You may not realize this, but the Mad Max you grew up watching was likely the American-dubbed version and not the Aussie original. At the Jalopnik Film Festival later this month in Los Angeles we’ll be presenting the Aussie version. Just watch these two clips and you’ll see why.

Here’s the famous opening chase, as seen in the American-dubbed version you’re often confronted with in the United States:

And here’s the Aussie version:

Given that all of us speak English, why was the version dubbed? According to IMDB, here’s the reason:

The version released in the U.S. was re-dubbed with American accents. It has been widely claimed that the distributor, American International Pictures (AIP), feared that American audiences would have had problems understanding the thick Australian accents spoken by the actors. However, now that the original track has surfaced Stateside, it is revealed to be poorly mixed, with the music score often overwhelming dialogue (the very important conversation between two doctors that Max overhears is almost entirely drowned out). AIP’s releases were predominantly seen in drive-in theaters (where in fact most of this picture’s US box office revenue was earned) and where at this time the audio came through little speakers hanging on the car windows. This would definitely have made the audio problems worse and is the probable motivation for the alternate audio track (AIP having mostly American voice actors available to them).

We are showing it in a big modern theatre and it’s going to sound awesome as the appropriate Aussie version. If you’re in LA why don’t you buy a ticket?


Contact the author at matt@jalopnik.com.