10 Pairs Of Movies That Share A Title But Couldn't Be More Different Otherwise – CBR – Comic Book Resources Leave a comment

Some movies share the same name but have completely different premises and themes.
Hollywood is a busy industry that produces over seven hundred feature-length, English language films per year. Given the number of blockbusters that make it to the big screen, it’s no surprise that many of them would share similar or identical titles despite having totally different narratives.
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This phenomenon is particularly interesting when titles end up connecting two completely opposite films with no relation whatsoever. After all, what else could connect a 1990s neo-noir murder mystery to a 2008 teen romance about a human girl falling for a vampire?
In 1956, American director David Butler produced and directed Glory, a musical starring Juvenile Academy Award winner Margaret O’Brien as Clarabell, a farm owner’s granddaughter who takes a special liking to a foal she calls Glory. The film covers Clarabell’s love life and follows Glory’s journey from a weak filly to a strong racing horse.
Director Edward Zwick’s 1989 Glory, however, is a historical war drama that tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the first Black regiment in the Civil War. It starred Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick, and Morgan Freeman, and won multiple awards including Best Cinematography and Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 62nd Academy Awards.
German director Werner Herzog wrote and directed 2001’s Invincible, a drama film about Zishe Breitbart, a Jewish strongman who worked at a German cabaret during World War II. Finnish power-lifter Jouko Ahola and English actor Tim Roth starred as Zishe and the cabaret owner Hanussen, respectively.
Five years later, Disney released an eponymous sports drama film inspired by the events in American football player Vince Papale’s life. Mark Wahlberg played the main character, with Greg Kinnear and Elizabeth Banks joining in supporting roles. It was a moderate success with critics and in the box office.
Henry Jaglom’s Déjà Vu premiered in 1997 at the American Film Institute Festival with mostly positive reviews. The romantic film follows Victoria Foyt as Dana, a young businesswoman, and Stephen Dillane as Sean, an architect, who keep meeting in unlikely places and eventually fall in love.
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In 2006, Denzel Washington starred in Déjà Vu, a science fiction film about Douglas, an ATF agent who travels back in time to stop the love of his life from dying at the hands of a terrorist group. The film received mixed reactions, with many criticizing its depiction of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.
In 1986, Ralph Macchio and Joe Seneca starred in Crossroads. The musical tells the story of Eugene Martone, a Julliard student with an interest in Blues who ends up on a road trip with musician-turned-scammer Willie Brown. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures and made almost six million dollars at the box office.
The 2002 film of the same name, on the other hand, is a teen drama starring Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning, and Britney Spears in her debut film role. It follows three young women on a road trip across the USA and was a critical failure, winning two Golden Raspberry Awards for Britney Spears’ acting and her original song “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman”.
In 1992, Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Marshall played the main characters in Gladiator, a sports drama film about two teenagers who earn money by participating in illegal boxing matches. The film was both a critical and commercial failure, being panned by critics and earning less than half its budget at the box office.
In contrast, the Russell Crowe-led Gladiator was an instant success. The epic historical film follows an enslaved ex-Roman general as he climbs up the gladiator ranks in order to avenge his family’s murder. It was directed by Ridley Scott and won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe’s performance.
A neo-noir thriller film, Robert Benton’s Twilight tells the story of Harry Ross, a private detective played by Paul Newman who finds himself embroiled in a twenty-year-old murder case. While it received mediocre to slightly positive reviews, the film was considered a box office bomb despite its star-studded cast, which also included Susan Sarandon and Gene Hackman.
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Ten years later, Catherine Hardwicke directed Twilight, an adaptation of the eponymous Young Adult novel of the same name about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire. Initially a relatively small project, the film achieved a skyrocketing success that led to the production of a five-movie franchise with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson continuing as the main characters.
Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 psychological horror film Possession is about the doomed relationship between Mark, an international spy, and his wife Anna, who began acting strangely upon Mark’s return from his latest mission. Despite an initial lukewarm response, the film went on to win and be nominated for several awards, including the Palm d’Or at Cannes Film Festival.
In 2002, Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart starred in Neil LaBute’s Possession, a romantic drama. It follows two literary scholars on a race to uncover the mysterious relationship between two Victorian-era poets. The film was an adaptation of British author A. S. Byatt’s award-winning novel of the same name.
Best known for his western movies, Delmer Daves directed Broken Arrow starring James Stewart and Jeff Chandler. At the time, the 1950 film was applauded for its sympathetic and balanced portrayal of Native Americans, but its whitewashed roles have drawn criticism from modern audiences. It won a Golden Globe and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
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Hong Kongese director John Woo helmed the action/thriller Broken Arrow in 1996. John Travolta and Christian Slater played two rival Air Force pilots involved in the theft of two American nuclear weapons. Despite its poor review scores, the film tripled its budget at the box office.
In 1983, Universal Pictures released Bad Boys, a coming-of-age film with Sean Penn in the lead. Penn portrays sixteen-year-old Mick O’Brien, a vandal who gets sent to juvie for his petty crimes. It was directed by Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal and garnered a mostly positive response from critics, who highlighted Penn’s performance.
Over a decade later, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence would join forces as two Miami narcotics detectives in Michael Bay’s Bad Boys. The 1995 buddy cop film was a huge commercial hit, spawning two sequels and gaining a dedicated cult following. Many of its scenes, including the popular convenience store scene, are known for Smith and Lawrence’s comedic improvisations.
The 1998 action film The Avengers follows Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes as two spies trying to stop a mad scientist from controlling the weather. It was based on the eponymous 1960s British series initiated by Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman and was panned by critics upon release. It currently holds a five percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes.
A revolutionary entry in the world of comic book movies, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers united multiple superheroes into a highly-skilled task force to protect the Earth from alien forces. It premiered in 2012 to commercial and critical acclaim, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. It went on to earn over a billion dollars and finished Marvel’s Phase One.
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Gabriela Delgado is a writer based in Lima, Peru. A Film Studies and Creative Writing graduate from the University of Alberta, she now writes for Comic Book Resources. She’s a fan of all things film and television, ranging from the latest superhero entries to the classic reality tv of the early 2000s.


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