Working Titles

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Working titles are the palimpsests of the movie world. No, that’s wrong. Working titles are the vestigial tails of the cinematic universe. They are the discarded pennies in the wishing-fountain of our collective dreams and aspirations, gathered up by covetous hobos into their sticky little pouches that they might one day redeem them for a delicious can of discount special brew. They are the exiled princes of IMDB: never mentioned, except when they are mentioned. They are dead stars, still twinkling at us from the sarcophagous of time. Are they? I don’t know. Someone find out for me. Anyway, here are some working titles that never made the grade:

Turner and Hooch = Floppy Dog and the Policeman

Withnail and I = Withnail and Ian

The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button = Jammy Button!

The Towering Inferno = The Infernoing Tower

Idiocracy = Stoopid Footure

Gremlins = Boglins

Deep Throat = I’d Prefer a Lozenge

Sex and the City: the movie = Retinal Bleach

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3 Responses to “Working Titles”

  1. Banjo Fett Says:

    Also:

    Last Tango in Paris = Butter My Love

    Back to the Future = How I Nearly Did My Mom

    The Neverending Story = The Story Without End

    The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter = The Story Without End, Part II

    The Neverending Story III: The Escape From Fantasia = The End of the Story Without End

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    Hmm. I heard that the original title of Last Tango in Paris was ‘I can’t believe it’s not KY jelly’. Then again, Bertolluci always liked his working titles like he liked his Siberian love dwarves, i.e. two on the go at any given moment.

    As your working title highlights, it is pretty disturbing, considering Back to the Future is a whimsical light-hearted nostalgia piece, that J. Fox gets off with his own mother. Still, it was a more innocent time back then.

  3. Banjo Fett Says:

    You may be right JLB, sources offer conflicting versions of events.

    For instance, the original script for Last Tango has Brando’s character reach for a tub of Stork, but legend has it Maria Schneider objected to being drenched in hydrogenated fats and clambered all over by a fat mumbly bloke. Can’t say I blame her.

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