Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012 by Peter Sciretta
Throughout his career, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick kept a list of potential movie titles that they called “Titles in search of a script.” Kubrick’s personal assistant Tony Frewin revealed the fun list, along with commentary explaining where the titles came from, in the comprehensive book The Stanley Kubrick Archives:
- I MARRIED AN ARMENIAN: Said matter-of-factly to us by a woman publicist. Stanley thought it a great title for a 1940s-style Warner Bros. musical.
- IF ONLY THE FÜHRER KNEW!: This was a common saying in Germany in the 1930s whenever something went wrong or somebody did something wrong. Used mockingly with the eyes looking upwards.
- HOT SHEETS, LEG CANDY, LEG MAGIC, FEEL TIGHT, PARTITION MAGIC: Five vehicles for Sharon Stone. Partition Magic was the name of a software package in the days of DOS that almost allowed you to run two programs concurrently.
- ONLY MINISTERS OF THE THIRD REICH MAY USE GREEN INK: Stanley read somewhere that this was, in fact, true. He thought it would make a great art house double bill with Wim Wender’s 1971 film, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick.
- COFFIN NOT INCLUDED: A 1940s noir thriller. When I was researching props for the morgue scene in Eyes Wide Shut I had a catalogue from a company that supplied funeral parlour equipment. One of the illustrations showed a bier with a coffin on it. The caption read: “The Excelsior Bier (coffin not included.)”
- DR STRANGLE-GLOVE: Stanley’s title misunderstood by a switchboard operator at Shepperton Studios while he was making the film.
- OSMIROID AND OBLIVION and OTHER BARRELS, OTHER NIBS: Two art house films about European writers. Lots of sensitivity, lots of angst. Osmiroid made some of Stanley’s favourite fountain pens. Oskar Werner in the lead?)
- TWIG THE ENHANCER: Heroic quest and Tolkien-type fantasy. Stanley’s house was in a sink as regards mobile phone reception, so, the company put in an enhancer to boost reception and transmission. After a few weeks it went down. An engineer turned up and fixed it. We asked him what he had done. He replied, “I had to twig the enhancer.”
- NIGHTCLUBS, MORGUES, HOSPITAL: A comedy with Steve Martin.
- IN THE PENILE COLONY: Not penal … Kafka meets Marilyn Chambers?
- ONE BAG, ONE NOTEBOOK: Art house angst, Oskar Werner again.
- THE WIZARD OF AUSCHWITZ: A concentration camp film with a feel-good ending.
- AUSCHWITZ AND ME!: A musical. The follow-up to Springtime for Hitler?
- SHARP SHADOW ON THE WALL: Arty noir film set in the 1940s with not a lot happening.
- THE TWO WALLYS: From Wally Veevers and Wally Gentleman, two of the SFX supervisors on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- SIGHT GAGS FOR PERVERTS: How Dr. Strangelove was described on its release in a review in the Bulletin of the American Film Institute! Stanley cherished this.
- SOME LIKE IT COLD and JACK THE SNIFFER: An intriguing double-bill for forensic science buffs.
- SPEAKING ALARMS: Low budget Brit film seen by nobody.
- KIRA THE KARAOKE GIRL: A low budget art house film from somewhere in the Balkans. Lots of tears. Depressing ending.
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