Saturday, December 27, 2014

Does This Ring A Belle?

I finally saw Scarecrow, a 1973 road picture starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino.  There were a lot of road pictures in that era, since the genre allowed for two things New Hollywood loved--location shooting and character development. It wasn't that great, actually, as it also features the lassitude found in too many films of the era.

So why am I writing about it?  Because of my continued obsession with Closed Captioning. (I saw it on TCM.)  The CC typists regularly make mistakes, but I found one particular mistake fascinating.  For the entire film Hackman and Pacino are traveling toward Detroit.  They finally get there and Al, who once lived there, says, according to the CC: "I know a place across the river. It's called Bell Island."

Even if I hadn't had the sound on I would have known what he was actually referring to. Perhaps some of you readers have already guessed it. He was talking about Belle Isle, a state park well known to Detroiters.

So the typist hears "Belle Isle" and just figures it makes more sense as "Bell Island." I realize it's not the highest paying job, but is getting it right that hard?  I just typed "Bell Island Detroit" into Google and the first thing that came up was Bell Isle. (If you type in "Bell Island" you'll find there are several places with the name, but none across the river in Detroit.)


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