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Films That Are Known By Inaccurate Titles


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Last night I re-watched my favourite film as a kid, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Except there never was a film made with that title. It has simply become known by that name over the years. Here's the real title from the film's opening credits:

abbott-costello-meet-frankenstein-hd-mov

It gets a little more confusing, though, when you look at an original lobby card for the film:

5648130%5D,sizedata%5B850x600%5D&call=ur

There is an "&" between the comics' names, as opposed to the titles on the actual film where there is none. Still both film titles and promotional advertising do include the comics' first names as part of the title and virtually no one today (or for years past), to the best of my knowledge, identifies the film that way. It is simply Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Maybe this is much ado about nothing but I find it interesting that, arguably, the most famous comedy horror film ever made is identified by most, if not all, people with a, technically, inaccurate title.

I wonder if anyone can think of any other films that fall into this same category. Possibly some other Abbott and Costello Meet films do but, aside from them, I mean.

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This is probably not what you're looking for but I'm put off by all the colons and extra verbiage used in many film titles today to make sure the brand name appears in every title. I wish they would just call the recent young Han Solo movie Solo and not Solo: A Star Wars Story, for example. I mean, duh, we know it's a Star Wars story. The practice of just adding 2's and 3's (or II's and III's) to sequel titles largely seems to be over. Now we have to have Original Title: New Title or vice-versa.

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Cripes Tom, it's just an ampersand.  Probably used to save space or cost in the printing of the lobby card.  Upon seeing it, NObody with an IQ higher than 5 will mistake it for meaning something other than a substitute for the word "and" nor be "mislead" by it. :rolleyes:  Or really doesn't make it inaccurate.  What makes it(to me) "inaccurate" is that the movie is(if memory serves) about our hapless heroes meeting Frankenstein's monster, and not Frankenstein himself.  And that would be so regardless of the ampersand or not.  ;) 

My one(so far) example of an inaccurate movie title would be THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.  Hell, I couldn't find a role noted as postman in any movie credits I checked, the closest being an actor named GEORGE NOISOM playing a telegraph messenger, who I'm not sure even rang once;) 

Sepiatone

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35 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Cripes Tom, it's just an ampersand.  Probably used to save space or cost in the printing of the lobby card.  Upon seeing it, NObody with an IQ higher than 5 will mistake it for meaning something other than a substitute for the word "and" nor be "mislead" by it. :rolleyes:  Or really doesn't make it inaccurate.

I think you're missing my point, Sepia. It's not the existence of an amperand (and I had to look up the meaning of that word) or whether the word "and" is or is not used that I'm commenting on.

It's the fact that nobody calls the film by the title it has in the opening credits:

Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. That's the movie's real title.

However, you would never know that by its common popular reference with "the masses," so to speak, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, with the comics' first names missing and "and" added between their names. In fact no film has ever been made called Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, famous as the name may be.

And that I find interesting, a famous film consistently called by a technically incorrect title over the years (even if I can understand why, since the real title feels a bit cumbersome). 

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The "real" title of half the movies released today are either

Automatic Weapons and Explosions #7,463

or

Comic Book Movie with $200,000,000 of Special Effects #8,273

As opposed to half the shows on television which are all named

Cop Show #8,329,074

 

 

Edited by karlofffan
replaced period with comma
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What's even more disturbing is why, 71 years after the movie's release this has become a major issue with you.  Even what's billed as the "official" trailer only adds the first names. ---

 

To me(again) an inaccurate title is one that would lead the moviegoer the impression the movie might be about something other than what it is.   For example(and more recent)

FARGO.  Which isn't really about Fargo, ND, life in the city of Fargo, but merely takes place for some time, in Fargo.   And.....

AMADEUS, which is (to me) an inaccurate title for an inaccurate movie about the composer Mozart.  Who was typically known only by his surname, with Amadeus being his middle name, and never really used in billings or other reference. Maybe titling the movie with his first name, WOLFGANG, might have been better, but then again, since my daughter's last name when she married became Wolfgang,  it might have confused some people.  

Sepiatone

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Good Bad Ugly and The Good The Bad The Ugly some times for correct English title The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) of course the Italian title is Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo which literally translates to The Good The Ugly, The Bad, but you can see how it much better it sounds in Italian that way. Same can be said for the English title.  

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5 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

What's even more disturbing is why, 71 years after the movie's release this has become a major issue with you.  Even what's billed as the "official" trailer only adds the first names. ---

 

Who said I said it was a MAJOR issue? YOU'RE saying that.

I just find it interesting that one of the more famous film titles is never called by its proper name. That trailer you posted, by the way, is a later reissue of the film and I notice that it slightly changes the film's title by including the word "and" between the comics names. It would be nice to see an original trailer to see the title given.

I can't think of any other film that is popularly known by an incorrect title. So far no one else has come up with any other films falling into the same category, though cigarjoe says something similar happened to the Eastwood western. I suspect Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is fairly unique in this sense.

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Cleo from 5 to 7 only goes to 6:30.

Chariots of Fire has no chariots and precious little flames outside the Olympic torch.

And if anybody can figure out exactly when 1,000,000 Years BC is set considering the mish-mash of prehistoric tropes....

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On 10/25/2019 at 10:52 AM, sewhite2000 said:

This is probably not what you're looking for but I'm put off by all the colons and extra verbiage used in many film titles today to make sure the brand name appears in every title. I wish they would just call the recent young Han Solo movie Solo and not Solo: A Star Wars Story, for example. I mean, duh, we know it's a Star Wars story. The practice of just adding 2's and 3's (or II's and III's) to sequel titles largely seems to be over. Now we have to have Original Title: New Title or vice-versa.

A good example of a colon and extra verbiage is Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), which reasonably has been conversationally shortened over the years.

Maybe the Original Title: New Title thing is a crossover from literature, where all those series like the Harry Potter and Twilight books want to let potential readers (and buyers) know exactly what they're looking at?

A lot of films in the data base have alternate titles listed and I've always wondered how that happens. I think sometimes it's for foreign releases or domestic rereleases and sometimes for foreign films released in the U.S., like the Alistair Sim Scrooge, which was released here as A Christmas Carol, though sometimes the broadcast version has the original tile card.

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Well Tom, as you saw fit to start a thread about it, and that you're probably in a minority who think the movie is one of the "more famous" movie titles, I would say you've made it a major issue.  And with no visual backing of your claim, some may assume you're the only one( and based on response so far) that's noticed this "inaccuracy".  Especially since it's some difference in the wording of the title, and not that at no time do the heroes actually meet Frankenstein that you see as inaccurate, well.....  :unsure:

re: Subtitles: 

Not the English translations at the bottom of the screen in foreign movies, but those parenthetical additions to a movie's title----

I too, never often saw the purpose in these.  Some give helpful info while others wind up being nothing more than a lame attempt to add unnecessary humor to them.  And Dougie gives a good example with the UK use of SCROOGE for Mr. Sim's movie, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL here in the U.S.  And too, the different titles used for theatrical releases and for television.  My only example in this case is 1951's ACE IN THE HOLE which, for the first few times I saw the movie, and usually on a weekend "late,late show" presentation, went by the title, THE BIG CARNIVAL.  And that was even on the opening credits of the televised print!  

Sepiatone

 

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14 hours ago, Fedya said:

Chariots of Fire has no chariots and precious little flames outside the Olympic torch.

Chariots of Fire takes its name from a line in William Blake's "Jerusalem," which was set to music by Hubert Parry and has become one of the most famous British anthems. The reference would be familiar to any Brit.  The hymn is sung at Harold Abraham's funeral in the movie. The word "chariot" is used in plural in the title, since it also refers to the runners.  The hymn is used in many films, most notably in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which also relates to runners.

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands' mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

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2 hours ago, DougieB said:

A lot of films in the data base have alternate titles listed and I've always wondered how that happens. I think sometimes it's for foreign releases or domestic rereleases and sometimes for foreign films released in the U.S., like the Alistair Sim Scrooge, which was released here as A Christmas Carol, though sometimes the broadcast version has the original tile card.

A number of British films back in the day got different names in their American release, I've noticed, especially if they used a word or expression not terribly familiar to Americans. According to Ben Mankiewicz, The Devil Rides Out was changed to The Devil's Bride, because they didn't want Americans to think it was a Western.

Sometimes, the title would be changed for a re-release to try to draw in a new audience for a film that hadn't done terribly well (maybe even to sucker in people who had seen the original but thought it was a brand-new movie?). Hence, according to imdb, Ace in the Hole got put out again as The Big Carnival without Billy Wilder's permission.

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45 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

It is always sung at the BBC Proms at the Albert Hall, a venerable summer music festival. It is sung at the last night of the Proms and is broadcast both on BBC Television and Radio, most recently in September 2019.

Here's a clip from 2018:

 

They also sing "Land of Hope and Glory," Rule Brittania," and other favorites at the Last Night of the Proms. Here's "Rule Brittania" from the 2019 Proms:

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Well Tom, as you saw fit to start a thread about it, and that you're probably in a minority who think the movie is one of the "more famous" movie titles, I would say you've made it a major issue.  And with no visual backing of your claim, some may assume you're the only one( and based on response so far) that's noticed this "inaccuracy".

 

I provided visual backing of my claim about the inaccuracy of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein as a title with my original comment on this thread when I posted an image of the film's title card. If you didn't pick up on that, take another look. I don't know how much more it has to be spelled out for you.

And, yes, among old movie buffs, such as on this board, if there is only one Abbott and Costello film that has been heard of I suspect would be this one, making it, in turn, one of the better known film titles, misnomer as it may be.

 

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Your OP image was of the alleged "inaccuracy"( with the ampersand between BUD ABBOTT LOU COSTELLO,which you claim wasn't in the movie's original opening credits.)  And too, the other image didn't show on my PC monitor, like a lot of other images don't show either.  I just get a tiny "thumbnail" image(of nothing in particular) followed by"abbott-costello meet frankenstein mov"  You must be using a tablet, or a "smartphone" or some other millennial "gadget w h o r e" type device that just lets me see text.  

TOO: ---

I can't fathom what might be considered offensive to anybody about "Jerusalem".  Can anyone provide an answer to that?

Sepiatone

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I tried deleting the above post, but with no success.  So,ignore it...  Can't figure out how it double posted anyway....

 

Your OP image was of the alleged "inaccuracy"( with the ampersand between BUD ABBOTT LOU COSTELLO,which you claim wasn't in the movie's original opening credits.  And too, the other image didn't show on my PC monitor, like a lot of other images don't show either.  I just get a tiny indiscernible thumbnail image followed by "abbott-costello meet frankenstein mov"  You might be using a "smartphone", tablet or some other millennial "gadget w h o r e" device that doesn't faithfully transfer image info.  And as for Abbott and Costello movies ANYbody might have heard of(especially "movie buffs") I would venture BUCK PRIVATES would be near top of the list, or perhaps RIO RITA, HOLD THAT GHOST or many others from their 39 movie filmography. And of their horror spoofs, ABBOTT and COSTELLO MEET:  The MUMMY, or DR. JEKYLL and MR. HYDE might be on that list as well. I'm pretty sure too, that they also met DRACULA.  ;) 

And can anyone tell me what could possibly be offensive about JERUSALEM to some people? ( the song of course)

Sepiatone

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40 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Your OP image was of the alleged "inaccuracy"( with the ampersand between BUD ABBOTT LOU COSTELLO,which you claim wasn't in the movie's original opening credits.)  And too, the other image didn't show on my PC monitor, like a lot of other images don't show either.  I just get a tiny "thumbnail" image(of nothing in particular) followed by"abbott-costello meet frankenstein mov"  You must be using a tablet, or a "smartphone" or some other millennial "gadget ****" type device that just lets me see text.  

TOO: ---

I can't fathom what might be considered offensive to anybody about "Jerusalem".  Can anyone provide an answer to that?

Sepiatone

You can't see embedded videos either, and then complain about that too.  I think it is your browser.  When was the last time you updated it to a current version? 

The current HTML5 web standards were introduced circa 2014.  Several newer browser features emerged around that time, and since then many websites have been updated to use those newer features instead for certain things.  For instance Youtube has mostly transitioned from away from using Flash for playing their videos (an ancient 3rd party video player made by Adobe), and is now using HTML5 (video player is now part of the more recent browser, no longer a 3rd party add-on). 

Based on your mention of generic icons and text placeholders, it sounds to me as if you might be using a long-outdated browser that just doesn't know what to do with the newer stuff...

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maybe, maybe not.  I can view many posted YT clips, and images others post come through too.  Just not all.  I've been a long time AOL user, and they automatically "update" their versions.  The one in use now has been updated in late 2017. And as I have no similar problems on other web sites, I'm not gonna start jacking myself around trying different browsers for only one site.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

maybe, maybe not.  I can view many posted YT clips, and images others post come through too.  Just not all.  I've been a long time AOL user, and they automatically "update" their versions.  The one in use now has been updated in late 2017. And as I have no similar problems on other web sites, I'm not gonna start jacking myself around trying different browsers for only one site.

Sepiatone

That's interesting.  Maybe AOL's browser is not compatible with this website.  Or this website not compatible with AOL's browser.  I had no idea the AOL browser was still in existence or even still being used.

Either way, I feel a little better now about the way you have complained about videos I have embedded.  It is not that you don't like them, it is that you can't see them.

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Your OP image was of the alleged "inaccuracy"( with the ampersand between BUD ABBOTT LOU COSTELLO,which you claim wasn't in the movie's original opening credits.  And too, the other image didn't show on my PC monitor, like a lot of other images don't show either.  I just get a tiny indiscernible thumbnail image followed by "abbott-costello meet frankenstein mov"  You might be using a "smartphone", tablet or some other millennial "gadget w h o r e" device that doesn't faithfully transfer image info. 

I know you love to be the contrarian on these boards, Sepia, but if you couldn't even see the posting that I made of the film's title card maybe you shouldn't be quite so ready to make a reference to any "alleged inaccuracy." Hell, you can't even see the title image I'm posting in my OP and you still have the crust to question it anyway (even later saying I provided no visual backing of my claim- Incredible!).

The screen shot I posted that you can't see was of the film's title card:

Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

 

So is that the same as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein? Close perhaps but no cigar. That's my point about an inaccurate title for this film being constantly repeated by fans and publications over the years. When is the last time anyone heard the film referred to by its real title?

By the way, my "Millennial gadget **** device" for posting the image is a ten year old Dell lap top. I don't see anyone else complaining that they couldn't see the image. I would suggest you look into your own computer software to find the reason why rather than trying to throw the blame elsewhere on a "**** device" used by someone else.

 

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

By the way, my "Millennial gadget **** device" for posting the image is a ten year old Dell lap top. I don't see anyone else complaining that they couldn't see the image. I would suggest you look into your own computer software to find the reason why rather than trying to throw the blame elsewhere on a "**** device" used by someone else.

 

Images never upload on his computer and he gets mad at everyone else. He is the only one here who seems to have that problem with the images.

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