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Top 10 Ridiculous Alternate Titles for Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Noah Levy Could you imagine seeing some of these questionable titles on your list of favorite films? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ridiculous Alternate Titles for Movies. For this list, we're looking at movies that had interesting or outlandish titles during filming or development. Special thanks to our user Barrow_Clement99 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Noah Levy

Top 10 Alternate Titles For Movies


Could you imagine seeing some of these questionable titles on your list of favorite films? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 ridiculous alternate titles for movies.

For this list, we’re looking at movies that had interesting or outlandish titles during filming or development. We’re not taking into account purposely used codenames to throw off rabid fans though.

#10: “Obsessed” (2009)
aka “Oh No She Didn’t”

Starting off the list is a big dose of sass. During production, this now mostly forgotten Beyoncé vehicle bore a name that sounded like a line of dialogue, and didn’t do much to represent what the movie was actually about. It’s not hard to see why this didn’t end up as the actual title, as it doesn’t gel with the stalker and thriller atmosphere of the film, and sounds more like it belongs to a comedy. Alas, we probably missed out on a wonderful publicity tour where Idris Elba would’ve had to repeat the title infinite times. And there is nothing wrong with that.

#9: “Not Another Teen Movie” (2001)

aka “Ten Things I Hate About Clueless Road Trips When I Can’t Hardly Wait to Be Kissed”
There’s a fine, fine line between parody and trying too hard, and this sixteen-word title for the 2001 parody of the teen comedy genre falls into the latter category. While the mash-up of at least five separate movie titles fits the spoofy nature of the film, it doesn’t really compare to the feeling of exhaustion and tiredness that the eventual release title gives off. Despite this, the working name proved to be prophetic, as future genre parody films would use the mash-up title idea, like “The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It”, and “30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Wow, parodies ARE exhausting.

#8: “Hancock” (2008)
aka “Tonight, He Comes”

Now, here’s an innuendo fitting of the title character. Indeed, Will Smith’s boozy, reluctant superhero would probably get a kick out of his own film sounding more like a porn parody than a mainstream Hollywood release. So it’s probably a good thing John Hancock wasn’t making creative decisions on his own movie, then. When director Peter Berg became attached to the project in 2006, the name was changed to the less questionable “Hancock,” avoiding a probable conflict with the MPAA. A conflict did come later when they had to recut the film in order to secure a PG-13 rating, however. Hey, you can’t win them all.

#7: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974)
aka “Headcheese”

Here, we have an example of pure bluntness versus… actually, we have no idea what would possess anyone to name their movie after a European cold cut. But then again, in the weird, unregulated days of 1970s exploitation cinema, a movie with that title probably wouldn’t be that out of place. Ultimately though, Tobe Hooper chose to rename his future classic around the main events of the film, placing it into pop legend. Asfor headcheese? Well, it remains a staple of European meals, thankfully unsullied by the gruesome exploits of Leatherface and friends.

#6: “Alien” (1979)
aka “Star Beast”

There’s something inherently threatening about a word as broad and nonspecific as “Alien” being used as a title. It goes along with the mysterious, terrifying nature of the title character, as you really never know what to expect with it. But Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror classic could’ve had an element of camp attached to it. Could you ever get behind the idea of calling the now legendary Xenomorph, the sleek, cold, calculating extraterrestrial antagonist of the film, the “Star Beast”? Screenwriters changed the title when they noticed how many times the word “Alien” was used in the script and that was clearly a good call.

#5: “Friday the 13th” (1980)
aka “A Long Night at Camp Blood”

Both of these titles are intimidating in different ways. While the working title generates dread almost immediately, it's also a bit too literal and risks robbing the movie of some of the suspense. Still, it sort of pales in comparison to naming your movie after a day whose very existence is based around superstition and bad luck. In fact, director Sean S. Cunningham believed in the eventual title so much that he took out a full-page ad in Variety magazine before the script, which bore the original title, was even finished. If he hadn’t, maybe we wouldn’t be associating the number 13 with hockey masks and machetes today.

#4: “Casablanca” (1942)
aka “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”

In 1940, writers Murray Burnett and Joan Alison wrote a play about Burnett’s experiences in early World War II-era Europe. It was about Rick Blaine, the owner of the Cafe Americain in Morocco, who helps refugees and resistance fighters in the battle against the Nazis. The play went unproduced, but Burnett and Alison were able to sell it to Warner Bros. for a then record $20,000. Warner then changed things like character names and nationalities, and, perhaps most importantly, the title. Thus, “Casablanca” was thrust into the pop culture lexicon, forever tied with the war, film noir, and one of the greatest cinematic love stories of all time.

#3: “Saturday Night Fever” (1977)
aka “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night”

Believe it or not, this working title wasn’t something spouted by a coked up sociologist. The 70s pop culture landmark was actually based off a New York Magazine article that shared that mouthful of a title, which was originally thought to be a fact-based story, but later revealed to be a work of fiction. We’re assuming it was changed because Paramount didn’t want people to associate John Travolta dancing to the Bee Gees with what sounded like some kind of cult initiation ritual. But taking into account the debauchery that happens in the movie… maybe it wasn't that far off.


#2: “Annie Hall” (1977)
aka “It Had to Be Jew”

Yeah, this sounds like it’s right up Woody Allen’s alley. The 1977 Best Picture winner actually had a couple of working titles, all of which were considered unmarketable by United Artists. Despite that, we think this pun of a title fits right in with the film’s neurotic, offbeat, and certainly Jewish culture-influenced take on Alvy Singer and Annie Hall’s romance. Ultimately not wanting to face potential controversy, Allen settled on naming the film after Diane Keaton’s character, thus robbing Hollywood of the greatest pun it’ll probably ever come across.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a couple honorable mentions:
“Halloween” (1978)
aka “The Babysitter Murders”
“Basic Instinct” (1992)
aka “Love Hurts”
“Pretty Woman” (1990)
aka “$3,000”
“Cop Out” (2010)
aka “A Couple of Dicks”
“House of Wax” (2005)
aka “Wax House, Baby”

#1: “Scream” (1996)
aka “Scary Movie”

It doesn’t get much more meta than this, horror fans. In 1996, Wes Craven set out to ridicule the genre he helped legitimize with a slasher film that satirized and criticized all its tired conventions and clichés. And what better way to title a takedown of the slasher genre than with a comically broad name? Craven’s film bore the moniker of “Scary Movie” right up until the end of filming, when studio heads changed it because they felt it did not completely convey all the elements of the film. Incredibly, this wasn’t the end of the story, as a parody of “Scream” (as well as a bunch of other films) was released four years later titled – wait for it – “Scary Movie.” Hollywood is truly a magical place.

Do you agree with our list? What weird movie working titles do you think should be on here? For more aptly titled top tens published every day go, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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