The compulsory dubbing of foreign films into Spanish was introduced in 1941, and provided the censorship apparatus of the Franco regime with an additional means of controlling the content of films by manipulating the dialogue. References to the Civil War were excised from the soundtrack of Casablanca (1942), and in other films, lovers were converted into spouses, and passionate declarations into lofty spiritual reflections.
   There was also an economic aspect to dubbing, for the removal of the linguistic barrier made it difficult for the Spanish film industry to compete against foreign productions. In 1943, the state introduced incentives for Spanish producers, in the form of licences to import and dub foreign films. Spanish distributors and those involved in dubbing were also protected by the automatic banning of any foreign film dubbed into Spanish prior to importation. The granting of dubbing permits, however, had the unexpected side-effect of creating a lucrative black market in resold licences, resulting in the drafting of new protectionist measures in 1952.
   By the early 1960s, however, the opening up of the economy to international trade, and the development of tourism, produced a slight relaxation in the restrictions on foreign-language films, and some films were being shown in major cities in their original versions. This did not, however, prevent references to the economic importance of the tourist industry being cut from the Spanish soundtrack of Jaime Camino's España otra vez (Spain Again) (1967). In 1966, Francesco Rosi, the Italian director of an Italo-Spanish coproduction, El momento de la verdad (The Moment of Truth) (1965), publicly dissociated himself from the film, because the original Spanish soundtrack had been changed without consultation. Nor were sound-tracks in other languages immune from interference, as was shown in the case of Bernardo Bertolucci's Prima della rivoluzione (Before the Revolution) (1964), where a phrase in the Italian dialogue referring to Franco, which would not have been understood by a significant proportion of the audience, was cut. Furthermore, translations of parts of the soundtrack in the subtitles were either omitted or distorted. Even as late as the beginning of the 1970s, the habit of providing a "correct" interpretation of the ending by means of a voice-over commentary had not disappeared, as occurred with Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway, where it is made clear that the fugitive bandits received their just deserts. Though censorship lapsed after the death of Franco, the charging of fees to importers and distributors of foreign films continued to provide much-needed income to support subsidies to the Spanish film industry, though these were less necessary as the industry recovered in the late 1990s.
   See also: cinema law; film and cinema; Francoist culture; Salamanca Conversations
   Further reading
   - Gubern, R. (1981) La censura: función política y ordenamiento jurídico bajo el franquismo (1936-1975), Barcelona: Ediciones Península (the most thorough study of the legal framework of censorship and its practical operation).
   - Hooper, J. (1995) The New Spaniards, Harmondsworth: Penguin (chapter 23 offers an excellent overview of the cultural politics of Francoism).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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