The Godfather – You cannot beat that for sparking feelings of authority, tradition, family, masculinity… It conveys the movie.
Incredibly though, bad titles are no stranger to good movies. What is worse – due to the love for the movies themselves, some of these titles have drifted into the public psyche as if they were always great.
This is remarkably topical – Tom Cruise flick Edge of Tomorrow has been released on DVD with a NEW title: Live, Die, Repeat. It’s not much of an improvement for a film that isn’t half-bad. It got me thinking…
All of the following movies are beautiful, but their titles are absolute stinkers…
1/8: The Dark Knight Rises
The first in Christopher Nolan’s masterful Batman trilogy was Batman Begins. He avoided the obvious choice of calling the next one Batman Continues, instead opting for The Dark Knight. But then for the third, he reverts on his previous position and attempts a sequel-y title with The Dark Knight Rises. Not only is this confusing logic, but the title itself is now impossible to shorten without causing confusion between this instalment and the second.
Quantum of Solace didn’t seem to teach MGM any lessons in bad movie titling. Skyfall is a word that carries too much of a fantasy/sci-fi feel for a Daniel Craig Bond Film, especially when it ends up being the bizarre name for his childhood starship. Sorry – childhood home.
A movie about the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. JUST CALL IT MOZART! Then everyone will understand the content of the film rather than when it’s cryptically titled it by his middle name. At least call it Wolfgang, for heaven’s sake.
4/8: Martha Marcy May Marlene
This gripping slow-burn movie didn’t help its chances of exposure when it paired a melancholic trailer with a baffling title. It’s hard to remember the order, hard to remember if it’s Marcy or Marcey and it’s hard to say to your friends without feeling like you’re getting a reputation for a stammerer…
5/8: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Arguable, considering it was the title of the book from which the movie was adapted. However as we have seen with other adaptations, they were within their rights to change it. But they opted to keep this absolute mouthful which means nothing to anyone who doesn’t know the original nursery rhyme. Yes – it’s from a nursery rhyme.
6/8: The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Speaking of mouthfuls, here is the king of mouthfuls. Even just typing it was a chore. This title was created using the compendium ‘How to take a Brad Pitt movie and make it un-marketable’, from chapter 1, page 1. Why not just stop at James? Why not just stop at Assassination? Why not just call it Jesse James? Why not ditch the whole idea and be a bit more creative?
7/8: The Intouchables
A.K.A. Intouchables, A.K.A The Untouchables, depending on translation. This fuzzy-warm French frolic gives a masterclass in mis-advertisation. The title sounds ominously similar (or is exactly the same) to gangster flick The Untouchables, and doesn’t give you any clue as to the heart-warming class-divide narrative.
8/8: The Shawshank Redemption
It is, in some ways, still the daddy of the bad title. Yes, it is also the daddy of movies in general (according to IMDB anyway…), but The Shawshank Redemption ticks off most of the ‘bad title’ boxes in just three words; hard to spell, hard to say, hard to figure what the movie is actually about.
Can you think of any more? Let us know via @MovieMasticator!
Want more lists? Click here for 9 Classic Movie Couples doing #MyLoveLifeIn3Words!
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