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John Howard Reid

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BAD TITLES: 3 To Avoid
By John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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Here are just three of the words that, as noted in my book, "HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS: TITLE INDEX TO ALL MOVIES...", are almost guaranteed to sink your chances of success: "Challenge", "Montana" and "Virtuous".

HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS: TITLE INDEX TO ALL MOVIES REVIEWED...

So how do you think up catchy titles and interesting names? I use: Hollywood Classics Title Index That link will take you to Amazon Kindle. If you prefer NOOK at Barnes & Noble: Hollywood Classics Other ebook stores such as Apple and Sony also stock this book.

 

For 99 cents, this book will provide you not only with thousands of fascinating titles but names as well. Movie titles and the names of both movie stars and character players are chosen and designed for one reason only: TO CATCH ATTENTION!

 

I wish I had this book back in the 1980s when I had a publishing contract for two novels a year. I've always wondered why some of my books (even those with unenthusiastic reviews) sold spectacularly well and were reprinted as mass market paperbacks; while other novels that the critics hailed as masterpieces and books of the year, such as "Challenge the Wind", achieved almost zero sales and were eventually pulped. 

If this book had been available, I would have looked up "Challenge" and seen that it was not only an unsaleable word, but a turn-off word. Only two movie titles begin with "Challenge" and one of them did such poor business, the movie was withdrawn and re-titled!

For "Montana", the book has only two entries: A 1950 movie of that title (which did okay) and a 1947 film called "Montana Mike". The book notes that "Montana Mike" was so woefully received that the producers went to the considerable expense of taking the film out of circulation, re-titling it "Heaven Only Knows" and then re-advertising it under its new name.

"Virtuous Tramps" proved such a complete bust for a 1933 release, it was decided to use the title of the original stage operetta, "Fra Diavolo" instead. This, of course, is the title they should have used in the first place. However weird it seems today, it was well known back in 1933.

Generally speaking, people don't go to the movies or read a book to be virtuous. That's why they go to church. For nearly all movies, and most books, they seek to be entertained. Therefore title words like "challenge" and "virtuous" should be avoided.

As for "Montana", it may stir up a bit of curiosity among the people who live in that state, but elsewhere prospects are dim as "Montana"  doesn't possess the charisma of "Texas". In fact, the book lists no less than 16 movie titles that begin with "Texas".  

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