Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The name sounds familiar

Tonight's lineup on TCM is dedicated to Star of the Month Sterling Hayden, or more specifically, his westerns. Not surprisingly, this means Johnny Guitar, kicking the night off at 8:00 PM. It's been six years since I've recommended it, but it's always worth a watch because it's so much campy fun.

Johnny Guitar will be followed at 10:00 PM by Top Gun. Yes, it's a western, and has nothing to do with the much better known film of the same title from the 1980s, other than the title. If you want the jet planes or the volleyball, you're out of luck. Those things didn't exist in the old west.

As I think of it, there are a lot of pairs of movies that have the same title, but are completely different movies. I've mentioned some of them before, if only because the listings services that provide the listings you see on your box guide or on Internet sites sometimes get things wrong.

So the question for today is, which pair of movies with the same title but different plots is either your favorite, or the most interesting? I would suppose that to answer that question, it depends on how you define interesting. Possessed would certainly fit one definition of interesting, because of the fact that the early 1930s and mid-1940s movies both star Joan Crawford. Another one that deserves consideration would have to be Heaven Can Wait. Not because of any interesting trivia, but because this might be the best pair of movies to carry the same title. The 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film is excellent, while the late 1970s movie is a pretty good remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

So perhaps the best question might be which pair is the most different? Top Gun might be up there, while another good choice would be The Happening: M. Night Shyamalan vs. Anthony Quinn in a comic crime movie. At least one of them is good.

Feel free to provide your own examples in the comments.

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