IMDb Polls

Poll: Run-Off: The Best Film Titles Part I

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.' Enjoy the sound and substance of the words below and, instead of voting for your favorite movie, vote for your favorite title.

This is Part I of a Run-Off Poll. Vote in Part II here. Vote in the Run-Off Final here.

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

    Breakfast at Tiffany's: From the novel, by Truman Capote, of the same name.
  2. Vote!

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: From the play by Tennessee Williams.
  3. Vote!

    A Clockwork Orange (1971)

    A Clockwork Orange: From the novella, by Anthony Burgess, of the same name. Some sources state Burgess has given three explanations of the title, but according to The New Yorker, "The writer first heard the expression 'as queer as a clockwork orange' in a London pub before the Second World War. It’s an old Cockney slang phrase, implying a queerness or madness so extreme as to subvert nature."
  4. Vote!

    A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972)

    A Day in the Death of Joe Egg: From the play, of the same name, by Peter Nichols.
  5. Vote!

    Double Indemnity (1944)

    Double Indemnity: Double indemnity refers to a clause in a life insurance policy whereby the insurance company agrees to pay double the amount in the contract in cases of death by accidental means. "Accidental means" also includes murder by a person other than, and not conspiring with, the beneficiary of the insurance policy. Besides the great alliteration, the title does "double" duty regarding content because of the main characters' duplicity. The film was most likely given the title by novelist Raymond Chandler or director Billy Wilder, who together adapted, for the screen, material from a James M. Cain novella of a different name.
  6. Vote!

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Supposedly, Stanley Kubrick considered several other titles, including Dr. Doomsday or: How to Start World War III Without Even Trying, Dr. Strangelove's Secret Uses of Uranus, and Wonderful Bomb.
  7. Vote!

    The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)

    The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds: From the Pulitzer-winning play by Paul Zindel, in which the young heroine's science project is on the effect of gamma rays on man-in-the-moon marigold seeds. The resulting seedlings seem to mirror her complicated family.
  8. Vote!

    The Egg and I (1947)

    The Egg and I: From the novel by Betty MacDonald.
  9. Vote!

    The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

    The Grapes of Wrath: From the novel by John Steinbeck. The title, suggested by the author's wife, Carole Steinbeck, references lyrics from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored..."
  10. Vote!

    I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968)

    I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!: Alice B. Toklas, a writer and life partner of Gertrude Stein, published recipes along with recollections in her memoir. Among the recipes is one for marijuana brownies, which play a significant role in this Peter Sellers' film, written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker, and directed by Hy Averback.
  11. Vote!

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: From the short story, by Dorothy Johnson, of the same name.
  12. Vote!

    Of Human Bondage (1934)

    Of Human Bondage: From the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, who had originally considered titles such as Beauty from Ashes but finally decided on a phrase taken from a section of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza's magnum opus, Ethics.
  13. Vote!

    The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

    The Ox-Bow Incident: From the novel, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, of the same name.
  14. Vote!

    Paper Moon (1973)

    Paper Moon: As IMDb member, cocoken, explains, "Director Peter Bogdanovich was looking for authentic music from the period to use in his film and when he stumbled across the song "It's Only a Paper Moon" he loved both the song and the title so much that he decided to put the song in the film just so he could use the title."
  15. Vote!

    A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

    A Raisin in the Sun: The playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, used, for the title of the play on which the film is based, a phrase from the poem, "Harlem," sometimes known as "A Dream Deferred," by Langston Hughes.
  16. Vote!

    A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

    A Streetcar Named Desire: From the play, by Tennesse Williams, of the same name.
  17. Vote!

    To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

    To Kill a Mockingbird: From the novel, by Harper Lee, on which the film is based.
  18. Vote!

    To Sir, with Love (1967)

    To Sir, with Love: From the autobiographical novel by E. R. Braithwaite.
  19. Vote!

    The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    The Wizard of Oz: Adapted from the novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum.

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