Transatlantische Verleih- und Produktionsstrategien eines Hollywood-Studios in den 20er und 30er Jahren.
Materialien zum 13. Internationalen Filmhistorischen Kongreß, Hamburg,
16. - 18. November 2000.
Sprachen und Versionen
Universal Takes Lead
in Foreign Version Films.
LAST PERFORMANCE in German and
Hungarian - First Picture to be Made in Foreign Languages - Followed by Spanish and German Versions of BROADWAY, SHOWBOAT, SHANGHAI LADY, MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER, SKINNER STEPS OUT, HELL'S HEROES and Latest Schildkraut Film.
Under the program and supervision of Carl Laemmle, Jr., general manager of Universal west coast studios, an all dialogue picture of feature length entirely in Spanish, with an exclusive Spanish cast, has been projected at Universal City.
The picture, which is unnamed at this time, will also be the starring vehicle of Joseph Schildkraut in English, with an English speaking supporting cast. Schildkraut will work during the day, and at night the Spanish players will occupy the same set and enact the same scenes made a few hours before in English.
Universal was the first company to make foreign versions of its pictures, having produced several as late as last spring under the supervision of Paul Kohner, who is in charge of this department. The first foreign language version was that of THE LAST PERFORMANCE, starring Conrad Veidt and Mary Philbin, which was made in German and Hungarian.
Then followed versions of BROADWAY and SHOW BOAT in Spanish and German. Versions of Universal's more recent pictures, THE SHANGHAI LADY, starring Nolan; THE MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER, starring Joseph Schildkraut; SKINNER STEPS OUT, starring Glenn Tryon and Merna Kennedy, are being made in Spanish, and HELL'S HEROES in Spanish and German.
Foreign language experts read the complete dialog script of a completed picture and count the syllables used in each sentence. They then translate the dialogue to match the lip movement and facial expressions of the players. The picture is run in a sound-proof theatre with the language cast seated at microphones. As the picture is run they speak their lines which are recorded by Movietone system, and the sound track thus provided replaces the English version.
This system comes as close as humanly possible to a perfect "translation." It was used solely for the reason that there are not more than fifty theatres in the world wired for sound that use Spanish spoken pictures.
Universal Weekly, No. 5, 8.3.1930
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