Regardless of how many times you might have seen your favourite movies, it’s inevitable that you’ll still tune in every time they play on TV, even in the infuriatingly irresistible red-eye slots. But what we see isn’t always as the artists involved initially intended: the stricter rules of TV broadcasting make delightful swears and glorious violence even more inappropriate, as if the TV watching world live in some sort of bubble where noone utters anything but the most cautious of curse words.
And thanks to the limited resources available to TV production partners who are tasked with making the raunchier, or swearier or more violent movies appropriate to TV watchers, it’s not always a matter of simply cutting out the incriminating scenes, especially when they are key to the plot. So editors tend to be more creative, redubbing or editing around the naughty bits to protect us all from the inevitable trip to Hell involved in listening to someone else saying colourful things, or making fake blood squirt out of fake wounds.
Because we can’t ever tell the difference, obviously.
The intentions may be honourable, but most of the time the redubs are spectacularly bad, and in some cases – like some of those explored in this article, the substituted lines actually make no sense. This list is a perverse celebration of the very worst examples of redubbing: the moments that robbed great lines of their impact, that fudged the cover-up, or which downright made no sense.
In many cases, you won’t believe someone got paid for this…
The Original Line: “Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.”
The Redub: “Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by Wally Wick here.”
Not strictly a redub, since the scene was shot with six alternate insults thrown in – all of which were less successful than the infamous “dickless” jibe and response – but still a completely unnecessary change to the vastly superior alternative.
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This article was first posted on July 13, 2013