Monday, June 10, 2019

You Don't Say

I recently watched on TCM The MacKintosh Man, a minor spy thriller from 1973, starring Paul Newman and James Mason, directed by John Huston.  It's okay--worth watching if you're a Newman or Huston fan.

Most of the story is set in England and Ireland (and Newman, for some reason, does an Australian accent for much of the film--not a particularly good one). I've discussed closed caption mistakes before, but they were a little different this time.

Generally, the CC typist gets it wrong because she doesn't hear something clearly.  In this case, the person in charge wasn't quite familiar with certain phrases used across the pond, so we got some entertaining errors.

Early on, Newman is being tried in a British court.  A barrister refers to him, saying "the prisoner sits over there in the dock." The CC typist had apparently never heard this phrase, and so rendered it "the prisoner sits over there in the dark." She must have at least thought that a strange line, since Newman looked pretty well illuminated to me.

Later, a British politician promises to buy drinks for some Irish citizens, one of whom replies "your obedient servant, sir." Once again, the CC person hadn't heard this phrase, so pretty much turned it on its head: "you're an obedient servant, sir." Mason was offering to buy, I guess, but I don't think his character would have appreciated being called a servant.


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