Forced Subtitles, Easter Eggs - your tips and experience.
UK and US/Canada DVD Releases
To my knowledge, English subtitles on foreign language releases from North America are not forced, with French and Spanish language options often also available.
However I have found some foreign language UK releases with either forced or burnt-in subtitles.
Pedro Almodóvar's Talk To Her (Pathé R2) has forced English subtitles, whereas the R1 and R3 releases do not.
Takehi Kitano's Kikujiro (Pathé R2) has English subtitles burnt-in.
Top 40 DVD/VHS - a personal list with IMDB ratings.
German DVD Releases
Some, but not enough, German language films have English subtitles. Germany is good for not forcing subtitles on English language films though, with the odd exception.
Chicago Blues, The Big Town by Ben Bolt (EuroVideo). I found it was possible to change in the player setup, but by far the simplest method to get the original English language version without German subtitles is to start the film then press 'stop'/'stop'/'play'.
Arizona Dream by Emir Kusturica (ARTHAUS) has the menu in Deutsch/English/Español. On the extras the Johnny Depp interview with questions in French and answers in English has optional Deutsch/English subtitles, while the trailer is in French with burnt-in English subtitles.
... and Die Abenteuer des Baron Münchausen (Columbia Tristar) is the same as the UK release in a different package.
French DVD Releases
French language films occasionally have English subtitles. France seems to be the worst for forced subtitles on English language films, but sometimes there are ways round this.
Mary by Abel Ferrara (Wild Side Video). To remove the French subtitles: Select the English original language option then press 'stop' then 'play'. Alternatively pressing 'stop'/'stop'/'play' once in the main movie title will have the same effect.
Les Choses que je ne t'ai Jamais Dites, Things I Never Told You by Isabel Coixet (Cinéma Indépendant) has forced French subtitles. Unlike the US region 1 release it is anamorphic widescreen, whereas the Spanish release is dubbed into Spanish with English subtitles!
Land of Plenty by Wim Wenders (TF1) has forced French subtitles with the original English language option. I have not found a way to remove these.
note: my experience is with a Sony DVP-NS305 but probably applies to other DVD players.
Spanish DVD Releases
Most Spanish language films not by Pedro Almodóvar have English subtitles, and often French subtitles. Spain is good for not forcing subtitles on English language films, though you may need a bit of clever navigation.
Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch (Lauren Films) has an Inglés (v.o. subtitulada) language option, lets you can remove the subtitles with the subtitle button only.
Last Night by Don McKellar (DeA Planeta) is a PAL letterbox widescreen release and has Castellano and Inglés available in the idiomas menu, but no subtitles.
La Vida Secreta De Las Palabras, The Secret Life Of Words by Isabel Coixet (cameo) does not allow you to change language or subtitles without going into the menu. If selecting the original English be sure to also select 'sin subtitulos' otherwise you will get them.
Fragiles by Jaume Balaguero (filmax) allows change of language and subtitles via the menu only, but if selecting 'Inglés sin subtitulos' use the menu button to return to the film, otherwise you'll find you've got Castellano subtitulos. ...or select English subtitles as the music is frighteningly loud!
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