Nine Repetitive Movie Titles

Liar Liar

This Friday, a comedic interpretation of the Snow White story will be released in theaters. It's called Mirror Mirror. Whenever I see a title like this, I think of the Goodfellas character Jimmy Two Times, who was gonna go get the papers, get the papers. Here are nine other examples, other examples.

  1. Win Win. Well-received 2011 indie starring Paul Giamatti as a high school wrestling coach. 2011 runner-up: the cancer dramedy 50/50.
  2. Movie Movie. Oddball 1978 parody that was presented as a "double feature" of two fictitious 1930s movies, each about 50 minutes long. Sort of the Grindhouse of its day. With George C. Scott, among others, starring in both "mini-movies" (the first a boxing drama, the second a musical), Movie Movie sounds interesting, but response from critics and audiences alike was poor.
  3. Europa Europa. Agnieszka Holland's wry 1990 saga of a Jewish boy who infiltrates the Hitler Youth during WWII was such an art house hit that Lars von Trier's 1991 thriller Europa, also set in WWII, had to change its title to Zentropa for its American release, so audiences wouldn't confuse the two films. Amusingly, Holland's follow-up feature also had a repetitive title: Olivier, Olivier.
  4. Liar Liar. Typical Jim Carrey comedy (from 1997) about a prevaricating lawyer who's forced to speak only the truth for 24 hours.
  5. Promises! Promises! Dreadful 1963 sex romp notable only for displaying its star Jayne Mansfield in the buff. (Not sure where this would have screened in 1963.) Another double title with exclamation points: the 1982 Al Pacino vehicle Author! Author!
  6. The Russians Are Coming The Russians are Coming. Jimmy Two Times would have loved the title of this broad 1966 comedy about a Soviet sub that runs aground in New England. The only thing I remember about it is that Carl Reiner plays a guy named Walt Whittaker and a young Alan Arkin, as a Russian sailor, keeps calling him "Whittaker Walt". In a weak race, this film actually received Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Arkin), and Best Picture!
  7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Purists might not include the title of this 2005 buddy movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. (It is notable how many of these movies are comedies - I guess having a silly title is part of the act.) To truly qualify, this should really be called "Kiss Bang Kiss Bang". But whatever. I'll include it, just as I would include the similarly titled (but dissimilarly plotted) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
  8. Gigi. No? Then how about all the "comma" movies, such as Rachel, Rachel; Corinna, Corinna; New York, New York and America, America? Would you at least take Can-Can?
  9. Tora! Tora! Tora! This overachieving title employs the same word three times. This dramatization of the Pearl Harbor attack is not the only 1970 picture to accomplish this feat: it's joined by the racial thriller ...tick... tick... tick..., a title that may win the prize for "most ellipses". Other triple threats: the Elvis Presley programmer Girls! Girls! Girls! and an excellent Japanese teen movie called Linda Linda Linda.