Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top 15 Movies with the Same Title

A little background on the current shitstorm Harvey Weinstein has found himself in. Weinstein’s new film, The Butler, will be released August 16, but Warner Bros. is claiming that Weinstein can’t use that title, because it is the same title from a silent short film made in 1916 that they own the rights to. Nonsense, right? But evidently, Warner Bros. has a case, as Weinstein recently lost his MPAA hearing, which definitively gives the title rights to Warner Bros.

But old Harvey is fighting back. A few days ago, he went on CBS Morning News and described the real reasoning behind the Warner Bros. saga, and named a handful of films that do indeed share the same title. Weinstein cites “122 times in the history of movies” in which the same movie title has been used for different films. Below are 15 of the most popular occurrences.

Please note that many films throughout history have reused the titles of cheesy B-films that barely saw the light of day. Those aren’t listed here. Neither are titles with preceding articles, such as Michael Mann’s Heat vs. Paul Feig’s The Heat. All the films on this list have identical titles, are somewhat well known, and were released free of a producer pissing contest.

The Kid
Charlie Chaplin, 1921 – Jon Turteltaub, 2000
Simply put, Chaplin’s iconic Tramp film is one of the best movies ever made, Turteltaub’s film, about Bruce Willis hanging out with his younger self, is not.

The General
Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman, 1926 – John Boorman, 1998
A Keaton classic in one era, an IRA manhunt thriller in another era. In all honesty, Boorman’s film is pretty damn good, and boasts a stellar performance from Brendan Gleeson, but nothing tops Keaton.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Alfred Hitchcock, 1941 – Doug Liman, 2005
Hitch’s film is about a married couple whose extended arguments are nearly killing each other, Liman’s film is about a married couple whose careers are nearly killing each other. I go with Hitch. Always Hitch.

Heaven Can Wait
Ernst Lubitsch, 1943 – Warren Beatty/Buck Henry, 1978
The former is about a guy trying to get into Hell, Beatty’s film is about a guy trying to get out of Heaven. Though this is somewhat similar material, each movie is based on an entirely different play. I like them both equally.

Notorious
Alfred Hitchcock, 1946 – George Tillman Jr., 2009
A Hitchcock masterpiece vs. a Biggie Smalls biopic. Well, at least there’s certainly no confusing these two.

Bad Boys
Rick Roseenthal, 1983 – Michael Bay, 1995
While it’s amusing to see a very young Sean Penn fight to protect himself in a reform school, Bay’s romp is an action/comedy classic.

Gladiator
Rowdy Herrington, 1992 – Ridley Scott, 2000
Herrington’s film about underground boxing is just barely above direct-to-video fare. And while I’m not the biggest fan of Scott’s film, it wins here by a mile.

Red
Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994 – Robert Schwentke, 2010
This may be a bit of a cheat, as Kieslowski’s film is usually referred to as Three Colors: Red, but still. There’s also a pretty lame crime thriller starring Tom Sizemore that shares the same title.

Fair Game
Andrew Sipes, 1995 – Doug Liman, 2010
Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin battling bad guys, or Naomi Watts and Sean Penn battling the U.S. government. Yeah, gee, tough choice.

Kicking and Screaming
Noah Baumbach, 1995 – Jesse Dylan, 2005
Baumbach’s film is a smart ass take on smart ass kids trying to figure out their post-college lives. Dylan’s film is about Will Ferrell coaching soccer. Baumbach, for the win.

Crash
David Cronenberg, 1996 – Paul Haggis, 2005
A creepy, sex-and-car-crashes fetish film vs. didactic race relations in L.A. Cronenberg’s Crash will always be my favorite of the two.

Twilight
Robert Benton, 1998 – Catherine Hardwicke, 2008
An aging private investigator (Paul Newman) gets tangled in a murder mystery, or, well, that other one.

Bully
Larry Clark, 2001 – Lee Hirsch, 2011
Clark’s warped film is true story about a group of kids who murder a psychopathic bully who torments them. Hirsch’s documentary is about a group of kids who try to cope with bullies who torment them. Both are effective, but rather misguided as well.

Invincible
Werner Herzog, 2001 – Ericson Core, 2006
The former is about a Jewish strongman who performs in Berlin, barely masking himself as a blond Aryan for his Nazi crowd. The latter is about Mark Wahlberg playing football. Herzog wins, always.

The Illusionist
Neil Burger, 2006 – Sylvain Chomet, 2010
Actually a tough choice here. Burger’s film is a moody, turn-of-the-century flick about a magician (Edward Norton) trying to win the love of a woman. Chomet’s lovely animated film is about a magician traveling to Scotland for work. Both are great in their own way.

A few more:
Morning Glory (Sherman, 1933 – Michell, 2010)
Broken Arrow (Daves, 1950 – Woo, 1996)
Betrayed (Reinhardt, 1954 – Gavras, 1988)
Possession (Żuławski, 1981 – LaBute, 2002)
Heat (Richards, 1986 – Mann, 1995)
The Avengers (Chechik, 1998 – Whedon, 2012)
The Patriot (Semler, 1998 – Emmerich, 2000)
Flawless (Schumacher, 1999 – Radford, 2007)
Sunshine (Szabó, 1999 – Boyle, 2007)
Unknown (Brand, 2006 – Collet-Serra, 2011)

70 comments:

  1. Ooo nice one. The Illusionist <3 <3
    I actually didn't like the animated one, or maybe it was just because I chose to watch it on Christmas Eve and it was quite a downer.

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    1. Nikhat how could you not like The Illusionist? That film is so charming and beautiful. Watch it again woman, watch it again!

      And, as always, great list Alex.

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    2. I'm definitely a fan of The Illusionist as well, but I can see why some may not! Either way, thanks to you both for reading!

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  2. You know how much I love Notorious. Hitchcock's Notorious, off course. But every time I go on IMDb and search for the title, which I must have done hundreds of time, every single time I get that other Notorious. I haven't even seen that movie but I already hate it for this. :D

    I should watch the Burger Illusionist again. I remember liking it but I haven't seen it in at least 5 years. Loved the animated one too.

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    1. Ha, same thing happens to me too on IMDb. So damn silly.

      Actually, I should watch Burger's film again as well. I really enjoy it, but it has been far too long.

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  3. Gonna totally ruin my movie cred here but I would actually put Dylan's Kicking and Screaming over Baumbach's here. It's always been a guilty pleasure of mine. "I am like a tornado of anger, spinning wildly about" - cracks me up every time.
    Aside from that this is a really cool list. Definitely agree with the Invincible and Crash choices (among others).

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    1. You know what I'm going to say here, and that is we like what we like. I'd never say you were foolish for liking Dylan's film more. To each his own!

      Glad you liked the list!

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    2. Well it wasn't so much that I was ashamed of my choice but I realize that it may hurt my "cred". But thanks for the kind words.

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    3. You'll always have good cred with me!

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  4. Good list. I love Kicking and Screaming (the Baumbach one), and every time I mention it, people respond with "The Will Ferrell soccer movie?" That gets irritating.

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    1. Thanks man. Ha, yep, same thing happens to me.

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  5. I've never seen that Baumbach film, It sounds interesting. I have, unfortunately seen the Ferrell one. That was terrible. I actually kind of feel bad for producers/directors/etc when they have to change the name of their film. I remember Alan Ball getting all pissy when they made him change the title of 'Towelhead' for awhile.

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    1. Well, I think it's lame for a movie like Haggis' Crash to use a title that isn't even 10 years old. And Cronenberg's film was well know too. Not some obscure little film no one saw. But if there's a 100 year gap (like with The Butler) then I think it is stupid to fight them on the title. Silly movie people.

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  6. I'm always so angry whenever I go through the Notorious tag on Tumblr... it's very distracting. Interesting how similiar/completely different two movies with the same name can be.

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    1. Ha, that's hilarious. No one can keep Biggie Smalls down!

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  7. Another one: There was a German film named Bandits that came out about the same time as the same-named Billy Bob Thornton one. It was about an all female rock band on the run from the police. They become cult heroes and their music, which they couldn't give away before, becomes very popular.

    It's been amusing to witness the evolution of the earlier Twilight movie. At first it was "the Paul Newman movie", then when she became more well known it was "the movie where Reese Witherspoon is topless", then when the vampire movie came out the older one just became "that other Twlight movie."

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    1. I've never heard of the German Bandits flick. Good call there.

      Your evolution of the first Twilight is uncanny and hilarious.

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  8. That's a great list. Wow... I knew some of these films were the same.

    OK... I have not seen Charlie Chaplin's The Kid but I've seen that one w/ Bruce Willis which is OK.

    I'll stick with the Hitchcock titles as well.

    On Bad Boys... Sean Penn over Will Smith/Martin Lawrence though that is still my favorite Michael Bay film.

    The Ridley Scott film over that boxing one though I don't think Gladiator was that great (and Traffic got robbed at the Oscars.

    Kieslowski all the way though I do like that action movie.

    I haven't seen Doug Liman's Fair Game while the other one is just pretty damn bad except for Cindy Crawford's brief topless scene.

    Twilight... gee... which one should I pick? Oh wait, the one with a butt-naked Susan Sarandon and a topless Reese Witherspoon!!!

    Baumbach, Herzog, and Cronenberg. That's all that's need to be said.

    I'm with you on The Illusionist. Tough call. Both are really good films.

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    1. Thanks man. Traffic definitely got robbed at the Oscars. I guess Best Director was our consolation prize. I love that damn film.

      Your comments about Fair Game and Twilight made me laugh out loud. Funny shit.

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    2. Hey, nudity is something I care for as with the stuff I write. I always find a way to put a nude scene and make it important for the story.

      Oh, I've also seen Larry Clark's Bully. It's an alright film with some decent performances though some of the shots were quite lewd like that close-up of Bijou Phillips' crotch in her Daisy Dukes.

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    3. Eww, I know the exact scene you're talking about in Bully. Too much.

      I can dig sex/nudity only if it suits the story. I think it is far too overused in movies.

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  9. I was so happy to see you rate Chaplin's The Kid so highly. It really is an absolute masterpiece. I agree about the Illusionist(s). Tough choice. I actually saw the animated one in a cinema featured in the movie so would go for that purely on that basis.

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    1. Oh I love The Kid. I LOVE Chaplin. One of my all time favorites. That's a really cool story about The Illusionist. Art imitating life sort of thing.

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  10. YES. You chose Cronenberg's version of Crash. Well played. That one for me has more staying power. I went out and got the book right away after seeing that

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    1. Oh hell yeah, I love that film. Far better than Haggis' in my opinion. Damn, I really need to read that book.

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  11. There is also a movie called Possession with Lee Pace and Sarah Jessica Gellar, it was a nightmare to find considering how many movies with that title there are.

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    1. Yeah I heard about that one too. Lot of flicks with that title. I mean... can they think of nothing else?

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  12. I really don't get it. Why have all these films gotten away with it but The Butler can't? Love how much Weinstein says it's coming out August 16th in that video.

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    1. I know right? Isn't he hysterically condescending in that video? Man, I really think it all boils down to dough ray me. Warner Bros. wants a piece of the pie and old Harvey isn't giving in. Either way, it's absurd.

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  13. The Bruce Willis movie was billed when it was released as "Disney's The Kid". I seem to remember that the reason was the same as the Weinstein issue. Ultimately, no one refers to it that way and no one expecting a hundred year old silent short will be confused by the political history lesson of the current film. Weinstein simply has passed off enough people that they like to stick it to him when they get the chance. Twilight with Newman, Sarandon and Hackman is great.

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    1. Yeah I remember them trying to push the "Disney's" bit as well, but I'm not sure it ever fully stuck. I do agree that Harvey has probably made his fair share of enemies over the years, and situations like this one are bound to happen. Still a shame though.

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  14. Great list man. The General and The Illusionist are awesome pairings, actually. Some of the others... yeah, not so much.

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    1. Thanks dude. I agree, very hit or miss list of flicks up there.

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  15. Excellent list, as always. Strangely, I've seen that '95 Fair Game. Saw it when I was a kid actually. I think I liked it, but then again my favourite movie when I was that age was Blind Fury, so...

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    1. Thanks man. Ha, I liked Fair Game when I was a kid too. But yeah, my favorite flick back then was Bad Boys.

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  16. Wow, this one really make it clear you watched a LOT of movies!

    Have no idea there's a movie called Twilight. I'm thinking it's such a delight for previous Twilight filmmakers or actors :))

    I noticed The Illutionist, but I only watched the animated movie.

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    1. Ha, thanks Andina :)

      The first Twilight movie is actually a pretty good little thriller. The Norton Illusionist is great.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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    2. There is also a great film called Breaking Dawn, about a young psychologist in a psych ward. The film has a twist ending, so you need to pay attention during the film. It stars Joe Morton if you haven't seen it.
      I never cared about the Twilight: Breaking Dawn film.

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  17. Who can forget The Fan 1981/1996 ?

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    1. I do admit, I love Tony Scott's The Fan. De Niro is batshit in that one.

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  18. Bit of a misprint about The General - Ray Winstone isn't in it. Also, the film's not about the IRA at all - they're peripheral to the main plot.

    Great website however...

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    1. Ha, jesus, can't believe I said Winstone. Nice catch there. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the site.

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  19. Shame
    Ingmar Bergman,1968 - Steve McQueen,2011
    Which is better?

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    1. Oh, gotta be McQueen's. Bergman is my favorite filmmaker, but McQueen's Shame is as fine a film as I've seen. I absolutely adore it.

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  20. The Hunger
    Tony Scott, 1983 - Steve McQueen, 2008
    I know that Steve McQueen is a better masterpiece by a mile, but what do you think about Tony Scott's underseen cult-classic film?

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    1. It's a groovy little flick. Sexy, too. Tony Scott made some genuinely solid movies back in the day. I mean, his action flicks had a certain charm, but The Hunger, Revenge, True Romance... all great.

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  21. How was Frozen missed?

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  22. This list was created before Brad Pitt's Tank Platoon movie FURY last year. There is a classic Spencer Tracy film FURY too. The Spencer Tracy version is a legal thriller about an innocent man on trial for a crime he didn't commit.

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    1. Oh man, I haven't seen Tracy's Fury in a while, but I really liked that film. Can't say the same for Pitt's.

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    2. well I was a Tanker in Germany for 7 years. The town I was stationed at looks similar to the town where the main crew ate at a German woman's home. The film brought back memories for me!

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    3. Oh wow, that's really interesting. Definitely helps to have a personal connection like that.

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  23. Is there a reason you didn't include the Cher film MASK and Jim Carrey's The Mask?

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    1. Well, I did make a conscious effort to stay away from articles, silly as that may seem. I was really trying to stick with the EXACT title. Plus, keep in mind, if I made this list today, it would look a lot different.

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  24. I just found out about a 2011 film RICOCHET starring Kelly Overton, about cops solving a murder in Savannah, GA.
    There is a far more famous RICOCHET from the early 90's starring Denzel Washington, ICE-T, John Lithgow, and Lindsay (Bionic Woman) Wagner

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  25. Above, you mention 2 different movies called HEAT. Last year there was a comedy named HEAT starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy!

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  26. Steven Segall made a little known direct to video film called Patriot years before Mel Gibson made his version of Patriot.
    Mel Gibson's version was about a Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina.
    Steven Segall's version was about a Federal Agent fighting against an anti government militia.

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  27. What about Ouija

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    1. Different films share those titles, but are they any good?

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  28. Coming back to this and seeing the praise on I'llusioniste (or however its spelled ;P)- I'd be very interested to hear your view on Jacques Tati ^^

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    1. Gahhh I need to get on that!

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    2. Not asking for a post or anything! Just curious- lot more drama than comedy on here and I wondered if you'd seen Playtime or the like

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  29. New one to add:
    The Girl on the Train (2016)
    The Girl on the Train (2013)
    The Girl on the Train (2009)

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    1. Yep. Did you like the most recent one?

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  30. I'm right now watching a 2002 movie called 25th Hour with Edward Norton. But the DirecTV channel guide insists it's a 1967 movie with Anthony Quinn. That one has "The" in front of the title, but close enough, I guess.

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    1. Whoa that's so weird. I've never even heard of that! Spike Lee's 25th Hour is one of my all-time favorites though. Perfect movie.

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  31. 2016 Split Drama,Fantasy/ and 2016 Split Thriller,horror

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    1. Oh wow I didn't know there were two last year.

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  32. Ridiculous! I've never heard of that!Thanks for sharing this list of the perfect movies with the same title.

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    1. Isn't it crazy? So weird that The Butler thing was even a thing.

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