Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Art of Movie Titles

posted by Nell Minow

Salon has a fascinating interview with Matthew Cohen, an expert in movie titles.
Four letters can tell you everything you need to know: “Jaws”
Some other memorable one-word titles: “Titanic,” “Grease,” “Fargo,” “Elf,” “Blow,” “Amadeus,” “Goldfinger”
Some movie titles use what we already know to capture our attention: “Pretty Woman,” “‘
Some titles explain what we’re going to see: “The King and I,” “The Great Train Robbery,” “I Was a Male War Bride”
Some have to be explained: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Some we have to figure out for ourselves: “Gone With the Wind,” “Chariots of Fire”
Some don’t seem to mean anything at all, or maybe everything: Anthony Hopkins has starred in “Fracture,” “Instinct,” and “The Edge” any of which could apply equally well to the other two.
And be sure to check out this hilarious article in Slate about what happens to American movie titles when they get translated overseas.

  • Alicia

    I read that Salon interview, and I thought Cohen had an interesting take on movies with very generic names like “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “As Good As It Gets.” I’ve always thought those were terrible titles because they don’t tell anything about what the movie is about.
    They are sort of “noncommittal.” But on the other hand, great movies like “Casablanca” and “Gone with the Wind” don’t really have such great titles, just great memories and associations which make the titles seem unique.

Previous Posts

Pixar's New Short is Really Special: Sanjay's Super Team
The best part of "The Good Dinosaur" is the short film that comes before, "Sanjay's Super Team." The Pixar short films are gems but this one is really special. It is the first to feature non-white characters, the first to be based on the life ...

posted 2:30:49pm Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Movie Addict Headquarters: Holiday Season Movie Releases 2015
Thanks as always to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me on the Movie Addict Headquarters podcast to talk about what we're looking forward to in theatrical releases and DVDs through the end of this year. [iframe width="400" height="370" ...

posted 8:28:26am Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Thanksgiving Song -- Mary Chapin Carpenter
[youtube][/youtube] What a gift to take this moment to consider our blessings and how we can do more for others. ...

posted 7:00:06am Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer for the New Captain America Movie -- Coming May 2016
It's called "Captain America: Civil War" and I can't wait! [iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 6:41:48am Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Independent Spirit Nominees 2015
The Spirit Awards are like the Oscars for independent films. Some of them have big stars and some are distributed by big studios. Some are made by first-time filmmakers on budgets that would barely pay for one day's catering fees on a studio ...

posted 7:49:50pm Nov. 24, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.