Double or Triple Features of Different Movies With the Same Title

Kind of silly, but it amuses me to sometimes watch very different movies with the same title. Some examples:

Triple Feature (And Not That Bad):

The Wild Party (1929)

Clara Bow, the “It Girl” of silent films, has her first talkie role in this frothy little romantic drama with an underlying theme of female friendship. The students at a women’s college go crazy for the handsome new anthropology teacher (Fredric March.) During an all-girl costume party/dance, Bow and two of her gal pals show up in costumes so skimpy that they’re asked to leave. (They look like one-piece bathing suits. There are plenty of pretty legs on display in this pre-Code film. Bow flirts with March in class by raising her skirt just enough to reveal the tops of her stockings, to which March says “Some people think this is an anatomy class.”) They go off to a roadhouse, where March has to rescue her from the unwanted advances of some drunks. Later, he berates her for thinking life is just a “wild party” and wasting her time at college. When she asks him why he hates her, he kisses her. (It’s an interesting relationship. Although March passionately loves her, he also angrily denounces her in class for turning in a lousy paper.)

The major subplot involves the school brain, who will lose her scholarship if the school finds out she (innocently) spent the night on the beach with her boyfriend, as revealed in a love letter she writes to him. When the school busybody finds the letter and turns it in, Bow pretends she wrote it so that she will be kicked out instead of her Best Friend Forever.

Bow has a great deal of charisma, and the movie is an enjoyable bit of fluff. The feminist undertone may stem from the fact that it was directed by Dorothy Arzner, one of the few women working in that capacity at the time. The passionate, if not erotic, love between Bow and her BFF, expressed in lots of hugs and sitting in laps, might have something to do with Arzner’s open lesbianism.

The Wild Party (1956)

Tense crime drama with an compelling performance from Anthony Quinn. He stars as a washed-up pro football star, reduced to hanging around a bunch of petty crooks and other losers. There’s the woman who loves him, although he treats her like dirt; there’s a jive-talking piano player (familiar character actor Nehemiah Persoff in an unusual role, who also narrates in hep talk); and a smarmy con man, who turns out to be a knife-wielding hood when he’s not charming a potential victim. The con man manages to get a rich woman and her naval officer boyfriend to join the group at a jazz club, from which they kidnap the unsuspecting pair, extorting cash from the officer in exchange for the woman’s freedom.

Quinn has much more in mind, however. Convinced that the rich woman is the one for him, and not even bothering to hide this from his supposed girlfriend, he comes up with a crazy scheme to run off to Mexico and marry her. You can imagine that this doesn’t work out well.

Quinn does a remarkable job bringing the character to life. Brutal and ready to explode at any moment, he’s also something of a pathetic lost soul, endlessly obsessing over his glory days on the gridiron and trying to ingratiate himself with everybody, even those he abuses. There’s also a lot of cool jazz on the soundtrack to add to the enjoyment.

The Wild Party (1975)

Odd combination of art film and exploitation movie, based on a narrative poem. That explains why it’s narrated in rhyming couplets! Adding to the eccentric way in which the story is told, there are several 1920’s-style songs on the soundtrack that comment directly on the action.

  1. Silent film comedian Jolly Grimm (James Coco) is about to show the film he’s been working on for five years to potential buyers. He has a live-in mistress Queenie (Raquel Welch), whom he occasionally slaps around. (It should be noted that the plot is not based on the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, although it may remind one of it.) Hollywood is moving into sound, and Grimm’s career faces a crisis.

At the party at his sumptuous mansion where he’s showing the film, we’re introduced to the various guests by our old friend the rhyming couplets. There’s genteel suggestion of Hollywood decadence. Booze, of course, but also drugs, prostitution, a pair of gay pianists, and a lesbian actress. Things get out of hand when Grimm’s film is an obvious failure, Queenie goes off with a handsome young actor, and the party degenerates into an orgy. The inevitable tragedy occurs right at the end of the movie.

Besides the narrative songs, we also get elaborately choreographed dance sequences, so that the film is almost a musical. It’s handsomely produced, to be sure, and convincingly recreates the period. Coco gives a very strong performance, and Welch is quite good. (She also looks great in 1920’s-style hair, makeup, and clothing.) It’s a quirky movie, and it’s understandable that it didn’t find much of an audience.

Double Feature (And Both Bad):

The Astrologer (1975)

There’s this secret, apparently semi-government, organization called INTERZOD that uses computers and stuff to “scientifically” calculate people’s “zodiacal potential.” They already know that there’s a guy in India who is super-evil. They send a couple of secret agents to kill the guy, who is now leading this murder/suicide/burn down entire villages cult. The bizarre plan is to use a newly developed gizmo that projects images directly to the brain. The intent is to knock him out with a tranquilizer gun and use the gizmo to make him stab himself with a poisoned knife. Forget all that, because he immediately kills the agents instead, and we never even see the gizmo.

Meanwhile, the leader (or something) of INTERZOD is married to a woman who has the exact same “zodiacal potential” as the Virgin Mary. Somehow a “Jerusalem document” gave them the exact date of the Virgin Mary’s birth. That explains why they’ve been married for five months and she’s a virgin. We don’t find out until much later that she had a child at age sixteen and gave it up. We see a little girl (presumably the result of the implied virgin birth) and the super-evil guy looking at her. “OK,” I said to myself “we’ve established the premise – Anti-Christ vs. female Second Coming, I presume --, let’s see what happens once the plot actually gets going.” And the movie ends.

The plot is definitely nutty, but the execution is pretty bland, mostly consisting of people talking. Amazingly, this was based on a novel of the same name.

The Astrologer (1976)

Amateur vanity project directed and starring some guy, with screenplay credited to his mother. Guy is a sideshow psychic. He gets some woman to live with him in his little trailer, she soon leaves for greener pastures. Guy gets involved with jewel smuggling as the story jumps to Kenya. We get “jungle adventure” stuff – snakes, quicksand, etc. – and the guy sails away to Tahiti. We get the entire song “Tuesday Afternoon” on the soundtrack while we see the ship sail. (We get a lot of pop music on the soundtrack, presumably without the rights being paid for.)

Guy sells the jewels to somebody and uses the money to set up a “sidereal astrology” empire. His TV show even gets him an assignment with the US Navy. In a mind-blowing moment of self-referential postmodernism, he becomes the star of a movie called The Astrologer . He finds the woman who lived in a trailer with him in the world’s worst room; apparently she’s now a very low-level prostitute. They get married, he makes her a movie star. With neck-breaking speed, she leaves him. He shoots her new lover, his empire collapses. The End.

The way the film zaps around the world at high velocity at times, then slows down to a crawl at other times, is really amazing. It amuses me that this guy is supposed to be so famous an astrologer that newspapers carry headlines like ASTROLOGER LEAVES SCOTLAND in huge typeface in an “Extra!” edition.

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Bridget and Mary Jo have riffed two films entitled ‘Crime of Passion.’

One is a Barbara Stanwick film noir, the other is a Mary Higgins Clark thingie.

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Here’s a crazy triple threat:

Project X!

Project X (1968): [from IMDb] “A spy is brought back from cryogenic suspension after being almost killed in a plane crash returning from a mission to learn about a deadly new weapon being developed in the East. But the vital memories are being suppressed, so the authorities use ultra-advanced technologies to try to uncover the secret.”
Directed by William Castle Starring Christopher George and Greta Baldwin

Project X (1987): The movie I associate the name with! [from IMDb] “An Air Force pilot joins a top secret military experiment involving chimps, but begins to suspect there might be something more to the mysterious “Project X”.”
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan Starring Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt
APPLE VIRGIL! APPLE!!

Project X (2012): Last and certainly least, [from IMDb] “Three high-school seniors throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the night progresses, things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.”
Directed by Nima Nourizedah and starring Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, and Jonathan Daniel Brown.

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This thread begs the question: could Our Heroes work an extra level of humor into the Cake 'N Shake if they riffed two different/unrelated movies with the same title in one season?

We’ve already got the joke about The Outlaw in Outlaw Of Gor.

Pretty sure there’ve been at least a dozen movies titled Dead Of Night, for instance. So long as you can include TV movies. :grin: