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Great Movie Titles


TomJH
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TCM has a film scheduled tomorrow morning - MADNESS OF THE HEART.

 

I have never heard of this film, so I have no idea how good, bad or indifferent it may be. It would be a great title for some kind of Gothic thriller, don't you think? But it made me start thinking of other movie titles that fire the imagination or, at least, make me want to know a little something more about the film.

 

Here are some other movie titles that I happen to love, no matter what the quality of the film associated with it may be:

 

HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT

 

DOWN TO THEIR LAST YACHT (now that's funny!)

 

THEY CAME TO BLOW UP AMERICA

 

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON

 

THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN

 

BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH (the original film title until they changed it to the decidedly less intriguing Out of the Past)

 

THE CREATURE THAT SWALLOWED MANHATTAN

 

Okay, I made that tacky last one up, but you get the idea. Does anyone else have any movie titles that they particularly love? I suppose we could have a sub category, as well:

 

Worst Film With  A Great Title
 

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I agree that DOWN TO THEIR LAST YACHT is a great title and it has long been one of my favorites.

 

These are ones that get my attention:

 

THE LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND (made into a film in 2008, based on Tennessee Williams' play of the same name)

 

YOU'LL LIKE MY MOTHER (a 70s horror film with Patty Duke and Richard Thomas...I think we can guess that mama is not going to be all that nice)

 

THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN (poor lady!)

 

BLACK CHRISTMAS (my favorite horror film, the title is a perfect oxymoron)

 

BLACK MAGIC (I remember I reserved the title of this Orson Welles film at my local library years ago...they called when it was in, and I went down to pick it up and instead they gave me a documentary with the same title about some innercity girls who were jumprope contest winners-- either way, it's a good title)

 

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (isn't that a great title!)

 

JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (another superb title)

 

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (one hundred percent cute)

 

WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? (glad it was 'what' and not 'who')

 

FIVE CAME BACK (I love that title, like the title for the TV series 'Lost')

 

BACHELOR MOTHER (speaks for itself)

 

I DREAMED OF AFRICA (not a particularly great movie, but a cool title)

 

and lastly

 

PROOF OF LIFE (with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe-- it sounds like St. Peter is going to validate your parking, I mean, your existence)

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Oh, golly. . . . 

 

Charade--a movie as good as its name.

 

Raw Deal--uneven movie, but the title beautifully expresses the bleak world view of film noir.

 

Magnificent Obsession--magnificent title, awful movie--both times

 

Anastasia--love that name

 

Night and Fog--or Nuit et Bruillard

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ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING (the 1942 Powell/Pressburger WWII film...and almost ANYTHING by those two is masterful)

 

And another very well made WWII movie...

 

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY(the 1957 film starring Hardy Kruger as a German POW who the Allied Forces can't seem to hold on to for very long) 

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NIGHT AND THE CITY

 

THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR THEM (or is it IT?)

 

IT

 

FORSAKING ALL OTHERS

 

GOOD GIRLS GO TO PARIS (changed from the original title which had the word TOO at the end).

 

HEAVEN WITH A BARBED WIRE FENCE

 

THE DAMNED DON'T CRY

 

KISS THE BLOOD OFF MY HANDS

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Rat Pfink a Boo Boo -- greatest title of all time

 

Why the title is Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and not the more logical Rat Pfink and Boo Boo is the subject of speculation. According to legend, Rat Pfink and Boo Boo was indeed the intended title, but when the artist creating the titles made an error and rendered the "and" as "a", Steckler's budget would not stretch to the $50 needed to fix the mistake.

 

 

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies -- another masterpiece from Ray Dennis Steckler. For anyone else it would be the title of a lifetime, but for Cash Flagg, it's merely runner-up.

 

I Dismember Mama

 

Every Little Crook And Nanny

 

The Dead Don't Dream -- sounds like a noir-horror from Cornell Woolrich, but it's actually a Hopalong Cassidy oater

 

I Was Born, But... -- 1932 Ozu film

 

Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend (yes this was an actual film)

 

The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd -- a stage musical by Newley and Bricusse, apparently never filmed.

 

"I'm Dreaming Of A Wide Isthmus" -- episode of the short-lived sitcom The Wackiest Ship In The Army

 

Adolf Hitler, My Role In His Downfall -- film version of Spike Milligan's war memoirs

 

20000 Leagues Under The Sea, Or David Copperfield -- Book by Robert Benchley

 

Twice A Fortnight -- English TV show of the '60s

 

A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing -- Album by the '70s rock band Sparks

 

The Appallingly Vile, Sickeningly Depraved, Nauseatingly Repulsive and Disgustingly Perverted Life Of A Friend Of A Mine, Oh All Right, Me -- An imaginary memoir, as listed in a "bibliography" in one of the Monty Python paperbacks. I still hope someone will film it someday.

 

And some curios:

 

The Case Of The Dangerous Robin -- This was not a film. It was actually a TV series, starring Rick Jason as an insurance investigator. The title has always intrigued me -- is it about one single case he works on for the entire series run? And precisely how dangerous is this bird anyway? I've never researched the matter deeply, afraid I will be disappointed by the mundanely prosaic answers.

 

Ice Cold In Alex -- For decades, after reading the title in Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion as a young teen, I wondered what in the HELL this film could possibly be about...

 

 

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Some wonderful titles listed here, and then there are some others - YIKES!!! Makes me appreciate the fact that great titles are like great beauty - all in the eye of the beholder.

 

Some others titles I like:

 

TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE (almost makes me want to sigh with the sounds of a breeze rustling through those trees in the mountains)

 

YODELIN' KID FROM PINE RIDGE (a B western I recorded just because it had that charmingly hokey title)

 

NIGHTMARE ALLEY

 

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

 

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

 

WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER

 

( I seem to have a thing about (k)nights)

 

IN A LONELY PLACE

 

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE

 

PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

 

WHOM THE GODS DESTROY (Love to see TCM show this 1934 effort one day)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES

 

EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY 

 

MOTHER, J U G S  AND SPEED( Really, censor?)

 

PREMATURE BURIAL

 

BLACKULA

 

EATING RAOUL

 

LUST IN THE DUST

 

THE GROOVE TUBE

 

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

 

THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS

 

CAN I DO IT TILL I NEED GLASSES?

 

AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON

 

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

 

OPERATION PETTICOAT

 

THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY

 

"Every Crook and Nanny" was a book by Evan Hunter( "Blackboard Jungle", "Streets of Gold") and turned into a movie.  Not too bad either.  Love the part where Pat Morita is hammered in a bar, informing anyone who'd listen of all the letters Japanese people can't say while perfectly pronouncing them.

 

@Richard Kimble:  Thanks for mentioning SPARKS.  Was trying to remember their name recently for some reason.

 

Sepiatone

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"I'm Dreaming Of A Wide Isthmus" -- episode of the short-lived sitcom The Wackiest Ship In The Army

 

 

 

LOL

 

This one reminds me of somethin' Jay Ward might have written for William Conrad to say as a teaser for the next episode on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

 

(...and now I think you folks can see who one of the "great" influences in life was, can't ya!) ;)

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I believe that Troma Entertainment carries many expressive titles:

 

The Killer Bra (2010)

 

Mindslime (2007)

 

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

 

Coons! Night of the Bandits of the Night (2005)

 

Marijuana's Revenge (2004)

 

Blondes Have More Guns (1996)

 

A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1990)

 

Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator (1989)

 

Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

 

Beneath the Mermaids (1975)

 

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ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES

 

EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY 

 

MOTHER, J U G S  AND SPEED( Really, censor?)

 

PREMATURE BURIAL

 

BLACKULA

 

EATING RAOUL

 

LUST IN THE DUST

 

THE GROOVE TUBE

 

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

 

THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS

 

CAN I DO IT TILL I NEED GLASSES?

 

AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON

 

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

 

OPERATION PETTICOAT

 

THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY

 

"Every Crook and Nanny" was a book by Evan Hunter( "Blackboard Jungle", "Streets of Gold") and turned into a movie.  Not too bad either.  Love the part where Pat Morita is hammered in a bar, informing anyone who'd listen of all the letters Japanese people can't say while perfectly pronouncing them.

 

@Richard Kimble:  Thanks for mentioning SPARKS.  Was trying to remember their name recently for some reason.

 

Sepiatone

"Lust in the Dust" was not a real film, was it? It was a nickname for DUEL IN THE SUN.

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"Lust in the Dust" was not a real film, was it? It was a nickname for DUEL IN THE SUN.

 

Yep, there actually is a 1985 western comedy with that title, finance. It starred Tab Hunter, Lainie Kazan and Devine.

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A few that come to mind:

 

This Island Earth

 

Oil for the Lamps of China

 

What's the Matter with Helen? Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

 

Midnight Cowboy

 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

 

The Fiend Who Walked the West

 

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

 

The Postman Always Rings Twice

 

Family Plot. (love the pun)

 

Torn Curtain

 

I like the appeal of some one word titles:

 

Trapeze

 

Psycho (noun or adjective?)

 

Footloose

 

Bamboozled

 

Tennessee Williams titles are nearly all "poetic"

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Summer and Smoke

The Rose Tattoo

Suddenly Last Summer

A Streetcar Named Desire

 

 

I better stop! This is fun and the list could just keep going and going and going...

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I agree that DOWN TO THEIR LAST YACHT is a great title and it has long been one of my favorites.

 

These are ones that get my attention:

 

THE LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND (made into a film in 2008, based on Tennessee Williams' play of the same name)

 

YOU'LL LIKE MY MOTHER (a 70s horror film with Patty Duke and Richard Thomas...I think we can guess that mama is not going to be all that nice)

 

THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN (poor lady!) Great title and I didn't know for years after this came out that there had been a 1950's

Patti Page song called "Throw Momma from the Train (A Kiss, A Kiss)". Which made the movie title funnier!

 

BLACK CHRISTMAS (my favorite horror film, the title is a perfect oxymoron)

 

BLACK MAGIC (I remember I reserved the title of this Orson Welles film at my local library years ago...they called when it was in, and I went down to pick it up and instead they gave me a documentary with the same title about some innercity girls who were jumprope contest winners-- either way, it's a good title)

 

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (isn't that a great title!)

 

JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (another superb title)

 

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (one hundred percent cute)

 

WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? (glad it was 'what' and not 'who')

 

FIVE CAME BACK (I love that title, like the title for the TV series 'Lost')

 

BACHELOR MOTHER (speaks for itself)

 

I DREAMED OF AFRICA (not a particularly great movie, but a cool title)

 

and lastly

 

PROOF OF LIFE (with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe-- it sounds like St. Peter is going to validate your parking, I mean, your existence)

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Duck, You Sucker

 

 

I occasionally wonder when I hear or read this alternate English language title for Leone's "A Fistful of Dynamite", if it might have contributed to the poor showing at the box office and being far less remembered than most other Leone westerns, as I always thought in many regards it was as good as any he ever made?

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FLAME AND THE FLESH

 

FLESH AND THE DEVIL

 

THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP

 

THE DEVIL.AND MISS JONES.

 

 

I've been trying to stay away from exploitation films of any kind here (which is why I won't include the Marilyn Chambers epic from the 70s which parodies the last title) as thats a world unto itself titlewise, but I couldn't resist one:

 

FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL

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 I won't include the Marilyn Chambers epic from the 70s which parodies the last title

 

'The Devil in Miss Jones' (1973) did not have Marilyn Chambers in it.

 

Georgina Spelvin was the actress known best for that one.

 

The movie that made Chambers a "star" and for which she's best remembered is 'Behind the Green Door' (1972), which is itself a pretty cool title - especially for a porno.

 

Interestingly, Marilyn Chambers' very first movie was 'The Owl and the Pussycat' with George Segal and Barbra Streisand.

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