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Favorite titles (even if they aren't your favorite movies)

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Titles are fun. They make us want to see the movie. Right?

What are your favorite titles?

These titles are among my favorites:

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1. ZIS BOOM BAH (1941). Poverty row studio Monogram produced this lively musical comedy. It's fun to pronounce. Especially if you like onomatopoeia.

2. SUNDAY DINNER FOR A SOLDIER (1944). Conveys patriotism and nostalgia. A gentle title for a gentle heartwarming story.

3. TOUCH OF EVIL (1958). If you've ever been molested/assaulted/raped, this title has a whole other meaning.

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4. BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (1965). A very poetic title. I love it. Thank you Horton Foote!

5. DON'T WORRY WE'LL THINK OF A TITLE (1966). Whimsical, ironic. I wonder what they came up with...?

6. THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE (1967). Instantly conjures up images of violence.

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7. IF YOU MEET SARTANA PRAY FOR YOUR DEATH (1968). All the Sartana titles are clever. A tinge of black humor and violence.

8. THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S (1968). Images of Prohibition.

9. BITE THE BULLET (1975). A tough, western-sounding title. Surprised it wasn't used for a John Wayne or Audie Murphy movie.

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10. STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989). Dramatic irony. Hard as steel, vulnerable and fragile as the sweet magnolia. Remarkable women.

11. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991). I still remember the first time I saw the poster in a subway station. And the title immediately made me want to see it.

12. BASIC INSTINCT (1992). In my home, we called this one Instinctos Basicos because my stepmother who's from Colombia, loved it. I used to fear she kept an ice pick under the bed, but all these years later she's still married to my dad and no ice pick has ever been used.

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13. SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS (1999). Another poetic title. Beautiful imagery.

14. DON'T WORRY HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT (2018). It tells us so much about the main character before we even have an idea what the story is about. 

15. THE WANDERING EARTH (2019). The biggest movie this year in China. I think it's a great title, sort of puts the earth out there as a lonely vessel in the universe.

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I always liked the "action movie" flavored title of the light comedy ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING. ('87).  

MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE ('48) for the nature revealing name of BLANDings.  ;) 

And incidentally....  I like both these movies and consider them among my favorites.  And I'm sure there's more titles that I like, but can't conjure them now...

And yes----  I do know what you mean.  :) 

Sepiatone

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I meant to add that STEEL MAGNOLIAS is an oxymoronic title. 

Another one I like is ROAD TO PERDITION (2002). Makes you want to learn about the characters.

PLEASANTVILLE (1998) is an interesting, somewhat deceptive, title.

The first time I saw the ads for THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999) I wondered if the film would be in any way homophobic. It's actually based on a true story about a man named Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth).

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The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here! (1972)

Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie (1984)

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (2001)

Sh! The Octopus (1937)

Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)

Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979)

Petey Wheatstraw - The Devil's Son-In-Law (1977)

Gore-met Zombie Chef from Hell (1986)

Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City (1991)

 

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1 minute ago, LawrenceA said:

Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City (1991)

Yeah, now that's an attention grabbing title! For sure. :) 

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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Doorway to Hell (1930)

The Mayor of Hell (1933)

God is My Co-Pilot (1945)

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

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Lawrence, you have made my day with those hilarious titles!

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia--However, this is the kind of title that invites parody.

The Pope of Greenwich Village--Great title for a comedy, and the ads seemed to promote it that way. I went to see it after a horrific day at work, only to discover: it's NOT a comedy.

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14 minutes ago, kingrat said:

The Pope of Greenwich Village--Great title for a comedy, and the ads seemed to promote it that way. I went to see it after a horrific day at work, only to discover: it's NOT a comedy.

When I worked at a Blockbuster Video, we were instructed into which sections the films were to be placed, so we had no choice in the matter. The Pope of Greenwich Village was in the Comedy section, which prompted a discussion between me and the then-manager, which is how I learned that the corporate office decided what genre each film belonged in. 

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9 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Lawrence, you have made my day with those hilarious titles!

I'm particularly enamored with Sh! The Octopus. There's just so much to unwrap from it.

What kind of movie is it? A thriller? Horror? Comedy? Nature drama?

Is the title asking us to shush the octopus? If so, why? And how? What kind of noise was the octopus making? Is this a talking octopus?

Or is it warning us to be quiet, as the octopus might hear us? Why is that bad? Is this a mean octopus? Is this really an octopus, or a masked super-villain nicknamed "The Octopus"? 

So many possibilities in so few words...

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I don't know why, but I have always liked the titles based on Tennessee Williams plays:

A Streetcar Named Desire

The Night of the Iguana

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Glass Menagerie

The Fugitive Kind

Baby Doll

Suddenly Last Summer

Sweet Bird of Youth

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1 hour ago, Forty-One said:

I don't know why, but I have always liked the titles based on Tennessee Williams plays:

Suddenly Last Summer

Yes, I like this title. It sounds eventful.

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Not one of my favorite movies, but THE UNTOUCHABLES has something about it that makes the characters sound invincible. Of course (SPOILERS ahead): that really wasn't the case, as Sean Connery's character and one other guy do end up getting killed.

THE PUBLIC ENEMY (cool title and film) which I feel describes the character of Tom Powers perfectly.

Both PSYCHO and AMERICAN PSYCHO, well you just feel that the characters are going to live up to the name of the films.

 

 

 

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I've always liked "Fire Walk With Me." It sounds very creepy without really giving anything away. Other titles I like-

And the Ship Sails on...

Kin-Dza-Dza

Kidnapping, Caucasian Style

Scent of a Woman

Ivan Vasilievich Changes his Occupation 

Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach

 

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One of my favorite Vincent Price films is Confessions Of An Opium Eater.

 

An exploitation film filmed in Omaha and released in 1991 is about a depressed loser who has no luck with women, it's called Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend. 

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21 hours ago, kingrat said:

Lawrence, you have made my day with those hilarious titles!

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia--However, this is the kind of title that invites parody.

 

Indeed.  CHEVY CHASE a few times used it in jest in a couple of SNL skits. 

And in the '70's, a time of sex farces and other nonsense, a title I always chuckled at was---

CAN I DO IT TILL I NEED GLASSES?   

Then there's KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, a GROOVE TUBE type wannabe, 

And how many at first thought SUPER FLY was a monster/horror type movie?  ;) 

BLACULA  was a humorous title.  

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST  was intriguing.  

Then, as a sort of tribute to the satire/anthology genre, there came, in the '80's, 

AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON.  And,  because I did get into this practice for a time, I liked this bit best---

;)

Sepiatone

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Thought I'd share all the Sartana titles, since they are so memorable:

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IF YOU MEET SARTANA PRAY FOR YOUR DEATH (1968)
SARTANA DOES NOT FORGIVE (1969)
I AM SARTANA YOUR ANGEL OF DEATH (1969)
SHADOW OF SARTANA...SHADOW OF YOUR DEATH (1969)
FOUR CAME TO KILL SARTANA (1969)
ONE DAMNED DAY AT DAWN...DJANGO MEETS SARTANA! (1970)
SARTANA IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH (1970)
DJANGO AND SARTANA ARE COMING...IT'S THE END (1970)
SARTANA'S HERE...TRADE YOUR PISTOL FOR A COFFIN (1970)
HAVE A GOOD FUNERAL MY FRIEND...SARTANA WILL PAY (1970)
LIGHT THE FUSE...SARTANA IS COMING (1970)
SARTANA KILLS THEM ALL (1971)
DJANGO DEFIES SARTANA (1971)
LET'S GO AND KILL SARTANA (1971)
TRINITY AND SARTANA...THOSE DIRTY S.O.B.S (1972)
ALLELUJA & SARTANA ARE SONS...SONS OF GOD (1972)

For more on this spaghetti western franchise:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sartana

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I want TCM Nation to know that this is my 300th post on this discussion board. I was holding out for a thread which I could really give my opinion on something substantial but this thread was just too fun to pass up. 

My favorite title is from a movie which I have never seen and the plot seems somewhat weak but TCM schedules it now and then.  Leave it to the British to come up with such a title: "The Knack...and How to Get It".  Any title which has ellipsis catches my eye instantly.  A rock and roll band called "The Knack" should have considered this for a title for one of their albums.  Elton John took "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player" for an album title as a play on words from Truffault's film "Don't Shoot the Piano Player".  Queen had a couple of their albums, "A Day at the Races" and A Night at the Opera" named after movies as well. Made them bloody rich.  By the way, all of the aforementioned movie titles are also favorites of mine. 

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Everything about this guy was epic:

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The TV series Dallas had some interesting episode titles.

Waterloo at Southfork (1981)
Things Ain't Goin' Too Good at Southfork (1983)
Resurrection (1985) After Bobby "died."
Suffer the Little Children (1985) Ray and Donna adopting a boy with Down's Syndrome.
Return to Camelot (1986) After Bobby stepped out of the shower.
J.R. Rising (1986)
Trompe L'Oeil (1986) Translates as "tricking the eye."
Fall of the House of Ewing (1987)
The Dark at the End of the Tunnel (1987)
Malice in Dallas (1988) My favorite title of the series.
The Fat Lady Singeth (1988) A good episode.
Things Ain't Goin' Too Good at Southfork Again (1988)
Showdown at the Ewing Corral (1988) An interesting land war episode.
Cry Me a River of Oil (1989)
I Dream of Jeannie (1990) The beginning of Barbara Eden's special guest arc.
The Fabulous Ewing Boys (1990)
The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire (1991)
Some Leave, Some Get Carried Out (1991)
Conundrum (1991) The final episode.

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I can remember dozens of 80's action B-movie knockoffs that wished Walter Hill's Streets of Fire (1984) could have been as good as its title.

At least it was better than the 80's-90's plague of "Quirky name" titles we got in the wake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).

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WB - Intriguing and Provocative Titles

It All Came True

Three on a Match

Marked Woman

Each Dawn Die

White Heat

They Drive By Night

This Woman Is Dangerous

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The Red Queen Kills Seven Times 

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key 

A Fish Called Wanda 

Bonfire of the Vanities 

Kiss of the Spider Woman 

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 

Picnic at Hanging Rock 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown 

 

 

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Chinatown.  It's striking that the title refers not to the actual place where the movie occurs, but as a leitmotif that alludes to the corruption that is the movie's actual theme.

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8 hours ago, skimpole said:

Chinatown.  It's striking that the title refers not to the actual place where the movie occurs, but as a leitmotif that alludes to the corruption that is the movie's actual theme.

Heh.  And if that title didn't get mentioned in the "Misleading movie titles" thread it's a wonder.  

And when THE USUAL SUSPECTS came out, and before I saw it or knew anything about it, I mused about it taking place in Casablanca.  Maybe with some "road show" CLAUDE RAINS impersonator!  :D 

Sepiatone

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