The Romanian Voice Over That Dubbed Over 3,000 Hollywood Movies
Many of these films were actually banned at the time and had to be brought into the country illegally.
The Western movies were censored by the Communist Party
During Ceausescu’s period, the cinema, TV and radio were strictly regulated in Romania.
The dictator was afraid that airing Western productions will make people aware of the luxurious life others were having.
Therefore, Romanian citizens did not have the multitude of choices they have nowadays.
For example, there was one single TV channel which had shows in the evenings only.
The Romanian voice over became very quickly popular although many people did not know who was behind the mysterious voice.
The most popular Romanian voice over voice
Irina Margareta Nistor was secretly voicing the Hollywood movies in her spare time. She was officially working as a film translator for The Romanian Television.
It is impressive not only the number of movies dubbed – over 3,000 – but also the fact that the Romanian voice over was often recording without having ever seen the film beforehand.
At the time, not many Romanians could afford a video player. In order to buy one, people actually sold their apartment or car.
In an interview for Vice, the Romanian voice over said that her parents got to watch the movies translated and dubbed by her only after the Revolution.
The Romanian female voice over who voiced Chuck Norris
Irina Margareta Nistor dubbed a wide range of movie genres. From action movies such as Bloodsport or Rambo to erotic dramas or horror classics, she had voiced the most famous actors in the world.
The Romanian voice over introduced Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino or Tom Cruise to Communist Romania.
Chuck Norris vs. Communism
Irina Margareta Nistor remains active within the Romanian film industry. After 1990, she became an appreciated film critic.
She published a book about the film critic D.I. Suchianu in 2006. 6 years later she launched the Psychoanalysis and Film Festival.
In 2015, the famous Romanian voice over appeared in the Romanian-British documentary Chuck Norris vs Communism.
The HBO Europe co-production presents the illegal importation of American movies to Romania before 1989.