This contest is now closed. But enjoy!
(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)
The idea for this contest was suggested by email@example.com (Francis Heaney), who is hereby awarded with a Hollywood contract and a mansion in Beverly Hills (either those, or a free book from the Atlantic Monthly).
These days, stars of the stage and screen are competing egotistically for top billing, and it may occur to them (as it has occurred to Francis Heaney) that the highest form of self-promotion is to get one's name penned into the very *title* of the play or movie.
For example, if singer Crosby had managed to land the role that made Yul Brynner famous, he might have arranged for the play to be called "The Bing and I." And if the Divine Miss M had taken the part played by Zero Mostel on Broadway, she might have insisted that the ensuing comedy be called "Midler on the Roof." And oh, by the way, there's a musical revival on Broadway starring Dianne, whose agent has arranged for the play to be renamed "Wiest Side Story."
Things are no better in Hollywood, where Ted has taken over Patrick's role in a tuneful remake now entitled "Dirty Danson." Meanwhile, Costner has replaced Beatty in a new movie called, at the star's insistence, "Kevin Can Wait." Coming attractions include a one-man show starring Hoffmann entitled "Dustin Loose" and, coincidentally, a one-woman show starring Juliette entitled "Bustin' Lewis."
Maybe you can supply another instance of such starry billing. If you can, send your entry by e-mail to CoxRathvon (that's firstname.lastname@example.org for those not on AOL). Multiple entries are welcome, but for our convenience pack your laughs into one piece of e-mail whenever possible (and please don't use attached files). Senders of our three favorite entries will each receive 5 free AOL hours (where applicable) and a free book from the Atlantic Monthly.
Entitlements will remain open through Friday, October 4. Winners and results will be announced on Friday, October 11.
--EC and HR
P.S. If you like cryptic crosswords, visit our "Puzzles and Word Games" folder on the Atlantic's America Online message board (keyword ATLANTIC) and join the handful of rather crazed clue-writers who are already at play there! Post clues of your own and see if the gang can solve 'em!
Results of Entitlements
The idea that Hollywood stars might force their names into the titles of movies was a hit with our audience of wordplay fanatics. We received hundreds of nominations for star-studded productions, and as we screened them (sorry about that) we found a number of punning trends.
The actress Meryl effectively transformed any movie having "Street" in the title, with "Main Streep" and "Wall Streep" topping the list (she also paused to perform in "Streep Tease"). The British spate of humorous "Carry On" movies was repeatedly altered by Jim ("Carrey On") and Drew ("Carey On") and Ms. Fisher ("Carrie On"). Any sci-fi film mentioning "Space" was apt to be warped by Kevin (e.g., "Spaceyballs") or Sissy (e.g., "Lost in Spacek"). Several of our movie-lovers referred to "The Artist Formerly Known as the Prince of Tides." A half-dozen people suggested that Ms. Kahn might star in "It's A Madeline, Madeline, Madeline, Madeline World," but GoofysGal provided the topper by saying that Pitt, Ladd, Everett and a few extras from Mothers Against Drunk Driving were appearing in "It's a Brad, Ladd, Chad, MADD World"!
Here are some other productions suggested by numerous contestants:
Sandra in "Raging Bullock"
Sean in "Connery Row"
Tandy in "Guarding Jess"
Goldie in "Hawn With the Wind"
Robert in "Culp Fiction"
Barrymore in "The Taming of the Drew"
Fred in "Up the Down Astairecase"
Letterman in "Independence Dave"
Swayze in "Cleopatrick"
Winfrey in "A Night at the Oprah"
John in "Wayne Man" and "Purple Wayne"
Victoria in "The Tennant"
Ringo in "A Starr is Born"
Brad in "The Money Pitt"
Laurence in "Olivier!"
Ingrid in "Bergman of Alcatraz"
Christopher in "Dead Man Walken"
Alan in "Alda Right Moves" and "Alda King's Men"
Robert in "Young Fu"
William in "On Holden Pond"
Sylvester in "Home Stallone"
Streisand in "The Barbra of Seville"
Sharon in "The Gless Menagerie"
Tyne in "Hello, Daly"
Richard in "From Gere to Eternity"
Lauren in "Bacall of the Wild"
Harrison and Minelli in "Rex, Liza, and Videotape"
Steven in "Jonathan Livingston Seagal"
Laurel or Drescher in "Stan by Me" or "Fran by Me"
Clark in "The Gable Guy"
Ullmann in "Liv and Let Die"
When put to the critical test, our Laugh-o-Meters registered their highest readings for entries by Karen Ariz, BabsG XADA, and email@example.com. These lucky winners are each awarded a bag of hot microwave popcorn -- either that, or 5 free AOL hours (where applicable) and a free book from The Atlantic Monthly. Thanks and congratulations, Karen Ariz, BabsG XADA, and guy!
A whole cultural phenomenon might have changed if Jamie instead of William Shatner had landed the lead to boldly wear what no man has worn before... in "Farr Trek."
Poor Arnold, though irresistible, was very replaceable.
Hume: "Cronyn the Barbarian"
Ethel: "The Mermanator"
Ms. Barrymore: "Drew Lies"
Robert: "Last Action DeNiro"
Annette becomes insufferable after going on a crash diet in "The Unbearable Lightness of Bening."
***Also Coming to a Theater Near You***
"Iman for All Seasons"
"Last Man Shandling"
"For Uma the Bell Tolls"
"The Scarlet Letterman"
"Tin Pan Ollie" (as in Hardy)
"Cat Madonna Hot Tin Roof"
"One Flew Over the Cooper's Nest"
"The Lorne is Greene"
"Clive and Let Die"
"In the Hurt of the Knight"
"Support Your Local Skerritt"
"The Beatty Bunch"
"The Three Faces of Yves"
"Zadora the Greek"
"Clear and Present Dangerfield"
"Five Easy Pierces"
"Keach Blanket Bingo"
"Loni and Clyde"
"Rip Torn Curtain"
"The African McQueen"
"The Wizard of Ozzie"
"The Front Paige"
"Rosencrantz and Howard Stern Are Dead"
"A Man for All Gleasons"
"A Hank at Oxford" (Fonda, that is)
"Hanks a Million" (Tom, that is)
"Meryl Christmas, Mr. Lawrence"
"Tell Mia Riddle"
Annie in "Mary, Queen of Potts"
Ms. Streisand in "Conan the Barbrarian"
Johnny in "Carsonblanca"
Farley making a comeback in "The Lone Granger"
Nick taking a new tack in "The Nolte Professor"
Danny, John, Paul, George and Ringo in "Aiello Submarine"
Bill as a nanny in "Murray Poppins"
Alain as Kemo Sabe in "Delon Ranger"
"Hawn Alone" (an oldie but Goldie!)
"Carvey" (Giant rabbit meets Wayne's World)
"While You Were Streeping" (the version with someone who can act)
"One Flew Over the Cukor's Nest" (by George!)
"De Havill-and Have Not" (move over, Lauren)
"A View to DeMille" (epic Bond movie)
"De Mornay After" (a follow-up)
"Muni on the Bounty" (original casting)
"The Grapes of Roth" ("Rob Roy" in the midwest)
"Pino Keanu" (featuring some wooden acting)
And don't forget those Rooney Tunes at the end!
Keanu Reeves starring in a new film adaptation of Tennessee Williams's "Keanu Hot Tin Roof" (SASadler)
Tom in "The Cruiseible"
Mr. Meredith in "Louisiana Burgess"
Ms. Woodard in "Butterflies Alfre"
Ann in "The Sotherner"
Loretta in "Swit Dreams"
Uma in "The Thurman"
Mr. Moore in "Kiss Me Dudley"
Ms. Aimee in "Anouk of the North"
Barbara in "My Brilliant Carrera"
Adolphe in "JuMenjou"
Meg (or Jennifer) in "Tilly Clouds Roll By"
Liv in "The Ullmann and the Sea"
Anne and Jerry in "The Meara Crack'd" and "Stiller the Night"
Elisabeth and Andrew in "The Shues of the Fisherman"
Alison and Christopher in "Steadman Walken"
Mss. O'Hara, O'Sullivan, and Stapleton in "Salute to the Maureens"
Messrs. Selleck and Arnold in "Tom After Tom"
Sally Anne, Lorne, and Alida in "Howes Greene Was My Valli"
Anthony, Aileen, and Aidan in "Loves of Three Quinns"
Tim and Madeline in "Star Trek II: The Roth of Kahn"
"Somebody Up There Loves Mia," starring Frank Sinatra, score by Andre Previn, directed by Woody Allen (Booksie2)
Mr. Deluise starring as Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dom" (CMoor1)
If Mary Tyler Moore's co-star had been cast in place of Barbara Eden, the movie AND hit title song would have been: "Harper Valerie PTA."
Character actor Marshall takes a role in Stephen Spielberg's new sci-fi heartwarmer to be called "E.G."
Italian bombshell Gina plays the only woman in a remake of a formerly all-male flick: "Lollobrigida River Kwai."
Actress Fay plays a nun in the remake of a Bing Crosby classic to be called "Going My Wray."
Handsome actor Clark takes the role of handsome actor George Hamilton in "Zorro, the Gable Aide."
Comedian Richard has the wingman's role in a remake of the old war actioner, now retitled "Comin' in on a Wing and a Pryor."
Swashbuckling Errol takes the Astaire role in the remake, "Flynn Down to Rio."
Belgian strongman Jean-Claude stars in a Broadway revival entitled "VanDamme Yankees."
Long-time character actor Richard plays an assassin in "Day of the Jaeckel."
Actor Barry takes the Tony Curtis role in "The Bostwick Strangler."
British actor Robert was slated to play the David Niven role in "Please Donat Eat the Daisies."
Tom plays the role Fred Astaire played opposite Rita Hayworth in a remake of 1942's "Ewell Never Get Rich."
M*A*S*H actor Jamie stars in a remake of Thomas Hardy's classic, "Farr From the Madding Crowd."
Operatic basso Ezio takes a non-singing role in the teenage classic, "Mystic Pinza."
Portly "Cheers" standout George takes Joseph Cotten's role in "Since You Wendt Away."
Cornell takes Brando's role in biker flick, "The Wilde One."
Distinguished "Zorba" turns up on a newly retitled TV drama: "Anthony Quinn: Medicine Woman."
Comic James plays the Nicholson role in "One Flew Over the Coco's Nest."
Funnyman Foxx stars in Warren Beatty classic, "Redds."
Actress Deborah stars in a remake of the Costa-Gravas' classic, "The Sleeping Kerr Murder."
Montgomery plays an American in the RAF in "The White Clifts of Dover."
Hunt takes time off from "Mad About You" to play the female lead in a remake of Audie Murphy biopic, "To Helen Back."
James plays the Paul Hogan role in a feelgood flick to be called "Olmos an Angel."
CW singer Dolly stars in the Hollywood expose flick, "Parton Fink."
Comedienne tries out for the remake of a Redford flick, retitled "Joan Rivers Runs Through It."
Aaron Spelling's daughter is starring in a remake of the Pearl Harbor attack: "Tori! Tori! Tori!"
An early WWI film is currently being filmed starring Goldie as the romantic lead: "The Hawn Patrol."
Film star Whitaker is nervous about his latest movie called: "The Petrified Forrest."
War movies are hot right now. Sandra is starring in: "Dee Day."
Jessica goes to the legitimate stage to star in Eugene O'Neill's, "Lange Day's Journey Into Night."
To be considered a more serious actor, Johnson might have pushed Kirk Douglas from the picture with "Young Van With a Horn."
Robert never realized his dream of becoming a musical comedy star in "Shaw Boat."
In an effort to emulate screen legend Barbara Stanwyck, Anna Marie chooses a revival of "Sorry, Wong Number."
Connery missed his casting by not insisting the cold war thriller be named "By Sean's Early Light."
Stallone's latest project is an action-packed comedy based on a Mel Brooks movie: "Sly Anxiety." (StefSpad)
Brad Pitt will play Marc Antony to Gwyneth in "Cleopaltrow."
We are all anxiously awaiting Glenn's appearance in "Close's Encounters of the Third Kind."
Ms. Kidman will make her singing debut in "Nicole Miner's Daughter."
Hugh will be filmed wandering the seedy side of Los Angeles in "Grant Canyon."
Ms. Thompson decides to star in a smash musical: "Lea Miserables." (Pippin1030)
Drew, John, Lionel, and Ethel starring in "Barrymore Hearts at Wounded Knee" (LadyGoose)
Peter in "A Falk in the Clouds"
Ed in "Harris, Texas"
Meg is taking on Tuesday's role to star opposite Nick in the Aussie remake of "Who'll Stop the Ryan."
Randy is replacing Sting in the Who's "Quaidrophenia."
Mel gets title credit for voice-over in the cartoon version: "Casablanc."
Louise instead of Marlee in: "Children of a Lasser God"
Virginia stars in sex romp: "Seven Days in Mayo."
Menjou's personalized adaptation of Ibsen: "Adolphe's House"
Stacy will be appearing in "James and the Giant Keach."
Mr. Kline has signed on to star in "All Dogs Go to Kevin."
Sonny and Jessica Parker in "Bono Sarah Mrs. Campbell" (Goofysgal)
Enough time has passed for an old favorite to be re-released starring the former Mrs. Jagger: "CasaBianca" will wow them at Cannes for sure. (Angler24)
Everyone's favorite nanny in "The Hair Drescher"
Finally, a musical adventure in the operating room with "Clooney Tunes"
Country singer Parton has taken over the part played by Clint Eastwood in "A Fistful of Dolly."
Elisabeth, star of "Leaving Las Vegas," has top billing in this new rendition of E. M. Forster's novel: "A Room With a Shue."
Funnyman Kaye goes to town on a pony in "Yankee Doodle Danny."
Talk-show host Geraldo enters the world of acting, taking over Brad Pitt's role in "A Rivera Runs Through It."
Robin Williams is replaced in "Carrie Fisher King."
Scott replaces Michael in "Bakula to the Future."
Linda replaces Elizabeth in "Lavin Las Vegas."
Jimmy's role is reprised in "Will Smith Goes to Washington."
Alan is home in "A. Ladd In."
Vincent deals with erosion in "The Price of Tides."
If Desilu had produced it, the show would have been "Ball in the Family."
Roy and Dale would have started the show through "Evans Gate."
It's about time Burl got some attention: "The First Ives Club."
The Beatles' drummer replaces Annette in "Beach Blanket Ringo."
Mr. Danson takes his rightful place in "Night of the Living Ted."
Ms. Shore negotiates the lead role away from Nicholson in "Dinahtown."
Grant jumped at the chance to play Sidney Poitier's part when the studio showed him the redesigned marquee: "Guess Hugh's Coming to Dinner."
If Dianne Wiest's starring vehicle were made a few years back, surely Lana Turner would have taken the role. That is, of course, for billing in the title--"Lana and Her Sisters."
Ms. Irving (oh no, not Mozart?) in "Amy-deus"
Gary in the remake of the Hemingway classic: "Oldman and the Sea." (Taimse)
Her interest piqued by appearing in music videos with her late father Nat King, singer Natalie is starring in "Cole Miner's Daughter."
Kevin has dragged his entourage down to Georgia where the cameras are rolling for a thrilling remake called, "Bacon County Line."
Late night wonder David is making his big-screen debut in a chilling thriller that he cowrote and produced that's called "The Letterman Always Rings Twice."
Leno tries the big screen again in the sci-fi thriller, "Independence Jay." (Jenolyn)
The Europeans are taking over Hollywood! From France we expect remakes of "South of the Bardot" and "Morning Depardieu," while from Britain watch out for Julie in "The Last Temptation of Christie" and the ubiquitous Michael's "Citizen Caine" (a homage to the great director's "The Electric Orson"). Even the surviving ex-Beatles have movie mania; Ringo spaces out in "Starr Wars," Harrison takes a bite at "George 3-D," and inspired by Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire, McCartney drags up "Paul: Little Rich Girl."
Mike takes up acting. The result? "Il Jordino," where the Bulls star portrays a disgruntled postal worker.
In "Shueless," Elisabeth takes on the role of a naive but popular high school girl.
Ms. Drescher stars in a remake of the current De Niro vehicle, as a woman terrorizing a baseball player with her obnoxious accent: "The Fran."
Ms. Perlman dances in a fountain in "La Dolce Rita."
Moore starring in a football story: "Demi Tough" (ScoutU2)
Rudy, the Vagabond Lover, is a little annoyed with his high school sweetheart, who wrote "How Green Was My Vallee." (DotD10)
The autobiography of Lou Alcindor called: "How Kareem Was My Valley"
The rise of the Oakland Raiders' coach in: "Far From the Madden Crowd"
The moving story of a young woman in the rock-and-roll business, and her spouse, who meets an early, tragic death. This movie shows love means never having to say the words to your songs clearly: "Courtney Love Story." (MINightOwl)
The King of Pop explores his ultimate surgical fantasy in "Full Metal Jackson."
Producers go after the women's market by pairing a teen idol and the screen's greatest romantic lead in the buddy film "David Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
Super sleuth Basil Rathbone scours Sonoma valley for a missing crop of Flame Tokay in "The Grapes of Rathbone."
"Dead Man Walking" star Penn, in "Sean with the Wind"
"Saturday Night Live" star fights to win freedom for his people in Scotland: "BraveHartman."
Dan in "Aykroydphobia" (Squilter)
Jane in "A Fish Called Fonda" (LindaSBW)
In an inspired bit of recasting, Nicolas will take on the role that elevated Robert De Niro to the pantheon of movie actors: "Caging Bull."
Will Ms. Farrow play the wife or the mistress in the third adaptation of the French thriller? See "Miabolique."
James freshens up Bill Hurt's role in "Kiss of the Spader Woman."
A politician stars in "Bedtime for Bono." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Story of a strange TV newsman: "The Odd Koppel"
To which another network might respond with: "Rather Knows Best"
Kevin replaces Warren in "Dick Spacey."
Newman replaces Pitt in "Legends of the Paul."
Fernando's son in "Lorenzo of Arabia"
See Lucy's darker side in "Raging Ball."
"How Mae West Was Won" (in a poker game perhaps?)
"Everything you wanted to know about sex but were a Fred to ask" (MacMurray)
"The Empire Strikes Jack" (Nicholson)
Orson Welles being unavailable, Ms. Fonda takes on the role in a more politically correct version: "Citizen Jane."
Keanu and Christopher as father and son in "A Reever Runs Through It" (NomadBeth)
Miss Merrill in "The Man Who Came to Dina" (email@example.com)
Hawaiian singer Don teams up with actress Dorothy in "Ho! Malone!"
Kurosawa remakes his King Lear epic starring America's favorite "Insane Anglo warlord" in the lead role: "Ron."
Roger makes a very low-budget spaghetti Western: "For a Few Dollars, Moore."
Doris, Dennis, and Rudy share title billing in "2 Days 'n the Vallee."
What if Mr. Caesar the comic had wrested the lead role away from Mr. Heston, then insisted that epic movie be named "El Sid"?
If, instead of a flock of frenzied seagulls, Alfred Hitchcock had cast actors William and Steven, he could have named his movie "The Boyds."
A handful of British soldiers hold the fort for two days against a 1960s pop singer in "Lulu."
If Marvin had been cast instead of Charlton Heston and MGM had put the production on an astringent budget, the resulting epic movie could have been called "Ben Gaye."
Miss Bardot and Miss Nilsson may have been cast instead of Miss Streep and insisted that the movie be named "The Brigittes of Madison County."
What if Arnold Schwarzenegger had been replaced by Mr. Capote and the movie named "The Trumanator"? (That's one movie that wouldn't be back.)
What if Audrey Hepburn got bumped by Sonny Bono's ex for the movie "Cherade"?
Julie could have been cast alongside Van Johnson instead of Elizabeth Taylor and insisted the movie be named "The Last Time I Saw Harris."
Marilyn's out, William's in: "Some Like it Hurt"
No Cagney--a lacier star, Jessica: "Yankee Doodle Tandy"
Out with Liz and in with our favorite doggy: "Cat on a Hot Rin Tin Tin Roof"
The replacement of Marcello with Danny: "La Dolce DeVito"
Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.