Which Titles Do You Prefer?


(Extranjero) #1

I was browsing through Alex Cox’s 10,000 Ways to Die the other day, and his discussion of alternative titles got me thinking. There are so many SWs with alternative titles, even in English, that there’s no way to list them all - but these are my preferences for a few of them. In some cases I’m biased towards the title I first knew the film under, but sometimes other factors play a part.

Fistful of Dollars vs A Fistful of Dollars

Some people, rather pedantically, use the first of the above because that’s how it appears on screen. But really it’s just a botched amputation of the original For a Fistful of Dollars, probably done by an Italian who thought it looked cooler that way. (As one reviewer put it, Leone’s budget was so limited that he couldn’t afford indefinite articles). So it’s always A Fistful of Dollars for me - it just looks unfinished otherwise.

For a Dollar in the Teeth vs A Stranger in Town

The first time I saw the original title, I thought it must be some kind of parody - and of course you don’t get the meaning until the final scene of the film. But it’s truer to the Italian and much more distinctive, in keeping with the movie’s gritty tone, so I definitely prefer that one.

Shoot First, Laugh Last vs The Stranger Returns

Come on, now - which of those two titles would you pay money to investigate further?

Blood at Sundown vs A Thousand Dollars on the Black

Even though the English language version is only known as BaS, and the Italian original is so oblique as to be essentially meaningless, it’s such a dramatic title that you just have to go with it.

The Big Silence vs The Great Silence

All respect to Alex Cox, but the Great Silence is obviously a better translation - referring to the lead character as well as to the stillness of the winter landscape. Alex reckons it’s since been stolen for a film about monks - but it was probably stolen from monks in the first place, as it’s an established monastic term along with vespers, matins etc.

Django Kill vs Django Kill … If You Live, Shoot!

Do we need that mis-translated bit at the end? No! (And I don’t care if it does appear on screen)

The Specialist vs Drop Them Or I’ll Shoot!

The latter was obviously the product of a British distributor’s 70s sense of humour, but I can’t think of it as anything else now (Though it’s one of the few Corbucci films I’ve never actually seen)

The Mercenary vs A Professional Gun

I prefer the latter - much more distinctive (although the former exactly translates the Italian).

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die vs Dead or Alive

The former, translating the Italian, is more dramatic and distinctive - but in this case I prefer the grim simplicity of the latter.

Those are just a few off the top of my head - which choices do other people make?


(tomas) #2

i always wish for only Se sei vivo spara(If you live, shoot) was called Django Kill!..
i don´t like these djangos in titles, especially when movie has nothing to do with it

Great Silence and Specialist(s) much better


(tomas) #3

you can add Boots Hill vs. Boot Hill
people mostly call it Boot Hill, but in english version, Boots Hill appears on a screen


(Silvanito) #4

I think the complete title is actually Se sei vivo spara…Gringo Uccidi

So it should really be Gringo Kill but they changed it to Django Kill for obvious reasons :wink:


(Stanton) #5

The title is only Se sei vivo spara. Not a good title for this film, but Django Kill is worse.


(tomas) #6

Gringo Kill?
thats great
from now on, im going to call it that way :slight_smile:

btw about this title Shoot First, Laugh Last vs The Stranger Returns
well, i prefer Un uomo, un cavallo, una pistola :slight_smile:


(Silvanito) #7

Well the title Gringo Uccidi is at least mentioned in Frayling’s SW book

And it’s then pretty logical they chose the title Django Kill


(Stanton) #8

Maybe a working title, which was then shortened.


(JonathanCorbett) #9

Yes but the title was changed, not shortened

Gringo uccidi! = working title
Se sei vivo spara = original (and best) title
Oro Hondo = title of the second edition


(ENNIOO) #10

The Great Silence sounds more classy.


(sartana1968) #11

the price of power
if you meet sartana pray for your death
indio black
minesota clay
monta in sella
arizona colt
killer kid
sugar colt
for a few dollars more
today we kill tomorrow we die


(Bill san Antonio) #12

How about Una Nuvola di polvere… un grido di morte… arriva Sartana?

A Cloud of Dust… Cry of Death… Sartana Is Coming
Gunman in Town
Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming
Run, Man, Run… Sartana’s in Town

Light the fuse is the most commonly used but I think the first one is the most charming.


(Stanton) #13

I think Nuvola di polvere is a cloud of powder after a gunshot. Not a cloud of dust.

What do you say Jonathan?


(scherpschutter) #14

X Fistful of Dollars vs A Fistful of Dollars

X For a Dollar in the Teeth vs A Stranger in Town
At one point there were too many dollars in spaghetti land, time to make up some other titles. A Stranger in Town sounds just fine. Captures the movie also very well.

X Shoot First, Laugh Last vs The Stranger Returns
Neither of the two is great, but the first one is horrendous

X Blood at Sundown vs A Thousand Dollars on the Black
No idea what the second title is supposed to express (haven’t seen the film)

X The Big Silence vs The Great Silence
We already had a big gundown, and that title was nonsense too. The Great Silence is much better.

X Django Kill vs Django Kill … If You Live, Shoot!
Neither of the two. The English title should be: If you are alive … shoot (they think Milian is dead)

X The Specialist vs Drop Them Or I’ll Shoot!
I even prefer The Specialist to The Specialists, it makes more sense. It was shot in French and the french title is Le Specialiste (singular)

X The Mercenary vs A Professional Gun

A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die vs Dead or Alive

[/quote]


(chuck connors brother) #15

X Fistful of Dollars vs A Fistful of Dollars

X A Dollar Between the Teeth vs A Stranger in Town
I just love the sound of the first one, not as much ‘For a Dollar in the Teeth’

X Shoot First, Laugh Last vs The Stranger Returns

X Blood at Sundown vs A Thousand Dollars on the Black
Too many Blood at Sundowns, but still prefer it.

X The Big Silence vs The Great Silence

X Django Kill vs Django Kill … If You Live, Shoot!
Agree with scherp here.

X The Specialist vs Drop Them Or I’ll Shoot!

X The Mercenary vs A Professional Gun

X A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die vs Dead or Alive


(JonathanCorbett) #16

[quote=“Stanton, post:13, topic:2798”]I think Nuvola di polvere is a cloud of powder after a gunshot. Not a cloud of dust.

What do you say Jonathan?[/quote]

No, in this case “a cloud of dust” is a correct translation :wink:

X [i][b]Blood at Sundown[/b][/i] vs [i]A Thousand Dollars on the Black[/i] No idea what the second title is supposed to express (haven't seen the film)

Beyond the meaning, in my opinion 1.000 dollari sul nero/A Thousand Dollars on the Black is a title with a specific SW flavour while Blood at Sundown is too generic.
Simply unbelievable this Mexican alternate title (in addition to the lobby card I remember seeing somewhere a poster): http://pictures.todocoleccion.net/fot/2006/09/09/1911233.jpg


(scherpschutter) #17

[quote=“JonathanCorbett, post:16, topic:2798”]Beyond the meaning, in my opinion 1.000 dollari sul nero/A Thousand Dollars on the Black is a title with a specific SW flavour while Blood at Sundown is too generic.
Simply unbelievable this Mexican alternate title (in addition to the lobby card I remember seeing somewhere a poster): http://pictures.todocoleccion.net/fot/2006/09/09/1911233.jpg[/quote]

Like I said, I haven’t seen the movie yet. Sette dollaro sul Rosso makes sense because Sancho throws seven dollars on the red dress of Steffen’s dead wife, so he can buy himself a new one. Is there a scene involving 1.000 dollars and something black?

Yes, this Mexican title is ridiculous. What’s next, Harmonica versus le Samourai (Red Sun)?


(John Welles) #18

This makes me laugh so much! How many “X versus Y” Spaghetti Western titles are there?


(JonathanCorbett) #19

The title refers to the scene you see in the lobby card: un gioiello da 1.000 dollari “strappato dal collo di un cadavere” on the black dress worn by the mother of the two protagonists.


(Stanton) #20

No chance that this expression can also refer to a powder cloud? Which makes more sense for me