Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Donald Binks

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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostSun Sep 17, 2017 6:45 pm

Brooksie wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:Also odd is the Imdb's habit of listing British films by US release titles that haven't been used in 80 years. Looking for Hitchcock's Young & Innocent? Try searching for The Girl Was Young instead. Hitch's Rich & Strange? Try East of Shanghai instead.


The same is true of a lot of foreign films. Aside from the US release title, you'll often see the American release date used instead of the country of origin's release date. Sometimes these differ by a number of years, and it makes things very confusing.


Aw, come now, next minute you'll be telling me IMDB is biased.
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostMon Sep 18, 2017 9:28 am

Donald Binks wrote:Aw, come now, next minute you'll be telling me IMDB is biased.


It may be biased (U.S.-wise, I assume you mean?) - but's it's Old Blighty based! (At least, as far as origin.)
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Donald Binks

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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostMon Sep 18, 2017 4:10 pm

wich2 wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Aw, come now, next minute you'll be telling me IMDB is biased.


It may be biased (U.S.-wise, I assume you mean?) - but's it's Old Blighty based! (At least, as far as origin.)


I have just found it hard sometimes when looking up films. One would think that it would be a good policy to list films according to their title as released in the country of origin? One is not always aware what you folks in the U.S., have decided to call a picture.
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostSat Sep 30, 2017 7:19 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
wich2 wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Aw, come now, next minute you'll be telling me IMDB is biased.


It may be biased (U.S.-wise, I assume you mean?) - but's it's Old Blighty based! (At least, as far as origin.)


I have just found it hard sometimes when looking up films. One would think that it would be a good policy to list films according to their title as released in the country of origin? One is not always aware what you folks in the U.S., have decided to call a picture.


Actually, they used to do just that, but in recent years they've defaulted to English, at least for those films that played in North America and the UK. I assume this was done because of user complaints. Interestingly, though, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH is still defaulting to STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, even though that title was abandoned in the mid-90s.

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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostFri Jun 08, 2018 1:04 pm

A decent restoration release :

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm

Look how well align is the technicolor strips for the new edition, oposed to the earlier blu ray version. A solid sharp image. Nearly as good as Warner Ultra Resolution process.
Keep thinking...

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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostFri Jun 08, 2018 2:04 pm

ajabrams wrote:
bobfells wrote:I think the original question asked about changing the title of a film, rather than repeating the same title on a different film, be it a remake or not. In this sense, I can think of few films that were retitled for television because of a later film, regardless of whether it was a remake.

ROSE-MARIE (1936) became INDIAN LOVE CALL due to the 1954 remake
KID GALAHAD (1937) became BATTLING BELLHOP due to the 1962 Elvis Presley remake
Reissue prints of LOST HORIZON (1937) note on the main title card that it was formerly LOST HORIZON OF SHANGRA-LA
THE NORTH STAR (1943) became ARMORED ATTACK possibly because of the multiple recycling of the title.
IN OLD OKLAHOMA (1943) became WAR OF THE WILDCATS - John Wayne
A MAN BETRAYED (1941) became WHEEL OF FORTUNE - another John Wayne
TWO AGAINST THE WORLD (1936) became THE FATAL HOUR - Bogart


One of the strangest incidents of this happening was the retitling of the 1930 version of NEW MOON to PARISIAN BELLE.
The 1930 version had changed the locale of the original stage version of the Romberg operetta to Tsarist Russia and has absolutely no reference to Paris or to anyone from there. Someone must have assumed that the earlier version had the same plot as the 1940 version which relates the exploits of the Parisian aristocrat Marianne when travelling to New Orleans (and of course, finding romance.)


At least when NEW MOON (1930) was shown in London fifty years later, the original title cards were present and correct. The renaming of 1930's THE DAWN PATROL to FLIGHT COMMANDER for TV resulted in the loss of the original cards...
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostFri Jun 08, 2018 3:34 pm

I tell people two of my favorite comedies ARE "Monkey Business."


Two of mine are The Freshman.

I'm bugged that there's a new Serenity coming though.

If you really want to see multiple versions of the same title (not counting the same story being repeatedly filmed, a la The Three Musketeers), find a fairly generic term that suits a lot of plots. I count 39 movies (not counting TV episodes) for The Challenge. Can you think of a title that beats that?
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostSat Jun 09, 2018 11:13 am

Lostintime beat me to the punch with Forbidden Alliance as the TV title of Barretts of Wimpole Street. Forbidden Alliance!!! What, are you kidding?? Sounds like it should be the title of a McGraw Hill high school social studies film on the Hitler-Stalin pact. "Honey, let's stay in tonight, there's a great romantic film on the Late Show...Forbidden Alliance." (For some reason I always think of it as Forbidden Appliance and imagine Norma trying to brew tea in a defective teapot.)
I love that not only were there two films called Harlow in '65, but one starred Carroll Baker and one starred Carol Lynley. How's that for a mental challenge? (Luckily, there's no need to tell them apart, as both are twaddle.)
Then -- hope no one else posted this yet -- there was a Bowery Boys film called High Society, released in '55 when the "boys" looked like middle-aged shoe salesmen. It got nominated for a screenplay Oscar because at the time of the nominations the '56 High Society -- with Grace Kelly, who I believe never did a Bowery Boys picture -- maybe someone can correct me on that -- was in release. The Bowery Boys screenwriters got the Academy out of the predicament by petitioning to have their nomination rescinded.
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostSat Jun 09, 2018 3:48 pm

In the UK B westerns were not as popular as they were in USA so many titles were changed (particularly by Columbia) to disguise the genre. A few examples: "Prairie Schooners" became "Through the Storm"; "Pioneers of the Frontier" - "The Anchor"; "Man from Tumbleweeds" - "False Evidence"; "Wyoming Hurricane" -"Proved Guilty"; "Quick on the Trigger" - "Condemned in Error". For some reason Gene Autry's "Cow Town" was changed to "Barbed Wire" for the UK but two years later he starred in "Barbed Wire" so this was changed to "False News."
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostSun Jun 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Dave Pitts wrote:Then -- hope no one else posted this yet -- there was a Bowery Boys film called High Society, released in '55 when the "boys" looked like middle-aged shoe salesmen. It got nominated for a screenplay Oscar because at the time of the nominations the '56 High Society -- with Grace Kelly, who I believe never did a Bowery Boys picture -- maybe someone can correct me on that -- was in release. The Bowery Boys screenwriters got the Academy out of the predicament by petitioning to have their nomination rescinded.


Your story is essentially correct, although the award was for best story rather than best screenplay. A number of years ago, I had become friends with Elwood Ullman, one of the two authors of the story for High Society (1955). I liked Elwood immensely, but one would never have guessed by his somber demeanor, that he had been a comedy writer who wrote for some of the most ruckus comedians who ever set foot in front of a camera. Besides Charlie Chase, The Three Stooges and Abbott & Costello, he also wrote for Andy Clyde, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Martin & Lewis and, obviously, The Bowery Boys. Elwood had a good friend named Edward Bernds, who I met on many occasions and we also became good friends. Bernds was a sound man at Columbia, who worked his way up to writing and directing two reel comedies in their short subject department. Eventually Bernds was promoted to B-features. Many times, he was directing scripts that he had written in collaboration with Elwood. Bernds explained to me that he and Elwood received communiques from The Motion Picture Academy of Art and Sciences, congratulating them for being nominated for Best Writing of the Motion Picture Story, High Society. Immediately they knew a mistake had been made. The Academy had somehow confused the 1956 M-G-M musical High Society starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, with the film Ed and Elwood had written, the 1955 Allied Artists B-comedy High Society starring The Bowery Boys. Ed told Elwood, "We have to correct this right away. If we don't, we might just win... and then there's really going to be trouble." Ed wrote the Academy and explained. He heard back from the Academy immediately and they were very grateful that Ed and Elwood set the matter straight. Several weeks later, Ed and Elwood received very large packages from the Academy in the mail. The note inside the packages informed them that whenever a person is nominated for an Oscar, they receive a plaque acknowledging the nomination. The Academy had made the plaques prior to the situation being rectified, so they decided to give them to Ed and Elwood as the Academy had no use for them. I'm not sure about Elwood, but Ed kept his proudly on display in his den/home office the rest of his life. I've seen it there and I assure you that it was very ornate and impressive. Ed told me that most of his visitors who came to see him would often comment and ask about it. "Sometimes I tell them the story," he said, but then with a twinkle in his eye he added, "Sometimes I don't."
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostMon Jun 11, 2018 9:28 am

Spiny Norman wrote:I wonder what the most used title could be. There seem to be 59 exact title matches for "Dracula", but that includes TV episodes and alternative titles.
Apparently "The kiss" is also a good contender.


Original titles can sometimes overlap. If you throw AKA titles into that, it can open it up quite a bit. I've noticed that quite a few shorter US titles were reused (simultaniously??), as either original or AKA title, in some Pac-Rim countries during the same year. No connections of course.
Last edited by MoviecollectorOH on Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostMon Jun 11, 2018 9:33 am

CoffeeDan wrote:FREE AND EASY (1930) became EASY GO on TV.

The 1931 THE MALTESE FALCON became DANGEROUS FEMALE. I still have a tape of a TCM showing with this title, and it was listed under that title in the old UA16 rental catalog. Warner Home Video restored the original opening title sequence when it was released as part of its 3-disc MALTESE FALCON set.

THE DAWN PATROL (1930) was retitled FLIGHT COMMANDER for TV, which was the original title of the John Monk Saunders story it was based on. Again, the original title was restored when it was remastered for the Warner Archive Collection.


I couldn't help notice this one too, if only because the release year for Flight Commander being 1956. There was also a Dawn Patrol (1938), which may have been a factor.
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Re: Are Movie Titles...Entitled? (Why Do Film Titles Change?

PostMon Jun 11, 2018 9:44 am

CoffeeDan wrote:FREE AND EASY (1930) became EASY GO on TV.

The 1931 THE MALTESE FALCON became DANGEROUS FEMALE. I still have a tape of a TCM showing with this title, and it was listed under that title in the old UA16 rental catalog. Warner Home Video restored the original opening title sequence when it was released as part of its 3-disc MALTESE FALCON set.

THE DAWN PATROL (1930) was retitled FLIGHT COMMANDER for TV, which was the original title of the John Monk Saunders story it was based on. Again, the original title was restored when it was remastered for the Warner Archive Collection.


I have put together a multi-source database which detects overlaping use of AKA titles to name the same film. That is largely because of cases like this where there was the tendency to alternate between titles over the years.

On the other hand it also detects and alerts me to one-to-many relationships such as "High Society". :lol:
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