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Flight 714 movie - but not Tintin!

mct16
Member
#1 · Posted: 8 Sep 2010 15:53
I was doing some research on Flight 714 in order to try and contribute to a debate on this forum when I came across this: "Crashpoint - 90 Minuten bis zum Absturz" which is released in English as "Crash Point: Berlin".

Apparently it's a German TV movie about a passenger plane which develops engine trouble, gets off-course and will crash into Berlin - unless it's shot down first!

The point is that it was shown in France as "Vol 714 - Au bout de l'enfer" (French for "Flight 714: On the Edge of Hell").

I wonder if they actually sought permission for such a title - or even if it was necessary to do so?

Bit of a cheek anyway. Sounds like a case of "we'll trick the audience into thinking that it is based on a popular children's comic and then deny that that was our intention".
jock123
Moderator
#2 · Posted: 8 Sep 2010 16:21
Must have been a bit of a shock to the 12’s and under, tuning in for a bit of cartoon fun with our quiffed hero and his gang of friends…!

Shades of the “(Not the) “Prisoners of the Sun” movie…?” thread…

mct16:
I wonder if they actually sought permission for such a title - or even if it was necessary to do so?

Titles aren’t copyrightable, it would seem, so probably not; it would only cause trouble if you tried to pass it off as a Tintin film, for example, so presumably the “On the Edge of Hell” sub-title pretty much absolves them from that (many people don’t rate the book that highly, but few would say it was quite that bad!).
Balthazar
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 8 Sep 2010 16:31
mct16:
I wonder if they actually sought permission for such a title - or even if it was necessary to do so?

I believe copyright doesn't apply to titles (unless a title's been trademarked), and there are quite a few examples of two completely different books coincidentally sharing the same title. And it's only half the title in this case.

mct16:
Bit of a cheek anyway. Sounds like a case of "we'll trick the audience into thinking that it is based on a popular children's comic and then deny that that was our intention".

Well maybe. Assuming that the flight number is the same in the original German film, maybe the screenwriter was deliberately adding a little Tintin reference as an homage, or simply subconsciously borrowing that flight number because it sounded just right, without knowing where he heard it. You could say very much the same thing about Hergé calling his comic strip hero Tintin, which may have been a deliberate or subconscious borrowing from Benjamin Rabier's 19th century Tintin-Lutin cartoon.

I take your point that whoever then re-titled the film in French does seem to have been using the fact that the flight number is 714 to make the film's new title very Tintin-sounding. But maybe they too meant it as an homage, rather than a devious attempt to get people watching the film under false pretences!

It's an interesting Tintin reference you've dug up in any case.
Richard1631978
Member
#4 · Posted: 9 Sep 2010 20:34
The 1957 film Zero Hour! by Arthur Hailey also features a Flight 714.

It also was the inspiration for the Zucker Brothers’ movie Airplane!, after the writers watched in on TV and thought it was amusing without even trying.

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