[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, October 14, 2005 at 11:27am] Trackbacks
Title in Common:
  • A #3 Billboard single in the 1970s.

  • A $27 million grossing movie starring two big name stars in the 1990s.

  • A #1 New York Times bestseller in the 2000s.

The three works are entirely unrelated. What is their common title? Answer below.


Can you provide other examples of prominent movies, songs, and books (and we'll throw in television programs, plays, etc.) that share names despite being entirely unrelated to each other? Don't post any title with fewer than three works that share it.

Hattio (mail):
How about the song(s) Wild Thing by Tone Loc and Sam Kinison being on the charts at the same time in the late 80's. The Sam Kinison song is the one made famous by Jimi Hendrix, so I'm sure there's about a thousand other versions out there too.
10.14.2005 12:40pm
I'm trying, but I just can't think of a third example of "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy." :-)

He's not asking for song covers, or else we can just repeat "Tie the Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree." He's looking for a title like "The Garden of Earthly Delights," which is a Bosch painting and a novel by Oates, except we'd need a third genre as well.

About the closest I can think of is "Metamorphosis," which is a title of an Escher painting; a Rolling Stones compilation album; with "The," it's the Kafka novel; one way to translate the title of Apuleius's "The Golden Ass," and a piano piece by John Cage. Oh, and a quick Google shows that it's also the name of a Hillary Duff album. And, of course, you make it plural, you get the Ovid work.
10.14.2005 12:48pm
"Arcadia" is the name of a Philip Sidney romance, a Stoppard play, a Renaissance painting by someone who escapes me (not the Poussin painting "Et in Arcadia ego"), and of course an offshoot band formed by members of Duran Duran. Wouldn't surprise me if there was also a video game with that name, and let's not forget "Joan of Arcadia."
10.14.2005 12:56pm
SP (mail):
Not precisely what you are looking for, but the number discussion below prompts this: "One" is the title of very different songs by Three Dog Night and U2 as well being a song in "A Chorus Line." I believe Metallica and the Bee Gees have a song called "One" as well.
10.14.2005 1:04pm
Blink is a '90s crime thriller, the popular shorthand for a late '90s/early-21st-century band, and a 21st-century bestseller. It's probably other things as well.
10.14.2005 1:09pm
SP (mail):
"The River" is a book I happen to own by Edward Hooper - wouldn't call it a bestseller or even known, though. But it's also the name of a Springsteen album and a Jean Renoir film. There are several songs named "Hero" - including the Mariah Carey version, the Enrique Iglesias version, and the version they used in the Spiderman II soundtrack. It's also the name of Dustin Hoffman movie as well as the translation title of a Jet Li film.
10.14.2005 1:19pm
Rue Des Quatre Vents (mail):
Taking Care of Business. Bachmann Turner Over Drive. James Belushi and Charles Grodin, Elvis's neckless, numorous finacial self-help books. All terrrible, all worth knowing.
10.14.2005 1:38pm
civil truth (mail):

1) Movie (1985) with Harrison Ford - big-city policeman protects Amish boy

2) Book by Whittaker Chambers - autobiography

3) Book by Karen Hess - fiction story for children about KKK in Vermont set in 1924

4) name of a Gospel music group

5) Magazine published by Oakland Community College (MI) - literary and issues

6) Eau de Toillete name, by Jacques Bogart
10.14.2005 2:01pm
Jane Galt (mail) (www):
"End of the Line" was the title of two books on completely different topics that I reviewed in August, as well as a movie with Wilford Brimley and about eighty zillion songs.
10.14.2005 2:16pm
just me:
This is breaking the category rules, but The Avengers are a superhero team in a long-running Marvel Comics series, and were a different crimefighting team in the Brit TV show (and a movie, but made from the show). For the third -- they're the LA arena football team. (Probably also a band name somewhere in the universe, but no one prominent.)
10.14.2005 2:27pm
MatthewC (mail):
"My Life"

A Bill Joel song from 1978.
A Michael Keaton/Nicole Kidman film from 1993.
A novel by some retired politician from 2004.

The film My Life grossed $27,804,899 according to boxofficemojo, so I am pretty sure this is Kevan's answer.
10.14.2005 2:55pm
MatthewC (mail):
Ah. You had the answer up at the top. I seem to be an idiot.
10.14.2005 2:56pm
Nobody (mail):
"Wiseguy" was a 1980's TV show, as well as a book by Nicholas Pileggi (the movie Goodfellas was based on the book), as well as a punk rock band.
10.14.2005 3:01pm
Paul Virkler (mail):
Talk Show host
10.14.2005 3:04pm
GregC (mail):
"Can't Buy Me Love" -- a 1964 song by the Beatles; a 1987 movie starring Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, and a very young Seth Green; and the title of any number of self-hep books, including "Can't Buy Me Love: Freedom from Compulsive Spending and Money Obsession" (Fairview Press, 1995) by Sally Coleman and Nancy Hull-Mast.

Note 1: When checking the date of the Beatles release, I found that at least a few other entirely different versions of the song were recorded by other artists, dating back as early as the 1940s.

Note 2: I'd be willing to bet that lots of other Beatles titles ("Eight Days A Week" etc.) would also be correct answers to this question.
10.14.2005 3:06pm
Anthony (mail):
10.14.2005 3:09pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Golden Years: novel by Andrew Greeley, TV miniseries written by Stephen King, top 10 song by David Bowie

Scandal: Movie about the Profumo Affair; a romance by Pamela Britton, a rock band featuring Patty Smyth, a Kurosawa film, a talking cat from Esther Friesner's novel Majik by Accident

Black &White: a song by 2 Dog Night, a movie starring Brooke Shields, a popular computer game
10.14.2005 3:29pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
2 Dog Night =3 Dog Night after global warming.
10.14.2005 3:31pm
Would you count it when the same when the three are all a reference to the same thing? I'm thinking of Chicago: Kander and Ebb's musical; a band that refused to name its albums; and a wonderful track on Sufjan Stevens' instant classic, Come On Feel The Illinoise!. (There are others, probably.) But those are thematically related (to the city of Chicago) in a way that the "My Life" and "Wiseguy" variations aren't, so it strikes me as a less interesting trio.

Also, I only know of two for this, but it's too amusing not to share: Countdown to Terror is Curt Weldon's new fear-mongering, anti-CIA treatise... and an old Hardy Boys Casefile.
10.14.2005 3:59pm
James Wetterau:
"I'm Beginning to See the Light" is the title of three different and seemingly unrelated American popular songs. The first, now a standard, was written by several people, including Duke Ellington. I like the version sung by Louis Armstrong.

The second was sung and I think written by Lou Reed in the late 60s or 70s. The third song by that title that I know of was performed and written by Liz Phair in the 1990s. It's on some concert bootlegs, but I don't think she ever released a recording of it herself.

All three are interesting songs in their own right, but I think they're particularly interesting to listen to in sequence. The coincidence of their titles is a nice excuse to listen to them together as a sample of American popular song in the era since radio, with songs written at very different moments in those decades.

You can find the lyrics to all three on the web.
10.14.2005 4:10pm
Different River (mail) (www):
"War of the Roses"

1) A movie in 1989 about the very ugly divorce of Mr. & Mrs. Rose, and the novel on which it was based.

2) The political battle for ratification of the 19th Amendment by Tennessee, in which the pro-suffragists wore yellow roses and the anti-suffragists wore red roses.

3) An actual war in England in 1455-1487, in which the York and Lancaster branches of the Plantagenet family fought over succession to the English throne. The York symbol was a white rose and the Lancaster symbol was a red rose.
10.14.2005 4:14pm
Kaimi Wenger (mail):
Forever Young:

Song by Alphaville.
Song by Rod Stewart.
Movie with Mel Gibson and Elijah Wood.
10.14.2005 4:22pm
"Leaving Las Vegas" is a 1995 movie (based on a book from some guy who killed himself) and also an unrelated hit song by Sheryl Crowe. As for the third, well, it's also the name of a tasty alcoholic drink. Which you need after the movie and/or song. Or when you are leaving Las Vegas, for that matter.
10.14.2005 4:23pm
Jason Fliegel (mail):
Some of the titles referenced aren't really unrelated in the sense I thought Kevan was looking for. For example, "Can't Buy Me Love" the 1987 film is almost certainly alluding to the 1964 Beatles single in the title.

With respect to Hattio's nomination, I'll point out that while Jimi Hendrix did perform Wild Thing at the Monterey Pop festival in 1967, it was made famous by the Troggs in 1966. I will, however, add that there was a 1987 film called Wild Thing starring Kathleen Quinlan (not to be confused with the 1998 Kevin Bacon thriller), a variety of books of dubious popularity or literary value, and a plethora of toys and other merchandise based on the classic 1963 Maurice Sendak book Where the Wild Things Are (I was always more partial to his Nutshell Library, personally).
10.14.2005 4:35pm
"Thunder Road" is a 1950's movie with Robert Mitchum, a fantastic Bruce Springsteen song, and also the name of a horror novel from Tamara Thorne from 2004. The movie and the Springsteen song are sort of related -- Bruce apparently stated that he was inspired by a poster of the movie when he wrote the song.
10.14.2005 4:47pm
"Loser" is a song by Beck, a 2000 movie directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, and a (young adult) book by Jerry Spinelli.
10.14.2005 4:53pm
And, continuing my Springsteen theme, "She's the One" is a great song on his Born to Run album. It was also the title of Edward Burns' follow up to the Brothers McMullen back in 1996 (which had both Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston, but Maxine Bahns blew them away IMO), and was also the name of a romance novel by Sandra Kitt in 2001.
10.14.2005 5:20pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Restricting myself to popular songs, there are a bunch titled "Hold On," including totally different songs by Wilson Phillips and En Vogue which were among the top ten songs of the year in 1990, and a hit by Carlos Santana. Hermans Hermits had "Hold On!"

There are at least three major top ten hits titled "Fire," by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the Ohio Players, and the Pointer Sisters (the last written Bruce Springsteen). Jimi Hendrix had a song with the same title.

"Lady" by Kenny Rogers, Styx and Little River Band.
10.14.2005 6:34pm
Cal Lanier (mail) (www):
I like simple solutions.

Law &Order: Longest running TV show on the air, at least two mainstream movies (one with Ronald Reagan, one with Walter Huston), a book by Dorothy Uhnak, and too many songs and album titles to count.

Gunsmoke and Tombstone probably cut an equally wide swathe.
10.14.2005 7:48pm
Tim DeRoche (mail) (www):
My Girl:

Song by Temptations
Book by Karen Stabiner
Movie starring Macaulay Culkin
10.15.2005 4:12am
Wasn't "Sorority Girl Swingers 14" an opera by Verdi, a book by Henry Miller, a lyric poem by John Keats, a haiku by Basho and a film starring Moxy Vanilla? Or was that "Sorority Girl Swingers 12"?
10.15.2005 12:55pm
Bill Detty (mail):
"A Night at the Opera"--movie featuring the Marx Brothers, 1975 album by Queen.

"A Day at the Races"--1936 movie featuring the Marx Brothers, 1976 album by Queen.

I know this isn't exactly what was asked for, but Queen's excellent taste in appropriating the titles of two successive Marx Brothers movies for two successive albums deserves some kind of notice somewhere.
10.15.2005 10:09pm
New Guest:
"The Day After Tomorrow."
Craptastic 1990s Neo-Nazi conspiracy novel by Allan Folsom
Craptastic 2000s eco-disaster movie by Roland Emmerich
Tom Waits song (albeit without the "The")
10.15.2005 11:33pm
Happy Days:

1. Play by Beckett
2. Memoir by Alexander
3. Painting by Zampighi
4. Album by Catherine Wheel
5. TV sitcom and eponymous theme song by Gimbel and Fox
6. Numerous movies both silents and talkies
10.16.2005 12:42am

1996 movie starring John Travolta
1997 platinum hit by LL Cool J
2005 non-fiction by Sylvia Browne
10.17.2005 1:18pm
Lawrence H. White (mail) (www):
"Walk, Don't Run"
Hit single by the Ventures (1960)
Disney movie (1966)
Autobiographical book (2005) by Steven "Rusty" Johnson. (

Okay, so the book isn't prominent in your world, but hey, the author is a friend of Edward James Olmos ...
10.17.2005 5:31pm