John Wayne Foreign Western Movie Titles

Did John Wayne Really Win the Best Actor Academy Award for “100 Dollars Pour Un Sherif”?

In our companion piece to the previous article on John Wayne’s foreign film titles we visit an alternative universe in which JW appeared in a number of stirring Western movies such as “The North West Knights”, “The Caravan of Fire” and, one of my particular favourites, “Combats, Happy and Nuggets”.

As before, we’ll start off with a fairly easy title to decipher but if you’re not proficient in Norwegian and Corsican, you may find a couple of the titles a tad hard to figure out.

Also, we repeat the caveat from our non-Western JW foreign film titles article that the following translations were accomplished by using various options available on the internet, and therefore may not be totally one-hundred-percent accurate. 

Allegheny Uprising with John Wayne Italian poster

Il Primo Ribelle (Italian)

Seeing as this film was also known as “The First Rebel”, all you have to do is work backwards from the Italian title which translates to exactly that, which should then bring you to the original title which was of course “Allegheny Uprising”.

Not sure exactly when the poster was designed but JW looks a bit older than he actually does in the film. And if the image of his co-star Claire Trevor isn’t based upon the Italian actress Virna Lisi then I’ll eat my dead beaver hat.

French poster for Stagecoach with Claire Trevor and John Wayne

La Chevauchee Fantastique (French)

“La” and “Fantastique” are fairly easy to translate but “Chevauchee” appears to translate as “Chevauchee”, which in turn means “promenade” or “horse charge” in English. No, it’s not “The Horse Soldiers”, which might be more appropriate. It is in fact John Ford’s classic Western, “Stagecoach”. It’s worth noting that the film was inspired by a short story by French writer Guy de Maupassant entitled “Boule de Suif”, which itself translates to “Ball of Tallow”, and it is at this point I will now get off the stagecoach and move on to the next title.

John Wayne in True Grit a French poster 100 Dollars Pour Un Sherif

100 Dollars Pour Un Sherif (French)

This French title translates easily into English as “100 Dollars for A Sheriff”. I haven’t checked but I’m assuming that is the amount of money Mattie Ross pays Rooster Cogburn to track down the man who killed her father. So there you have it. “100 Dollars Pour Un Sherif” is “True Grit”. And there was me thinking “True Grit” actually meant John Wayne. How wrong can you be? 

La Caravane De Feu (French)

It’s “The Caravan of Fire” and it’s headed your way. This so-called caravan spits a merde load of lead to anyone who gets too close, unless of course you’re either JW or Kirk Douglas, in which case the bullets suddenly veer off to the side and miss the stars of “The War Wagon”.

The very colourful poster itself is of course a dead giveaway, what with Kirk’s dimpled chin giving a determined John Wayne a run for his money.    

I Cavalieri del Nord Ovest or She Wore a Yellow Ribbon with John Wayne

I Cavalieri Del Nord Ovest (Italian)

The English title for this translates from the Italian to “The North West Knights”. I’ve noticed with a few of the posters discussed so far in this and our previous article that the translation isn’t as literal as it might be.

Whoever designed the poster has gone a bit overboard on the red paint but it’s still very impressive and certainly not one I’ve ever seen before, but why “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” becomes “The North West Knights” when translated directly back from the Italian title is beyond me.

If you take the original English title into Italian, then it should be “Lei Indossava Un Giallo Nastro”. My work here is done.

John Wayne in The Searchers or in the (French) poster Mas Corazon que Odio

Mas Corazon Que Odio (Spanish – Argentina)

You’ve got to love this one because in English this title would be known as “More Heart Than Hatred” which just about sums up the character of Ethan Edwards in “The Searchers”. It certainly has more of a ring to it than “La Buscadores” which is what “The Searchers” would be in a straight translation into Spanish.

The poster is quite nicely designed, incorporating a still from the film as well as the famous imagery of JW and Jeffrey Hunter against the backdrop of Monument Valley. I’m betting that’s quite a collector’s item these days.

John Wayne in Cahill US Marshal or the French poster version Les Cordes De La Potence

Les Cordes De La Potence (French)

I can honestly say I’m completely flummoxed on this one. How in the name of all that’s holy does “Cahill U.S. Marshal” end up as “The Ropes of the Stem”? Anyone worth their salt knows that the original English title translates into French as “Cahill Etats-Unis Marshal “, so what’s the problem?

They’ve done a good job on the poster though, superimposing an image of Wayne over the original US design, so at least it’s got that going for it, but ‘This summer; coming to a theatre near you soon: John Wayne in “The Ropes of the Stem”’ just doesn’t do it for me.

POster of John Wayne in Il Grande Tormento The Great Torment or The Shepherd of The Hills

Il Grande Tormento (Italian)

JW certainly looks greatly tormented on the poster, as well he would on account of his long-lost father turning up out of the blue, causing a ruckus in the valley then gut-shooting his boy in a gunfight.

Not sure what “The Great Torment” has in common with the original title of “The Shepherd of the Hills”, but when the poster is as good as this with what appears to be a completely original image of John Wayne, then you have to give the designer a pass.

I would offer a translation of “The Shepherd of the Hills” directly to Italian but why should I have all the fun?

The Fighting Kentuckian with John Wayne bu the Norwegian poster Vestens Harde Halse

Vestens Haarde Halse (Norwegian)

This is an interesting one both in terms of the title and the poster that goes with it. “West’s Hard Halse”, the English interpretation of “Vestens Haarde Halse”, gives no clue when it comes to the original title of “The Fighting Kentuckian”, although the image of Oliver Hardy on the poster gives it away to those in the know.

Or is “Haarde” meant to be a reference to the comedian himself? And why is he billed as “’Oliver “Gokke” Hardy’?

Update: Direct translation from a Dane means it could mean something like West Tough Throat. Mmmm- any ideas?

Despite being nowhere near as good as the American poster images for the film at least it’s a totally original design, but the title confuses me somewhat. 

John Wayne in Angel & The Badman Italian poster L'Ultima Conquiste

L’Ultima Conquista (Italian)

If it was down to me I’d retranslate this Italian title for “Angel and the Badman” as “The Ultimate Conquest”, mainly because the poster, which is very impressive indeed, indicates that JW is most definitely about to ultimately conquer the lovely Gail Russell in ways too private to mention on a family website such as this.

And in fact, the English translation for “L’Ultima Conquista” is “The Last Conquest” which is apt considering all the poster appears to promise for JW and Ms. Russell. They sure do look a bellissimo couple though, don’t they? 

Pugni, Pupe E Pepite (Corsican)

Without the cast list or the image in the top left of the poster you would take forever trying to figure out what JW film is being represented here. The image of Wayne looks like it’s been purloined from “Red River” but the “Pugni, Pupe E Pepite”, which translates into English as “Combats, Happy and Nuggets” bears absolutely no resemblance to the original title, which is – of course – “North to Alaska”, which translates, into Corsican, as I’m sure everybody knows, as “A Nord di Alaska”. Easy when you try. Another good poster though.

Un Dollaro D’onore (Italian)

I love the poster that goes with this, with the Italian title neatly referencing a major story strand from “Rio Bravo”.

“Un Dollaro D’onore” in English is “A Dollar of Honor”, which I’m thinking alludes to the throwing of a silver dollar into the spittoon that threatens to strip Dude of his self-esteem when he’s tempted to retrieve it.

Intriguingly, the poster highlights Dean Martin more than Wayne, indicating that whoever designed it may have subscribed to the idea that it’s Dean’s film as much as it is JW’s. All of the five Italian posters featured in this article are very attractively designed and I’d go a long way to track this one down for my own collection.

In the course of doing a lot of heavy research for this and the previous article on JW foreign movie titles I’ve come across a few posters for some of his earlier 1930s movies so keep your eyes peeled for a possible third companion piece in this series.

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Steve is a film scholar of note, gaining both an MA in film studies and a Ph.D. for his thesis on the silent films of John Ford. Steve, a scriptwriter and published novelist, provides much of the content you see here and is a dedicated aficionado and longtime fan of John Wayne, John Ford and Western films in general.

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