible. Django’s English version is horrible, but I do enjoy The Great Silence in English, especially since it features both Frank Wolff and Vonetta McGee’s actual voices. I do find it strange, however, when major Italian stars are dubbed by other actors for the majority of their careers - especially Pino Locchi as the voice of Guliano Gemma and Terence Hill, and Sergio Graziani as Franco Nero’s main voice up until the late 70’s. I also tend to prefer the American dubs to the Rome-produced English dubs - Bernie Grant is much more convincing as Chuncho in A Bullet for the General’s US dub that his voice actor in the International Version.


(SourNote2014) #14

I like listening to different foreign languages. Some dubs I’ve come across aren’t very good, like a French or a German dub here and there, but others are fine.
Most foreign dubs of Spaghetti Westerns I can’t even find on the Internet.
I like Martin Hirthe’s voice acting in German dubs though.


(Novecento) #15

I’ve always thought the English dub of The Great Silence was pretty good. I remember reading criticism of it somewhere, but I tend to choose it over the Italian one.

Plus once Nero started doing his own English dubbing it sounded great. Companeros with Nero and Milian both speaking heavily accented English is just fantastic.

I have the old Koch “rainbow” disc of this which features both dubs. Looking at the database, is this the only version with both English dubs? It doesn’t look like the new Blu-rays have both.


(Novecento) #16

That is true, although in my opinion any film that has loads of subtitles as a result of loads of dialogue probably doesn’t deserve to be a film. It goes back to that age-old maxim of “don’t tell it, show it”.


(captainquirk) #17

My copy is the Blue Underground Blu-ray, which presents both versions of the film separately. The US version is shorter by 3 minutes, but the time difference refers to a small, mostly unnoticeable number of editing and removal of establishing/transition shots - the plot and most of the dialogue is the same.


(Novecento) #18

Ah ok - so the Blue Undergound Blu-ray has both dubs but on different versions whereas the Koch DVD has both dubs as options on the one uncut version. If I remember correctly, the Koch DVD labels the two dubs backwards which is confusing.

What about the Koch Blu-ray then? Does that really only have one English dub in spite of giving two on the DVD version?


(Bill san Antonio) #19

I just checked it, it has two english dubs (and german and italian).


(SourNote2014) #20

I’m listening right now to the German dub of Duck, You Sucker! I think that Martin Hirthe’s performance makes me enjoy Rod Steiger as Juan Miranda even more. He gave this spirited performance and I think he brought more to the role.

It’s practically a fact that English voice of Jesus in A Fistful of Dollars is the most annoying thing ever.