The road looks rough for the new film A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Not because its star is the mercurial Charlie Sheen, but because the title is too long to fit on your average theater marquee. These days, short titles are in. Liam Neeson movies are hits, and it’s probably not a coincidence that you can bark out the names of several recent ones (“Taken!” “Unknown!” “The Grey!” “Taken 2!”) faster than the Irish bruiser can snap a thug’s neck.
Conversely, it’s likely that no small amount of fan frustration with Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and the other Star Wars prequels emanated from the fact that their triple-decker titles were long enough to need a colon and a dash. For marketing reasons alone, you’d think movie studios would go with short and sweet rather than long and hard to remember, but sometimes filmmakers apparently insist that you need the full eight or 10 or 15 words for maximum comic or dramatic impact.
So perhaps we should hail Roman Coppola for getting a movie released in 2013 that will tax the thumbs of texters and Tweeters. After all, he’s in good company, as the following list of movies with marquee-straining titles suggests.