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‘Slither’ – not the horror movie about snakes but a 1973 heist drama – starred James Caan. 

Mr. Movie: More good movies with bad titles

Here are six more fairly good movies with truly terrible titles, titles so bad they not only have nothing to do with the film, but also make the movie sound awful.


Phffft! (1954) features Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon as feuding ex-spouses who soon discover they were better off married. Jack Carson and Kim Novak are on hand as the extracurricular interests of the featured players. It has some funny bits and, of course, a happy ending, but the title? You got me.


Slither (1973) is not about snakes at all. It is, in fact, a really good little off-beat film about a bunch of kooky characters in search of a cache of money. James Caan, Peter Boyle and Sally Kellerman lead an interesting mix of actors. There’s a nice surprise in there, too, but where they got the title I have no idea. The 2006 horror film with the same title isn’t in this class. 


The Snapper (1993) is an Irish movie about an unexpected pregnancy and it’s effect on the teenage girl’s family. I know that doesn’t sound like a comedy, but it is, and Colm Meany is perfect as the bewildered father of the young lady. The circumstances of the conception are just wonderfully comic and I’ll tell no more. The title? Who knows?


Iran, of all places, has a burgeoning film industry that has produced several high-quality movies in the past few years. Offside (2006), Baran (2001), Persepolis (2001) and Children of Heaven (1997) are all very good. 


But towering above all these is A Time For Drunken Horses (1999), a great movie with a goofy title. It is about the Kurdish people of the Middle East. The family makes a meager living smuggling goods into Iran. The little boy Madi is afflicted with dwarfism and constantly ill. His only hope is an operation, far beyond the family’s meager means. But they try. The older children embark on a perilous smuggling trip, fraught with terrible weather and bandits. 


And finally, there is Wah Wah (2006) about a white farm family in Swaziland beset by both domestic problems and the conversion of the country to majority rule. Seen through the eyes of a little boy, whose safe world shatters when his mother leaves the family and his father takes to drink, this is a fine movie with a dumb title. Julie Walters, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne and Emily Watson feature an A-list British cast. 


And one more, this one from this year. Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022) with a cast of unknowns is about a 22-year old slacker falling in love with an older woman and her autistic daughter. It’s about real people with real problems and tangled relationships. The title is something of a mystery, though it does pop up in the middle of the film. 


All of the movies in this article are available on DVD. All are OK for 10 and over.