"Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

"Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"

Why do some movie titles include an alternate title? What are the rules in constructing these titles?

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    In the case of Dr Strangelove I'm positive it's just for comedic effect. Birdman is likely just referencing Dr Strangelove. Oct 15, 2014 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


You could also use the term Subtitle (titling).

Generally, subtitle is given to a movie title to provide a hint or a little more information of the movie to the moviegoers.

Wiki says,

In books and other works, a subtitle is an explanatory or alternate title. For example, Mary Shelley used a subtitle to give her most famous novel, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, an alternate title to give a hint of the theme. In library cataloging the subtitle does not include an alternate title which is defined as part of the title proper; e.g. "One Good Turn" (title proper) "A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw" (subtitle); "Twelfth Night, or What You Will" (title proper).

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