Learn What Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' and Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove' Were Almost Called

Learn What Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' and Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove' Were Almost Called

Apr 17, 2013

Every work of art started as an idea — perhaps scribbled in a notebook. The same goes for film titles, as Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb proves. It's a memorable, amusing title for the filmmaker's funny ode to paranoia in the nuclear age. Open Culture shared a page from Kubrick's notebook, in which the director drafted a list of potential titles for his Peter Sellers-starring movie. Our personal favorite? Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus wins everything. Also, naming Seller's mad character Dr. Doomsday feels more comic book-worthy, so we're happy that never stuck. Kubrick was an obsessive director; we have to wonder how many other title drafts exist in the bottomless pit of his archives.

The website also shared a few rejected titles for Hitchcock's Vertigo. The 1958 psychological thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak almost bore the names Deceit, Deceitful and Deception. The titles were pitched by Paramount Pictures exec Sam Frey, but Hitchcock rejected them. The studio hated the title Vertigo and kept trying to change his mind. Those involved should have known better. Read the full list of titles on Lists of Note — all 47 of them.

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