Get Better Movie Download Results By Searching For The US Title And Spelling

Earlier in the week, I caught an advanced screening of Bad Neighbours which will be landing in Australian theatres on 8 May. If you like gross-out humour and can abide the slobbery comedy stylings of Seth Rogen, the movie isn't too bad. Finding a downloadable copy from the country of origin could be a problem however.

Obligatory disclaimer: While the advice in this article could be applied to torrent sites that offer pirated material, we're referring to legitimate services such as Netflix and other overseas movie sites. No really.

In the US, Bad Neighbours is known simply as Neighbors (also note the omitted 'u' which is how nearly all words ending in an unstressed '-our' are spelled in American English).

We're not sure why the distributor felt the need to add 'Bad' to the title. Was it to avoid confusion with a certain TV soap set on Ramsay Street, perhaps? Or did the US just think an adjective was needed because Antipodean audiences are stupid? Whatever the reason, typing "Bad Neighbours" into the internet will limit your search results to a small pocket of territories.

This title tinkering is something that occurs more than you might think -- and it can make finding certain movies challenging if you don't know about the alternate titles. While some internal search engines are clever enough to work out what you want, others will display a 'no results found' message.

Some examples of movies that have wildly different titles in the US include:

  • Flying High! (Airplane! in the US)
  • Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior)
  • American Pie 3 (American Pie: The Wedding)
  • The Professional (Leon)
  • Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard)
  • In Bed With Madonna (Madonna: Truth or Dare)
  • Night On The Town (Adventures In Babysitting)
  • Welcome to the Jungle (The Rundown)
  • Three (Survival Island)
  • Evil Woman (Saving Silverman)
  • xXx 2: The Next Level (xXx: State of the Union)
  • The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio)
  • Roadkill (Joyride)
  • Deception (Reindeer Games)
  • Suddenly 30 (13 Going on 30)
  • Braindead (Dead Alive)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Most of the above movies will return far better results if you search for the US title; especially if you're using a North American-based website. Ditto for US-centric spellings. (i.e. -- The Color Purple instead of The Colour Purple.)

Keeping this in mind while searching for movie downloads will greatly expand the options you get; which means a higher chance of finding the movie in HD.

Can you think of any other movies with alternate titles in other territories? Share them in the comments section below.

Lifehacker's weekly Streaming column looks at how technology is keeping us entertained.


    Today's lifehack: How to structure your search terms for best results when pirating copyrighted content.

    Oh wait, there's a disclaimer. Okay, only use this if you're using a VPN to get around geoblocking. Because bypassing limitations put in place by content owners is completely different from outright piracy.

    And to answer the question posed:

    Flying High = Airplane
    The 51st state = Formula 51
    Welcome to the Jungle = The Rundown
    Max Max 2 = Road Warrior
    Suddenly 30 = 13 going on 30 (really, if you're thinking of searching for this film, don't.)
    Army of Darkness = Evil Dead 3

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