IMDb Polls

Poll: Run Off Poll: The Best Film Titles Part II

Excellent prose sometimes seems to be a dying art. The film industry, at times, does its part to revive it with great screen plays and, every so often, with exquisite titles from various sources, including novels, poems, and songs. The titles below serve as oases in a desert of the vague and recycled stamp-ons like Deceived and Shattered. Consider the sound and substance of the words below and, instead of voting for your favorite movie, vote for the title you think has the most pleasing language.

This is Part II of a Run-Off Poll and includes movies after 1975. Part I included films before 1975; vote on that poll here:

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)

    Ain't Them Bodies Saints: According to Casey Affleck, the title is the director David Lowery's misquotation of lyrics from a song.
  2. Vote!

    Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

    Beasts of the Southern Wild: The title was, presumably, written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, who wrote the screenplay, which was based on a play with the unfortunate title of Juicy and Delicious.
  3. Vote!

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: From the novel, by Deborah Moggach, of the same name.
  4. Vote!

    The Cider House Rules (1999)

    The Cider House Rules: From John Irving's novel of the same name.
  5. Vote!

    The Crying Game (1992)

    The Crying Game: Filmmaker Neil Jordan originally intended to title the film The Soldier's Wife, but his friend Stanley Kubrick recommended changing it because he believed that films with religious or military titles often deter audiences. Jordan had experienced this with his movies The Miracle (1991) and We're No Angels (1989), which did poorly at the box office, so he took the new title from a 1960s British pop song, written by Geoff Stephens. Three different versions of the song appear on the soundtrack.
  6. Vote!

    Do the Right Thing (1989)

    Do the Right Thing: Spike Lee chose the title from a Malcolm X quotation, "You've got to do the right thing." Titles in the declarative are very rare.
  7. Vote!

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: The title was taken from the following passage of the Alexander Pope poem, "Eloisa to Abelard:" How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot. / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd."
  8. Vote!

    The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

    The Fault in Our Stars: From the book, of the same name, by John Green.
  9. Vote!

    Hideous Kinky (1998)

    Hideous Kinky: From Esther Freud's book of the same name. The two little girls, in both the book and film, remember their mother's friend repeatedly using two words: "hideous" and "kinky." The combined words soon become an all-purpose epithet: For example, when the girls play a game of "tag," the sisters, rather than exclaiming "Tag, you're it," shout "Hideous Kinky" instead.
  10. Vote!

    The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

    The Hudsucker Proxy: Most likely from the script writers, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, and Sam Raimi. Hudsucker is the name of the fictional company at the center of the film.
  11. Vote!

    If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise (2010)

    If God is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise: The title is from a Southern folk saying. Although this is listed as a TV series, it's on this list because it was made as one complete film. Because it was long for a documentary, HBO aired it as two installments.
  12. Vote!

    Inglourious Basterds (2009)

    Inglourious Basterds: Even though this film is not a remake of the 1978 movie, the title is one way Quentin Tarantino payed homage to Enzo G. Castellari's The Inglorious Bastards. Tarantino has said he'll never explain the misspelling beyond that it was an artistic flourish.
  13. Vote!

    The Island on Bird Street (1997)

    The Island on Bird Steet: From the 1981 semi-autobiographical children's book by Israeli author Uri Orlev, which tells the story of a young boy, alone in a ghetto during World War II, struggling to survive. He finds refuge in a bombed out building on a street called Ptasia, translated to Bird Street. The author received the 1996 Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature.
  14. Vote!

    Kill Your Darlings (2013)

    Kill Your Darlings: A phrase commonly used in writing circles and workshops, it has been attributed to many famous authors, including Allen Ginsberg, a character in the film, but the earliest use of the phrase was traced to the little-known Arthur Quiller-Couch. The phrase is used as artistic advice to not be too precious about one's writing and to be especially critical of self-indulgent passages. Although the movie is about literary hopefuls in a writing program, the title mainly refers to a different aspect of the story.
  15. Vote!

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Uncommon syntax for an uncommon film, written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. According to information on IMDb, "In Wes Anderson's earlier film, Rushmore (1998), there is a shot of Max Fisher on his go-kart which is a direct homage to a Jacques Henri Lartigue photograph. The man in this photo, as well as others taken by Lartigue is named Zissou."
  16. Vote!

    The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)

    The Milagro Beanfield War: From the book, by John Nichols, of the same name.
  17. Vote!

    No Country for Old Men (2007)

    No Country for Old Men: The film is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.
  18. Vote!

    The Opposite of Sex (1997)

    The Opposite of Sex: The film, and presumably the title, was written by Don Roos.
  19. Vote!

    A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

    A Prairie Home Companion: Garrison Keillor wrote the screenplay, which is based on his famous radio show, started in 1974 and aired on public radio, of the same name.
  20. Vote!

    Reservoir Dogs (1992)

    Reservoir Dogs: According to IMDb, "The title for the film came to Quentin Tarantino via a patron at the now-famous Video Archives. While working there, Tarantino would often recommend little-known titles to customers, and when he suggested Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987), the patron mockingly replied, 'I don't want to see no reservoir dogs!' The title is never spoken in the film, however."
  21. Vote!

    Salaam Bombay! (1988)

    Salaam Bombay!: The film, primarily written by Mira Nair and Sooni Taraporevala, has as its title a phrase that translates, roughly, into "Greetings, Bombay!" Salaam can also mean, "peace," but still as a means of salutation. Bombay is another name for the city of Mumbai. This little-known film won several awards, including two from Cannes, as well as the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and is considered by the New York Times as one of the best 1,000 movies of all time.
  22. Vote!

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape: According to IMDb, Steven Soderbergh, who wrote and directed the film, "gave the producers a list of possible film titles, including 46:02, Retinal Retention, Charged Coupling Device, Mode: Visual, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and Hidden Agendas. Soderberg favored 46:02 (the supposed running time of the tape Ann makes for Graham; the running time appears in the script but not in the final film), but the producers chose "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" immediately. In a Q&A session after a screening in 1989, one audience member advised Soderbergh that he would have to change the title, which he considered terrible."
  23. Vote!

    The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    The Silence of the Lambs: From the Thomas Harris novel, which is the second book in his series that revolve around the character of Hannibal Lecter.
  24. Vote!

    Something the Lord Made (2004)

    Something the Lord Made: In the film, Dr. Blalock feels an incision made by his brilliant lab technician, Vivien Thomas, and, amazed by the work, says it is "like something the Lord made." The film is based on the true story of Dr. Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas, an African American who had to battle racism and the lack of a formal medical education. Blalock and Thomas revolutionized medicine, especially cardiac surgery.
  25. Vote!

    Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

    Sweet and Lowdown: The writer and director, Woody Allen, took the title from the song "Sweet and Low-Down," by George Gershwin, which is on the soundtrack of Allen's Manhattan.

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