Back in the USA

on October 28, 2010 by Steve Simels

Well, as should be obvious if you're reading these poor words, I have returned from my excellent Paris adventure -- safe and sound and only a little bit overweight due to my intake of heavy sauces and elitist chardonnay. But before regular programming around here begins anew next week, allow me to deal with a few French-themed odds and ends.

The first and foremost, of course, is the little question of the Joan of Arcs photo-quiz we ran on Tuesday. Faithful reader Kurt B. correctly identified the stills of Falconetti, Ingrid Bergman and Jean Seberg, but the fourth Joan stumped him. And no, it wasn't Florence Delay as seen in Robert Bresson's 1962 Procès de Jeanne d'Arc; it was, as I remarked at the time, from a film on a slightly lower esthetic level.

I refer, of course, to Stephen Herek's 1989 Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. With Jane Wiedlin, of The Go-Gos fame, as the Maid of Orleans.

Here's a clip featuring most of her performance.

I've always though Wiedlin was adorable in the role, but I would also like to go on record here as saying that I've never forgiven Herek for avoiding the obvious joke in the scene (glimpsed at the end of the clip) where Joan/Jane takes over the aerobics class. Clearly, she should have said "Feel the burn!" in French.


And with that out of the way, before I bid you adieu for the day there's something I've been meaning to do for ages -- specifically, post my two favorite French film posters of all time.

The first is from the Gallic version of a 1958 Steve McQueen horror classic. Apparently, at the time at least, there was no real French equivalent of the English phrase that provided the film's title in America. So the Ignoble Frogs rendered his movie (with McQueen in a shirtless pose I don't believe appears in the actual film) as Danger Planetaire. Which lacks, I think you'll agree, a certain gelatinous poetry.


Fortunately, by1988, when the remake (starring Kevin Dillon) happened, the original titular phrase for the film's monster had become iconic enough to enter the language as the cooler sounding Le Blob.


Heh encore.

But of course, still the coolest Gallic reworking of an American film title on a French poster has just got to be the one for another monster classic of the period. 

I refer, of course, to this beauty for the great 1951 Howard Hawks sci-fi thriller The Thing From Another World. Rendered, in the French-speaking world as...


...La Chose d'un Autre Monde.

La Chose....damned if that doesn't send a shiver up my spine just saying it.


Tags: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Jane Wiedlin, Robert Bresson

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