However, by the time the film was released that July, the studio got cold feet and retitled it with the generic moniker, "About Last Night."
It always seemed too good to be true that TriStar would retain the work's original, edgier title. (And ,of course, the title was retained for the 2014 Kevin Hart remake with Joy Bryant, Regina Hall and Michael Ealy).)
In the meantime, I have a Kris Kritofferson autographed shooting script for a Michael Cimino film titled "The Jackson County War" which, of course, became "Heaven's Gate" (1980). And let's not forget that Billy Wilder's "Ace in a Hole" (1951) became "The Big Carnival" in Paramount's desperate attempt to rescue it from box-office failure.
Which brings me to the point of this essay - namely, those films that underwent a title change and rarely for the good. I've come up with a few others that originally had singular titles that were vetoed in favor of the nondescript. Feel free to share others that come into mind. Here goes:
Norman Taurog's Cary Grant/Betsy Drake vehicle, "Room for One More," (1951) became "The Easy Way" for its TV syndication when Warner Bros. decided to spin the film into a sitcom in 1961. That new title stuck, even after the series was long forgotten. The original title returned when Warner Archives put the film on DVD.
Paul Mazursky's "Jerry Saved from Drowning" (1986)- a remake of the 1932 Jean Renoir French film "Boudu Saved from Drowming" ("Boudu sauvé des eaux") - became "Down and Out in Beverly Hills." Nick Nolte assumed the role originally played by the legendary Michel Simon . And Gerard Depardieu played the role in yet another remake, 2005's "Boudu," directed by Gérard Jugnot. Got that?
Sidney Lumet's Brando-infused "Orpheus Descending" (1960) became "The Fugitive Kind." And Joseph Losey's "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" (1968) - like "Orpheus Descending," by way of Tennessee Williams - became "Boom!" The latter starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in roles played by Tallulah Bankhead and Tab Hunter on stage, under the direction of Tony Richardson.
Edouard Molinaro's "I Won't Dance" (1984), with the much-missed Kristy McNichol, became "Just the Way You Are."
Tony Bill's "The Baboon Heart" (1993), with Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater, became "Untamed Heart."
Peter Yates' "The Janitor Doesn't Dance" (1981), starring William Hurt as the janitor and Sigourney Weaver as a reporter, became "Eyewitness."
Robert Aldrich's remake of "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" (1971) became "The Grissom Gang." Among the cast in Aldrich's film are Kim Darby and Connie Stevens, both of whom were married at one time to James Stacy.
Howard Zeiff's sweet-natured "Born Jaundiced" (1991)- a great title - became "My Girl."
Robert Altman's "The Presbyterian Church Wager" (1971) became "McCabe and Mrs. Miller."
Altman's "Brewster McCloud and His Sexy Flying Machine" (1970) was simplied to "Brewster McCloud."
Altman's all-star "Prêt-à-Porter" (1994) was translated to "Ready to Wear," thanks to Harvey Weinstein.
When director Robert Mulligan and his producing partner, Alan J. Pakula, decided to film the 1954 Horten Foote play, "The Traveling Lady," they had no idea that a song written for the film would overtake the marketing. The opening titles feature an open highway with the camera staring down at the road, moving along with it. But then composer Elmer Bernstein and lyricist Ernie Sheldon wrote Baby, The Rain Must Fall” for star Steve McQueen's character to sing. The film's screenplay was written by Foote but it was no longer known as a movie based on a distinguished play. Lee Remick played the traveling lady on film, a role created on stage by Kim Stanley (who later reprised it for a live TV production).
Joan Micklin Silver's "Chilly Scenes of Winter" (1979), based on the Ann Beattie novel of the same title, became "Head Over Heels," only to revert back to "Chilly Scenes of Winter" for its re-release.
Andrew Bergman's "Cop Gives Waitress Two Million Dollar Tip" (1994), with Bridget Fonda and Nicolas Cage, became "It Could Happen to You."
Jon Avnet's hugely poplular "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" (1991), based on the book by Fannie Flagg, was reduced to "Fried Green Tomatoes."
George Cukor's Judy Holliday gem, "A Name for Herself" (1954), became "It Should Happen to You."
Roman Polanski shortened the title of his film version of "God of Carnage" to the monosyllabic "Carnage."
Finally, there's a film whose re-title I prefer - Jonathan Demme's "Citizen Band" (1977) , a so-so moniker that was momentarily changed to "Handle with Care" before Paramount decided to stick with the original.
Two other perfectly fine titles, meanwhile, were preserved at the 11th hour. Gilbert Cates' "I Never Sang for My Father" (1970) was slated by Columbia to be retitled "Strangers" (replete with a title song sung by Roy Clark) before someone there wised up and decided to keep the title of the lovely Robert Anderson play on which it is based.
And William Wyler's 1961 film version of the Lillian Helman play, "The Children's Hour," almost became "The Infamous." This was the second time that Wyler directed Helman's material and the second time he had to deal with a title change. He earlier filmed the play in 1936 and it was given the title, "These Three." In this case, the change made sense, given that the original subject of homosexuality was supplanted by a plot about a romantic triangle. It was no longer "The Children's Hour."
Note in Passing: Thanks to Glenn Erickson and his invaluable DVD Savant site, I was reminded that another Altman film underwent a title change - ”L.A. Short Cuts,” based on a series of stories by Raymond Carver , became "Short Cuts."