Nine One-Letter Movie Titles

Fritz Lang’s M

In honor of Oliver Stone's dramatization of the life of George W. Bush, entitled W., I bring to you pretty much all the notable theatrical features that dared to use just one letter for their titles.

  1. W., Oliver Stone, 2008. The aforementioned Bushography. Purists who quibble about that extra "." in the title will note that there was a 1974 film called simply W, and it starred Twiggy and The A Team's Dirk Benedict.
  2. M, Fritz Lang, 1931. My favorite of the one-letter films, this German classic made the creepy Peter Lorre an unlikely movie star. Joseph Losey's 1951 American remake has been mostly forgotten.
  3. Z, Costa-Gavras, 1969. Have we already reached the end of the "respectable" features with one letter titles? Alas, we have. Costa-Gavras' French political thriller has long been a mainstay in film history classes.
  4. X, Roger Corman, 1963. Trust me, readers, I really worked hard at this list (meaning I searched for each letter of the alphabet on its own on the IMDb, which actually does not constitute hard work at all). The vast majority of films to use one-letter titles are obscure shorts, indies, and foreign flicks. It took some work to find nine movies that have any relevance whatsoever. That famed schlockmeister Roger Corman opted for one letter to hawk his not-bad sci fi chiller about a man with X-ray vision (starring Ray Milland and, of all people, Don Rickles) says a lot about the quality of the films and filmmakers that usually rely on this gimmick...
  5. Q, Larry Cohen, 1982. ...which brings us to B-movie impresario Larry Cohen, the man behind such drive-in fare as The Stuff, It's Alive, and God Told Me To. This movie is about a giant flying lizard attacking Manhattan. Do you need to know more? Okay, it stars the likes of Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, and David Carradine. People known for much better things.
  6. O, Tim Blake Nelson, 2001. Actor/director Nelson's poorly-received high school adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello starred Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, and Josh Hartnett, actors whose names few will remember in 2020, but who were big names back in 2001 and remain so even now, kind of, though not really.
  7. G, Christopher Scott Cherot, 2002. You wouldn't think anybody would be influenced by the forgettable O, but apparently independent filmmaker Cherot was, and his hip-hop version of The Great Gatsby made a brief appearance in theaters under this title.
  8. V, Kenneth Johnson, 1983. I'm cheating here, as V was actually a television miniseries. But it was just too notable to ignore, especially in light of the practically unseen features I could have put in this slot instead. This nightmarish action drama about lizard-like aliens coming to Earth and taking over really gave me the willies back when I was a young teen. I still remember that weird half-human, half-alien baby lashing its tongue out at the nurses.
  9. $, Richard Brooks, 1971. Finally, extra non-alphanumeric credit goes to this quirky 1970s heist flick, starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. With names like that, especially in 1971, you can bet this was a big movie at the time. And yes, it really was titled just $, though for home video it was retitled Dollars (its proper spoken title, as indicated by the studio) just so stores could catalog the damn thing.