A ‘delirium tremens’: Italian-language film versions and early dubbings by Paramount, MGM and Fox (1930–33)

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Abstract

This contribution sheds new light on the strategies that Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox developed in the early 1930s to target the Italian-speaking market. It documents how the Italian government, local film traders and the press responded to the majors’ Italian-language production during a critical turning point for the national film industry. The chapter draws on a range of historical records (diplomatic, censorship and administrative state documents, film prints, press reviews and other publicity materials) from Italian and North American archives. The findings show that the majors’ experiments with Italian dubbing and versioning were not always successful and elicited ambivalent responses in Italy; the findings also witness the gradual emergence of dubbing as the most commercially viable solution for both the US majors and the Italian establishment. Incongruities in the archival records, and the scarcity of surviving film prints, pose interpretative problems and call for further empirical research in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Translation of Films, 1900-1950
EditorsCarol O'Sullivan, Jean-François Cornu
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter9
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780197266434
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the British Academy
PublisherThe British Academy
Volume218
ISSN (Print)0068-1202

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