Let's name us some "bait and switch" movies

A “bait and switch” movie is a movie whose title and marketing seem to promise one thing, but which turn out to be about something else entirely.

The classic example: Pearl Harbor, succinctly described by some as about “what happens when the Japanese bomb an American love triangle.” There’s so much movie devoted to the love triangle that the Japanese attack comes off as kinda beside the point.

My contribution: The Black Dahlia. It’s purportedly about the Black Dahlia murder, and she does show up, but the bulk of the movie is about a love triangle between the two cops investigating the murder and Scarlett Johansen. The Black Dahlia seems almost irrelevant to the real main story.

Other bait and switches?

I dunno, Pearl Harbor (I have resist throwing a “u” in there) was about the attack and the love triangle, which just made the movie waaaay too long.

Kindergarten Cop was marketed as a fluff comedy about Ah-nuld brought down by a bunch of five year-olds. The first 20 minutes and last 20 minutes, though, were pretty adult in language and violence.

And To Kill a Mockingbird gave me no useful advice on killing mockingbirds.

And I thought Watership Down was going to be about a crippled submarine.

Demolition Man - marketed as an Action Drama, actually an Action Comedy (and very entertaining if you watch it as such).

Likewise, The Mummy (the remake) - marketed as horror/action when it was really rather tongue-in-cheek.

One that I thought was “bait and switch” in a GOOD way was Dangerous Beauty . It was marketed (if you can even call it that) as another Skinemax soft core fluff melodrama, but was actually a very fantastically well done movie about what it means to be “an empowered woman” in an era when women’s power was only achievable through sex with powerful men. Sure, there are a couple of yummy sexy scenes, but more interesting are the scenes of libraries - which only men and courtesans may enter - and politics and other weighty issues.

In fact, until just now when I went to IMDB to link for this post, I did not know that the movie was based on a scholarly work called “The Honest Courtesan”, the true and historical tale of Veronica Franco (that is, I knew it was based on a true story, but didn’t know it was well researched.)

Just about every monster movie from the 50s and 60s counts. You’d have an hour of some reporter/cop/PI/cowboy/astronaut/whatever wandering around the desert/castle/village/cave/planet/whatever looking at footprints and hearing strange noises, and then about 2 minutes of a guy in a rubber suit. Whatta ripoff.

Well granted I did turn it off after about half an hour but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_of_sam. I absolutely thought it was actually going to be about David Berkowitz, boy was I wrong. :smack:

Very Bad Things, which was marketed as a black comedy and did not have a single funny moment to be found in it.

Executive Desicion was marketed at a Stevel Segal movie.

I never would’ve gone to see Bridge to Terabithia if I’d known that it wasn’t the fantasy it presented itself as. I felt completely blindsided.

Probably all of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies would fit this category, the most egregious of which would be Signs, which was marketed as an alien invasion movie but was more a story of faith lost and found.

My entry into the pool is Angel Eyes. The horrible horrible HORRIBLE marketing made it seem like some major ‘Sixth Sense-type’ mystery complete with spooky twists and turns, and it turned out to be a moving and lovely little film about two misfits who fall in love with each other.

That’s too bad. I loved it when I saw it in the theater. A film about Berkowitz might have been a mildly interesting biomurder movie, but I thought it was much more fascinating to look at how the Son of Sam killings affected one portion of the community. I thought it was well-acted and well-directed. Maybe I just have a soft spot for it because it was my first, very welcome, exposure to Adrien Brody, who was terrific.

That was my thought when I finally caught this on cable. I thought it would be about exploring one of the theories of the case. Instead I got a confusing plot line about boxing cops and weird clown paintings.

Both involving Josh Harnett, too. :dubious:

**Unstrung Heroes ** staring Andie MacDowell, John Turturro, and Michael Richards.

The cover of the original VHS cassette showed all of the main characters laughing and joyful. I was even labeled as being a comedy.

Turned out to be a depressing movie about a mom’s terminal illness.

I had just the opposite reaction. I wouldn’t have wanted to see it if I thought it was lame CGI fantasy LOTR/Narnia rip-off. It is a great coming-of-age movie that people of all ages should see. The advertising campaign really undercut this wonderful film. I hoped the DVD would be marketed differently but such was not the case. I’m afraid this deception will cause many people who would love it to skip it.

On the other hand, Gray Lady Down sounds like a cartoon about a matronly goose.

The new Transformers. I was expecting an intense action movie with a few gags and one-liners thrown in; the actual movie is more of a slapstick comedy with some incidental robot action.

The Shining - it felt completely deceived by the trailer I saw.

Mute Witness. Over here anyway, the movie poster and video cover showed a woman’s face, eyes stricken in terror, with her mouth seemingly sewn up or branded shut with the word MUTE. It was marketed as a horror flick, whereas it was actually a black comedy indie thriller, and a very good one at that.

I had never read the book (or even known the book existed), but the trailer for Freedomland hinted at some kind of supernatural explanation to the kidnapped kid storyline. Instead, it was two hours of Samuel L Jackson trying to prevent a race riot with a missing kid as a background plot.