What makes a good original movie title? It should be evocative, but it shouldn’t promise more than the film can deliver. (For instance, Snakes on a Plane, a title so awesome that the movie couldn’t live up to it.) Kill Bill (pictured) has a good title; it’s blunt, tells you what you need to know, and yet it actually undersells the movie, which turns out to be about so much more than the Bride’s quest for revenge. On the other hand, Reservoir Dogs is not a good title; not only does it tell you nothing, but it has no apparent connection to what’s on screen.
What got me thinking about this topic was Spout’s list of the 10 Best Movie Titles of the Last 10 Years. (Which, in turn, was inspired by EW’s own list of fall 2008 Movies with Misleading Titles.) I’m not sure I agree with much of what’s on their list, but I thought it would be fun for us here at PopWatch to come up with a list of the Best Movie Titles Ever. Some ground rules: Titles that already existed (say, in movies adapted from books, plays, or TV shows) don’t count. It has to be a title that was thought up for the movie. Also disqualified: Any movie that borrows its title from a pop song. Except for Pretty in Pink (which pretty much started the trend), no movie that takes its title from a song has ever been any good.
That said, have at it. If your favorite original movie title is Star Wars or Head or The Killing of a Chinese Bookie or Rebel Without a Cause, let us know. And if you have any suggested rules for what makes a good title (or a bad one), feel free to include them.