Worst dubbed-for-TV movie swears


7th December 2010

"Suck my dinner, you freakin' aunt!" says one criminal gangster to another. "What did you say, you piece-of-soot melon farmer? Flip you!" Ah, watching borderline-watershed TV movies used to be such fun.

Although less distracting than bleeps, few things are more damaging to a film than swapping out heat-of-the-moment swears for nonsensical family-safe phrases - this used to happen to our favourite movies all the time.

More often than not, TV edits were decided by which words fit the actors' mouths as opposed to what makes sense to the story, resulting in once-powerful movie dialogue being carelessly laced with ridiculous mad-libs.


The Set-up: Breaking records for the amount of on-screen swearing in any film, Casino was always going to be picked apart by censorship vultures, but Pesci's tirade at De Niro is the best scene. Somewhere between telling him to get "his own fighting army" and calling him a "sucker", Pesci really tries to make himself clear...

The Line: "Get this through your head, you Jew money lover, you!"

Verdict: Now he's just stating the obvious, right? I mean, the movie is called Casino - there's money-loving going on in every scene. Interesting that the TV networks didn't deem 'Jew' to be offensive enough to over dub though, eh? Nazis.

The Set-up: Apparently, the rise of Tony Montana's criminal empire is ripe for bad dubbed-for-TV editing, including one line early on where an interrogation officer suggests that Scarface may have gotten the scar on his face from eating 'pineapple'. All the best bits are included in the video below, but at the 1 min 37 sec mark, you'll hear Montana explain the potential of Miami...

The Line: "This town's like a great big chicken just waiting to be plucked."

Verdict: Sure it is, Tony. And then you can remove the giblets, season with ground black pepper and rosemary and then shove lemon and garlic stuffing up this town's ass. Wait, we're still talking about drugs, right?

The Set-up: Walter Peck unwittingly unleashes hundreds of ghosts upon New York City when he orders the Ghostbusters' grid containment to be switched off. Explaining the problem to the Mayor, Mad Dan Akroyd is clearly in the know, as he explains...

The Line: " Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by Wally Wick here"

Verdict: Wally Wick? If you're going to overdub the word 'dickless', why not use the character's actual name, Walter Peck, which isn't too far off 'Wally Wick' anyway. What could have been the most acceptable TV edit of all time, becomes a massive dub fail at the most basic level.

More:  Swearing  Censorship
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