Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Alcatraz Island"

This is a movie poster I found hanging in a gallery of other movie posters about Alcatraz in the Alcatraz gift shop. The gallery contained such feature films as:

"The Bird Man of Alcatraz" - starring Burt Lancaster, "Escape from Alcatraz" - starring Clint Eastwood, and Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in "The Enforcer", which by the way includes this fabulous line of dialog:
By the "minority community" I suppose you're talking about the hoods.
But enough about the man whose acting philosophy is "Don't just do something, stand there," and allow me to move on to the poster in front of us.
"Alcatraz Island"
1) While it is proper to place movie titles within quotation marks, I maintain that it is unnecessary to do so on the promotional poster for that movie. Clearly, it's the movie title. However, if one were to assume that everything in quotes on the poster was the title, it could easily have a different title.
2) "The Rock" (there was also a movie poster for this Sean Connery -Nicolas Cage picture) - if one follows the precedent of proper use of quotation marks, it's just as likely that this movie is called, "The Rock". "The Rock" of course is the "nickname" of Alcatraz and may or may not require the quotation marks. However, that's really the tag line of the movie, as if it were said by someone - so perhaps the entire phrase, "When no other jail can hold them ---- they send them to 'The Rock'!" should appear in quotes? That leaves other lines open to interpretation.
3) "The prison fortress all gangland dreads!" It's another tag line. No quotes there, but if they set the stage with the movie title in quotes, they should be consistent and follow through with their standards.
4) "They'd even bust out of Alcatraz to get to a dame like her!" How many tag lines can one movie have? Does anyone else think it's funny that this tag line is about the star of the movie, Ann Sheridan, and it uses the euphemism "bust" instead of "break out" or "escape from"? I believe the correct phrase should be "burst out of Alcatraz..."
5) This leaves only one phrase that doesn't have, and shouldn't have quotes. And that phrase is "and hundreds of others". I would really like to suggest to the poster author that he or she should have gone ahead and thrown some random quotes around either "hundreds" or "others" just to confuse things further.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate pointing out unnecessary punctuation in blogs such as this. However, while reading the first two or three paragraphs, I spotted several unnecessary commas as well, which caused a jerking sensation in my internal voice. I trust you can spot these places upon review....

bethany said...

Although I do not normally edit other people's posts, I believe Brian is out of town. I think I have remedied the comma problem.

jimmy said...

You may have fixed the commas, but you didn't fix the who's/whose confusion at the end of the second paragraph...

Bob K said...

Wow, writing a grammar-related blog is tough. Let he who is without comma-splice throw the first stone.

bethany said...

you people are ruthless. homonym repaired. relatedly, anonymous should really link to his/her own webpage so we can verify his/her flawless use of standard edited english.

juliana said...

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cwr64 said...

I was wondering the same thing about this poster from 1979 for Buck Rogers

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/CWRudy/buck_rogers_in_the_twenty_fifth_century_xlg.jpg

Is it because it's not a proper name, but a nickname? Does the MPAA have an enforcement arm for dealing with grammar infractions? I can't think why else the poster designer would include quotation marks in the logo itself...