General Question

BronxLens's avatar

What is Bovarro? It came in a jar, back during WWII.

Asked by BronxLens (1535 points ) August 27th, 2008

In a scene in The Great Escape a fellow prisoner brings James Garner’s character food contraband, including a jar of Bovarro (that’s the spelling that appears with the English subtitles).

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12 Answers

Harp's avatar

I wonder if it wouldn’t have been understood to be Bovril, a popular British condiment. Changing the name could have been a way of skirting trademark laws.

gailcalled's avatar

It could have also been a mistranslation. Oftentimes, if the film is in French, I see some real howlers in the subtitles. I agree also with Harp’s Bovril.

BronxLens's avatar

I like the Bovril theory. Lets see what else the Fluther team throws at us.

gailcalled's avatar

No other choice. Bovril it is. (Like a jar of smashed-up beef bouillon cubes.) But check out Marmite and Vegemite….all adding to the oxymoron of British haute cuisine.

More info at this aptly named site; http://www.britishdelights.com/marmite.asp

(Sample of the prose; “MARMITE has a distinctive savory taste, unlike anything else.”
And: “Vegemite:rumor has it that one 4 oz jar is worth over 100 servings.”)

breedmitch's avatar

Plus, most all of the prisoners are British. (also a few Aussies, Irishmen, Scots, the three Americans, and whatever the hell Charles Bronson is supposed to be) Great flick. One of the first I bought on DVD years ago.

gailcalled's avatar

@Breed: Why are you not studying? Hit the books, or the bottles.

Nullo's avatar

There are a number of people named Bovarro on Facebook. I like the Bovil theory, but if we need alternatives, I’d guess that it was a made-up product that got named after someone on staff.
TvTropes is silent on the matter.

MudKat's avatar

@breedmitch: Bronson’s character was Greek.

irishfrog's avatar

I believe Bronson’s character was Polish, not Greek. His character name was Velinski.

irishfrog's avatar

I believe Bronson’s character was Polish not Greek. His character name is Vellinski.

irishfrog's avatar

When Bronson’s character balks at being in the tunnel his friend Willie the other tunnel king says how when Warsaw fell to the Germans Danny (Bronson) escaped and came to London to fly with the RAF. Clearly Bronson’s character is Polish and not Greek.

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