In Swiss moviehouses, Daniel Craig in 'Casino Royale' can be heard in dubbed-in German or in the original English, with French and German subtitles. Such diversity is natural in the multi-lingual nation. Click here to visit's Daniel Craig section

The continent-hopping "Babel" has made subtitles sexy once again for American moviegoers. In Switzerland, they never went out of style.

In the language crossroads of Europe, you had better check the fine print before you go to the flicks.

Do you want to see Daniel Craig chase the "Casino Royale" villains in German with no subtitles, or prefer the latest James Bond flick in English, with both German and French dialogue scrawled across the screen? Same with other major releases, such as Denzel Washington in "Deja Vu," Ben Stiller in "Night at the Museum," Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth," and the penguin stars of "Happy Feet."

But the choices don't stop there. You can go to movies in Italian, Swedish, French, Spanish, Danish and even Japanese, most with German and French subtitles. There even are films in Swiss German, a dialect that about 64 percent of the nation speaks.

Action movies do fine with this arrangement -- "Get him" translates pretty easily across the world. Explaining global warming or the racially based humor of "Borat" in two additional languages, however, takes up a chunk of the screen. And subtitles for children's movies are surely aimed at parents, not youngsters who can barely read.

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" took the land of subtitles here to a whole new level. Even those watching the original version in English needed a second language to grasp the dialogue because the movie's many scenes in Japanese, Berber and Spanish were all translated only into German and French subtitles. Yikes!

Switzerland is the only European country with four recognized languages -- with English making up an unofficial fifth language -- and the Swiss have long been proud of their multi- lingual status. Most other countries have just one dominant language, so movies are either dubbed or subtitled in that language.

A fondness for subtitles is not the only difference between Swiss and American cinemas -- consider the Swiss movie ratings, which are both more varied and more rigid than their U.S. counterparts.

Movies can be rated K/6, K/8, K/10, J/12 or J/14, which means a child or teen has to be that age to view it. Babies and toddlers are banned unless a special family matinee is advertised. Parental discretion is not allowed.

"No babies, no young children. We have a different approach to movies than the United States," said Charlottte Waltert, an employee at Zurich's Arthouse Alba cinema.

One visiting California family was turned away from "Miss Congeniality 2" when an usher asked their youngest son how old he was. He was 12 and the movie was rated J/14. The family was not getting in even if both the mother and the father were there insisting that their son was mature enough to handle the complex themes Sandra Bullock was dishing out. At least they got their money back.

Other surprises await ex-pat cinemagoers. One is the price -- 16-19 Swiss francs (up to $15.50) for an adult -- a serious ouch that surpasses even Manhattan's $11 tickets.

Another is the traditional Swiss intermission. Explosions could be thundering, lips could be inches away from connecting, but the screen goes black, the lights go on, and it's time to head to the lobby for popcorn, ice cream or a cigarette.

After a 15- to 20-minute break, it's hard to remember what movie you were even watching, much less where you were sitting or what actor now had the diamonds, the money or the girl.

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