Today, few people remember Peter George’s novel Red Alert, but everyone knows the windy-titled movie Stanley Kubrick made from it. (George co-wrote the screenplay with Kubrick and Terry Southern.) It’s a bizarre title if you think about it. Even though Peter Sellers plays three roles, there’s no protagonist in this satirical ensemble picture, so who’s the “I”? Certainly not Strangelove, whose eerie poise, lugubrious German accent, and brutally pragmatic realpolitik suggested Henry Kissinger before anyone had ever heard of him, He seems never to have endured a moment of worry or lack of love for the bomb. At any rate, the title didn’t stop the nuclear satire from becoming a modern classic, perhaps because the character’s name offered an easy, short version. That’s a good lesson; think how hard it would have been for 2006 movie with the subtitle Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to become a smash if we couldn’t all shorten it to Borat.
Movies with Long Titles
- Glut’s in a Name
- Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx
- The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
- Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
- The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?
- Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
- Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet, and I’m Feeling So Sad
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)