The 5 most confusing movie titles of 2009

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
December 27th, 2009


2009 is about over and all the bloggers, newspapers, magazines, and various outlets are showing you what they think are the best films of the year. One thing I’ve noticed in some of those lists are movie titles being incorrectly spelled and/or written. I posted about the INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS misspell frenzy (mistaken for “INGLORIOUS BASTARDS,” as seen in the fake poster above) on Twitter earlier today and had a conversation about it with Victor Diaz, News 8 Austin film reporter. That conversation inspired me to make this list, which is the 5 most confusing movie titles of 2009. Most of these titles weren’t incorrectly spelled a lot, but misread. Chances are, if you were writing about them, letters were added, forgotten, or put in place of another in their title.

Just so this article does not sound ridiculously cocky, mean, or pretentious, I wanna throw out there that I misspelled INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS the first time I wrote about it and up until Christmas Day, I thought THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS was THE IMAGINATION OF DR. PARNASSUS. These things happen and this post is just a little reminder that we’re all still human. Feel free to comment with your thoughts!

Port of Call New Orleans Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

You try writing that without googling and see what you come up with!

The Boat That Rocked Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

If you’re one of the ones out there that actually misspelled PIRATE RADIO, I’m worried about you. I love you to death, but you should have probably paid more attention in English class. I put this on this list because PIRATE RADIO was known as THE BOAT THAT ROCKED for almost two years. Before its U.S. release, the title was change, confusing lots of fans and press. If you’re in the U.K., know that I miss you and I wish we kept THE BOAT THAT ROCKED.

Me and Orson Welles Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

Of course, the reason why most people will think I put ME AND ORSON WELLES on this list is because Orson’s last name might have been written “Whale (tee hee),” “Whales,” or “Welle.” As Pepa (from “Salt ‘N Peppa) famously once said, “That’s not itttttt.” MAOW is on this list because its title is improper and English majors would gut you if they caught you writing this way. Linklater still went with it and it’s 100% awesome!

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Poster

Like I said, for the longest time I thought it was THE IMAGINATION OF DR. PARNASSUS. The funny thing of this is, when I realized it was IMAGINARIUM, I’d stare at the word for a long time and wonder, “Is that right?” It took me googling it a few times to get reassurance.

Inglourious Basterds Poster - Click to View Extra Large Image

Of course, without multiple misspellings of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and the discussion that followed on twitter today, this list would not have been made! If Tarantino’s mission was to severely confuse the hell out of his fans when writing about his latest film, he did a fine job!

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  • demi adejuyigbe


  • Raymond

    Me and Orson Welles can be correct if it's used at the end of the sentence: ex. He bought beer for me and Orson Welles. When dissected, you could make a correct statement by saying He bought beer for me or He bought beer for Orson Welles. If it's at the beginning of a sentence, then the correct usage is Orson Welles and I; ex; Orson Welles and I enjoyed a beer together. When dissected, it is correct to say I enjoyed a beer or Orson Welles enjoyed a beer. If you had used the phrase at the beginning of the sentence, Me and Orson Welles enjoyed a beer, of course, this is incorrect when dissected. You wouldn't say Me enjoyed a beer, hence the use of Orson Welles and I at the beginning of that sentence. There, that should confuse you even more.

  • Chase Whale

    All very true sir except for the beginning – the “grammatically correct” sentence would be, “He bought beer for Orson Welles and I.” Now, you could say, “He bought beer for me, and he bought beer for Orson Welles,” but then that would be a lot of unnecessary words and you'd use the first form. Other than that, you are correctah-mundo!

  • kacey3

    I was going to make the same observation… it's possible that “This movie is about me and Orson Welles.”

    But since I have not seen the movie, and thus don't know if there is a titular scene that clears up this debate, I cannot make any solid argument to the correctness of the grammar.

  • samanthaurban

    Others that I think should qualify: DISTRICT 9, NINE, and 9.

    For example:

    Me: I want to see NINE.
    Friend: I thought you saw it this summer and really liked it.
    Me: That was DISTRICT 9.
    Friend: The one with the puppets?
    Me: No, that's 9. Like, the number 9.
    Friend: Right. The musical.
    Me: Nope.

  • kacey3

    Oh for sure! When NINE came out, my first thought was “didn't that come out months ago?”

  • Chase Whale

    You should be writing for us :P

  • Chase Whale

    You should be writing for us :P

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