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‘The Strange Name Movie’ Captures the Complicated Delight of Weird Nomenclatures

What’s in a name? Documentary aims to find out

AARP members can watch “The Strange Name Movie” through Dec. 1, 2023. Video run time is 52 minutes.
Courtesy: Vision Films

How do perfectly ordinary, normal people cope with the extraordinary challenge of an embarrassing, provocative, famous or unbelievable name? You know the folks we’re talking about — the James Bonds, Donald Trumps, Al Capones. We also include the kid who lived in fear of morning roll call at school, the teenager assailed by cruel nicknames and the executive bracing for jokes when making a hotel reservation.

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The creators of The Strange Name Movie wanted to know what it was like actually being Al Dente, if there was pressure to live up to “Studley” or how it was to wake up each day knowing you’re a “Putz.” They embarked on a quest to find these people’s (often unlisted) phone numbers and convince them to talk. Most hung up, but the few who did agree made The Strange Name Movie possible.

Director: Richard Tilkin

Writers: Jennifer Bagley, Rocco Giuliano, Richard Tilkin

Language: English

Run time: 52 minutes

Release date: 2017

MPAA rating: Documentary; TV-PG

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