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snopes
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The arts and the media are filled with works conceived with different names. Margaret Mitchell thought about calling her novel of the Old South "Tote the Weary Load," "Not in Our Stars" or "Bugles Sang True" before settling on "Gone With the Wind." The editor Jann Wenner originally wanted to call Rolling Stone The Electric Newspaper. The creators of "Monty Python’s Flying Circus" seriously considered "Owl Stretching Time," "The Toad Elevating Moment" and "Bunn, Wackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot" for their brainchild.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/weekinreview/13basic.html?ex=1313121600&en=b7375701ee15eff8&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
The creators of "Monty Python’s Flying Circus" seriously considered "Owl Stretching Time,".
Ah but if the did we would now be reading a piece that said Owl stretching time seriously considered calling themselves monty python's flying circus.
Familiarity breeds acceptance and it would of been a success whatever they called it.

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All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

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Mycroft
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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The rest of the article is also quite interesting
quote:
Mr. Brown believes that the entertainment industry is currently in a naming slump. “Movie titles baffle me now because they’re watered down,” he said. “A title must be different and even crazy. You can’t mistake ‘Spamalot’ for anything else, even if you don’t know what it means. But ‘Bewitched’? Forget about it.”
I am quite confused by this - 'Spamalot' is simply one unimportant line in one song in MP and the Holy Grail; it isn't even delivered by one of the cast. On the other hand 'Bewitched' is based on a well known TV show, so most people would be familiar with it.

The other thing is that the audience id diferent, as is the marketing. Few people would go to a stage musical without at least doing some research, whereas a big movie has a big advertising budget as you have potential daily audience of millions as opposed to a few thousand (admittedly with each audience member paying ten times as much)

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Roger Ebert once answered a question from a reader about the practice of movie studios to replace original titles with more generic ones:

quote:
Q. There is a trend in Hollywood to come up with the blandest title possible. I understand that "Rocket Boys" was the original title for "October Sky," and "Dancing About Architecture" became "Playing By Heart" (worse yet, it could have been "If They Only Knew"). Bonnie Hunt's recent comedy was titled an uninspiring "Return to Me." Don't studios realize that audiences are attracted to exciting titles that reflect the nature of the movie? Even simple titles like "The Abyss" and "L.A. Confidential" are not going to be confused with other movies, unlike the titles "Extreme Measures" or "Maximum Risk"--who is going to remember what those were about? Huh? What is going on here? (Corey Whaley, Edmond OK)

A. Couldn't agree with you more. I'm especially confused by the Basic Fatal Syndrome: "Basic Instinct," "Fatal Attraction," "Fatal Instinct," "Fatal Beauty," "Instinct," etc. Here, on the other hand, are titles no one could confuse: "Being John Malkovich," "Shakespeare in Love," "Mighty Peking Man," "Mission to Mars," "Space Cowboys," "Perfect Storm." The most wrong-headed name change I can think of was when they took the wonderful "Cops Tips Waitress $2 Million" and changed it to "It Could Happen to You." Changing "Rocket Boys" to "October Sky" was almost as dumb. And the forgettable new title "Bring It On" was originally called "Cheer Fever" (although "Cheerleader Fever" would have been better still). By the way, "The Abyss" almost had its title changed because market research showed many people did not know what an abyss was.

I worked on the remake of The In-Laws, and it was shot under the title 'Til Death Do Us Part. There was an effort to not play it up as a remake. By the time we wrapped it was titled The Wedding Party; my crew duffel bag is inscribed with that title, and I saw a trailer for the movie named that as well. Of course, they gave up, eventually just admitted it was a remake and titled it as such.

Clerks 2 was announced as The Passion Of The Clerks. Kevin Smith changed it, I read that his online fans convinced him it would be a lame jokey title. And the comedy Mafia! was originally Jane Austen's Mafia, as there were a ton of Austen adaptations in theatres at the time. It was changed because, if I remember, they figured that the target audience wouldn't know who Jane Austen was.

Max "Serpentine!" Renn

--------------------
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TheLazenby
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Python was also nearly titled "Cynthia Fellatio's Flying Circus"...

At one point, they considered "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus", because they saw that name in a newspaper, and thought it would be funny if someone had their own show and they didn't know it!

What else - well, "Rocky Horror"'s working title was "They Came From Denton High", which Richard O'Brien intended as a drug joke, but then realized that it wouldn't actually make any sense!

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Rest in Peace, Charles Rocket 1949-2005

"On behalf of Gail Matthius and the entire Weekend Update news team, I'm Charles Rocket. Good night, and... watch out."

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Brad from Georgia
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Some that weren't mentioned:

"Apu's Wacky Friends Joy Time" -- "The Simpsons"
"Great Responsibility" -- "Spiderman"
"House to the Head" -- "The Wizard of Oz"
"Honey, I Hung the Munchkin" -- "The Wizard of Oz"
"Royale with Cheese" -- "Pulp Fiction"
"That Dang Shark" -- "Jaws"
"Take Two Aspirins and Die" -- "House"
"Hot Puppet Sex" -- "Avenue Q"
"Steerforth, the Prick" -- "David Copperfield"
"Okie Dokeys" -- "The Grapes of Wrath"
"Southern Discomfort" -- "The Sound and the Fury"

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by TheLazenby:
Python was also nearly titled "Cynthia Fellatio's Flying Circus"...

Not really (nearly titled, that is). They were playing around with loads of suggestions.
quote:

At one point, they considered "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus", because they saw that name in a newspaper, and thought it would be funny if someone had their own show and they didn't know it!

One reason they didn't use it was that the real Gwen Dibley might have been offended.

Some other names that were concidered:
  • 1 2 3
  • It's Them!
  • Arthur Megapode's Flying Circus
  • The Horrible Earnest Megapode
  • The Panic Show
  • The Plastic Mac Show
  • Ow! It's Colin Plint!
  • Vaseline Review
  • Vaseline Parade
  • The Keen Show
  • Brian's Flying Circus
  • The Year of the Stoat
  • Cynthia Fellatio's Flying Circus
  • Owl Stretching Time
  • The Whizzo Easishow! (Guaranteed to last 1/2 hour! Money back if not!)
From: From Kim "Howard" Johnson's Life Before and After Monty Python. (source)

BTW I spent the last weekend reading a book called The Pythons' Autobiography by the Pythons. It's highy recommendable and a must for every pythonite.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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bab5nutz
I Saw Three Shipments


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Anyone heard of the film 'Pacific Flight 121'? It's better known as 'Snakes on a Plane'
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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
Familiarity breeds acceptance and it would of been a success whatever they called it.

I agree with this. Star Trek is a dull, dull title, but it's done alright for itself. On the other end of the spectrum, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind did alright.

The Arctic Monkeys is a stupid name for a band, but people accept it. There were bands in the 90s called "Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine", "Pop Will Eat Itself", "Ned's Atomic Dustbin" and "The New, Fast, Automatic Daffodils". None of those names sounded slightly strange once they were familiar.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Rivkah Chaya
I Saw Three Shipments


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On a related note, is it true that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the American title of the first Harry Potter book, which is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England? The supposed assumption, probably true, was that American children wouldn't know what the philosopher's stone is.
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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Rivkah Chaya:
On a related note, is it true that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the American title of the first Harry Potter book, which is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England? The supposed assumption, probably true, was that American children wouldn't know what the philosopher's stone is.

Yes, that's true. Here's theAmazon page for a British edition of the book.

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Max_Renn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Rivkah Chaya:
On a related note, is it true that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the American title of the first Harry Potter book, which is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England? The supposed assumption, probably true, was that American children wouldn't know what the philosopher's stone is.

Yes, that's true. Here's theAmazon page for a British edition of the book.
It's called "...And The Philosopher's Stone" in Canada as well, as is the movie. I was actually visiting the States when the film was released and saw it down there with the "Sorcerer's Stone" title as my friends were seeing the other version up here. According to the imdb:
quote:
The movie is known as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" everywhere except the USA and so every scene in which the Philosopher's Stone was mentioned was filmed twice, once with the actors saying "Philosopher's" and once with the actors saying "Sorcerer's".
Max "I shouldn't have said that. No more questions, don't ask any more questions!" Renn

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Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My son claims that the next HP will be entitled "Snape's on a Train."

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:

"Okie Dokeys" -- "The Grapes of Wrath"

I thought it was "On the Road with the Joads"???

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Some that weren't mentioned:

"Honey, I Hung the Munchkin" -- "The Wizard of Oz"

[lol]

That "Snape's on a Train" line was funny too.

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Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

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Wicked Tinkerbell
Hock Harold Angel's Bling


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
"Southern Discomfort" -- "The Sound and the Fury"

I thought that was the original title for "Deliverance". [fish]

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"I'm not Irish, I'm Celtic. The difference? Celts cut off your head and put it on their door lintel." --Aimee Evilpixie
"People are bastard-covered bastards with bastard filling."--Scrubs

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Nah, that was "You sure do have pretty lips"

--------------------
Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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quote:
Originally posted by Floater:
quote:
Originally posted by TheLazenby:
...At one point, they considered "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus", because they saw that name in a newspaper, and thought it would be funny if someone had their own show and they didn't know it!

One reason they didn't use it was that the real Gwen Dibley might have been offended.

Some other names that were considered:
  • 1 2 3
  • It's Them!
  • Arthur Megapode's Flying Circus
  • The Horrible Earnest Megapode
  • The Panic Show
  • The Plastic Mac Show
  • Ow! It's Colin Plint!
  • Vaseline Review
  • Vaseline Parade
  • The Keen Show
  • Brian's Flying Circus
  • The Year of the Stoat
  • Cynthia Fellatio's Flying Circus
  • Owl Stretching Time
  • The Whizzo Easishow! (Guaranteed to last 1/2 hour! Money back if not!)

From: From Kim "Howard" Johnson's Life Before and After Monty Python. (source)

BTW I spent the last weekend reading a book called The Pythons' Autobiography by the Pythons. It's highy recommendable and a must for every pythonite.

Personally, "Vaseline Review" and "Vaseline Parade" would've sounded too commercial for the BBC, who, in all likelihood, would have recommended to Monty Python flogging it off to Radio Luxembourg, alongside Horace Batchelor's Infra-Draw Method.

As well, "It's ..." was also considered as a working title; however, the BBC didn't take such an exercise in brevity too kindly.

"Owl-Stretching Time," however, did become the title of one of their first-season episodes.

--------------------
"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

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Izzy Quigley
Jingle Bell Hock


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I had read that Gwen Dibley was the name of a music teacher Michael Palin had as a child, and that was where they got the name. That may just be a UL, though. And knowing the Pythons, they could have offered multiple explanations to confuse people.

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A Viennese fellow is walking along the Karntner Strasse and notices a banana peel lying in his path. "Alas," he sighs, "now I must slip and fall down!"

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atimnie
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:

"Okie Dokeys" -- "The Grapes of Wrath"

I thought it was "On the Road with the Joads"???
You're both wrong, it was the Joad Elevating Moment, as written by M. Python.
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Floater
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by atimnie:
quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:

"Okie Dokeys" -- "The Grapes of Wrath"

I thought it was "On the Road with the Joads"???
You're both wrong, it was the Joad Elevating Moment, as written by M. Python.
Make it the Toad Elevating Moment and I'll believe you.

--------------------
Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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There is also the great titles movie makers didn't use. Can you name these Phillip K Dick movies?
Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

Second Variety.

--------------------
All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
There is also the great titles movie makers didn't use. Can you name these Phillip K Dick movies?
Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

Second Variety.

It was Androids , not Robots.
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lazerus the duck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
There is also the great titles movie makers didn't use. Can you name these Phillip K Dick movies?
Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

Second Variety.

It was Androids , not Robots.
Oops sorry so it was, teaches me to be on here when tired.

--------------------
All the world's a face, And all the men and women merely acne.

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Heck, lazerus, being tired (or incoherent) never stops me [Big Grin]

I got the first two but not the third. But for someone who's not big on sci-fi, I'm surprisingly fond of Philip K Dick. I can't think what the third one is, though.

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