[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, September 28, 2005 at 12:45pm] Trackbacks
Coming Soon: "Gerunding Name"

I'm trying to compile a list of movie titles that have the form [Gerund] [Name], where [Gerund] is some one-word "-ing" verb, and [Name] is one or more words that refer to a person (or fish). For example:

Saving Private Ryan, Saving Silverman, Finding Nemo, Finding Forrester, Deconstructing Harry, Being John Malkovich, Regarding Henry, Chasing Amy, Chasing Liberty, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Guarding Tess, Drowning Mona.

If you can think of any more, please list them in the comments. Please only list decently significant movies (thus Drowning Mona and Teaching Mrs. Tingle are probably out), and make sure that your posts follow the format exactly (thus Looking for Richard is out).

Dan Schmutter:
Driving Miss Daisy
9.28.2005 1:46pm
Dan Schmutter:
BTW, aren't these also participles?
9.28.2005 1:48pm
Dan Schmutter:
Being There
9.28.2005 1:49pm
Raising Helen
Boxing Helena
9.28.2005 1:49pm
Dan Schmutter:
Sorry, that last one doesn't fit the format
9.28.2005 1:50pm
anonymous coward:
Boxing Helena
9.28.2005 1:50pm
My least favorite type of movie titles.

But, anyway:

Feeling Minnesota,

which, by the way, is as bad a movie as its title is dumb.
9.28.2005 1:51pm
Dan Schmutter:
Raising Arizona
9.28.2005 1:51pm
Educating Rita
9.28.2005 1:51pm
anonymous coward:
Eating Raoul
9.28.2005 1:52pm
HeScreams (mail):
Finding Neverland
Raising Arizona
9.28.2005 1:53pm
HeScreams (mail):
Oh, wait, you said the name had to refer to a person or fish. My suggestions refer to places.

Here's a good one: "Being Julia".

Actually, searches on of popular gerunds ("being") would turn up a lot of examples; but most wouldn't pass the "decently significant" test.

...wait, fish? What's up with that? "Being Mackerel?"
9.28.2005 1:57pm
Chip Smith (mail):
Killing Zoe
9.28.2005 2:01pm
Chip Smith (mail):
Capturing the Friedmans
9.28.2005 2:02pm
Baba Booey:
Jacking Mehoff
9.28.2005 2:04pm
carpundit (www):
I penalize the puzzleblogger three points for getting VC readers to (help) compose his crosswords.

On second thought, I award him three points for ingenuity.
9.28.2005 2:04pm
I think we have more of a grammar puzzle than a movie trivia quiz. A gerund is a particple (ending in "ing") used as noun. The "Saving" in is not used as a noun unless you consider it a noun because it forms part of a title. I would assume that words maintain their same role as parts of speech (verb, noun, adjective, etc.) whether in a title phrase or not, but I don't have a English degree so if someone could clear it up I'd be appreciative.
9.28.2005 2:09pm
Eduardo S:
Waking Ned Devine
Trading Places (?)
King Kong (sorry! couldn't resist!)

If you have a copy of the UPC database from you can extract a list via:

sed -ne 's/^.*,DVD,\("[a-z]\+ing .*\)/\1/ip' <items.csv |sort -u
9.28.2005 2:10pm
Jay Goodman Tamboli (mail) (www):
Raging Bull (1980)
9.28.2005 2:11pm
Kissing Jessica Stein
9.28.2005 2:12pm
Dan Schmutter:

While "Neverland" is a place name (sort of), "Arizona" in "Raising Arizona" is not, since it refers to the surname of the family whose baby is kidnapped in the film. So it counts.

9.28.2005 2:12pm
Sleeping Beauty
9.28.2005 2:15pm
Dan Schmutter:

In the sentence "Saving Private Ryan is our top priority," the word saving is a gerund, so Saving Private Ryan works.

9.28.2005 2:17pm
Dan Schmutter:
Raging Bull and Sleeping Beauty don't work because those are participles rather than gerunds. I think for this to work, you have to start with a transitive verb when you form your gerund.

(Also, Bull and Beauty aren't names in those titles.)
9.28.2005 2:22pm
Bringing Up Baby
9.28.2005 2:22pm
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
9.28.2005 2:27pm
Losing Isaiah
9.28.2005 2:31pm
Dan Schmutter:
Kevin -

In Regarding Henry, I wonder whether that's a gerund or a participle.

9.28.2005 2:32pm
alkali (mail) (www):
F--king Åmål (Sweden, 1998)

(Query whether the gerund is adjectival here.)
9.28.2005 2:35pm
kimsch (mail) (www):
Being John Malkovich
9.28.2005 2:36pm
Nobody (mail):
Serving Sara
9.28.2005 2:46pm
Syd (mail):
Making Mr. Right
Waking Ned Divine
Kissing Jessica Stein
Killing Zoe
Racing Stripes (The zebra's name is Stripes)
Raising Cain
Meeting Venus
Chasing Papi
Losing Isaiah
Calling Dr. Kildare
Calling Dr. Gillespie
Calling Dr. Death
Playing God

Participles, really:
Battling Butler (an old Buster Keaton flick)
Doubting Thomas (another really old film)
Peeping Tom

Honorable mention:
The Mysterious Yearning Secretive Sad Lonely Troubled Confused Loving Musical Gifted Intelligent Beautiful Tender Sensitive Haunted Passionate Talented Mr. Ripley
9.28.2005 2:47pm
monopticus (mail):
A gerund is a verb ending in "ing" which is used as a noun. It doesn't exist in a lot of languages so is sometimes difficult to transalte (e.g. no fumar, reykja er verbotten). A verb ending in "ing" used as a adjective is a present participle (e.g. F***ing wrong). A verb ending in "ing" used as a verb is a "durative" (e.g. "I am swimming" as opposed to "I swim")
9.28.2005 2:57pm
uh clem (mail):
F***ing Waste of Time

Ok, no movie actually had that name, but a lot of them should have.
9.28.2005 2:58pm
Abe Delnore (mail):
Are The Gerunding of Noun titles allowed? This gives you such gems as The Taking of Beverly Hills and The Stalking of Laurie Show. This grammatical structure is, as far as I can tell, only used by terrible movies.
9.28.2005 2:58pm
Dan Schmutter:
Abe -

You are obviously forgetting "The Taking of Pelham 123" when you describe all such movies as terrible.

9.28.2005 3:02pm
Nobody (mail):
Seeing Other People
Seeing Iris
Killing Joe
Killing Priscilla
Killing Zoe
Presenting Lily Mars
Presenting Mona McCluskey
Presenting Barry Morse
Presenting Lena Martell
Presenting Mr. Frederick Douglass
Presenting Nana Mouskouri
Presenting Susan Anton
Repressing Tansy
Pushing Tom
Blazing Saddles
King Arthur
King Lear
King Ralph
Wing Commander

and, for Star Wars Fans..... Peter Cushing
9.28.2005 3:03pm
Todd Klimson (mail):
Killing fields
9.28.2005 3:13pm
I have a long standing dislike of titles consisting of "_ing + proper name" Something about them sets my teeth on edge.
9.28.2005 3:50pm
MDM (mail) (www):
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (cable movie)
Stealing Beauty (not a name per se, but a reference to character)
9.28.2005 4:09pm
Looking for Mr Goodbar
9.28.2005 4:12pm
Touching the Void
Reaching Normal (actually, i searched 'reaching' on, and found about 20 results. i think in this pursuit, IMDB would be your best friend)
Losing Isaiah
Taking Care of Business
Playing God
Going all the Way
9.28.2005 4:21pm
Nobody (mail):
romancing the stone
9.28.2005 4:31pm
Nobody (mail):
Spanking the Monkey
9.28.2005 4:44pm
M. Richardson (mail):
Desperately Seeking Susan
9.28.2005 4:58pm
Tflan (mail):
Searching for Bobby Fisher
9.28.2005 5:31pm
Tflan (mail):
Defending Your Life
9.28.2005 5:32pm
Jacob Lister (mail):
Training Day (though day isn't exactly a proper name)
Leaving Las Vegas (which won Oscars, and hasn't been mentioned yet)
Sling Blade (as long as "King Kong" counts)
Wedding Singer (two "ings" in one title!)
Working Girl
Running Man (starring the answer for one of your previous puzzles)
9.28.2005 5:45pm
Brent Tubbs (www):
Waiting for Guffman
9.28.2005 6:20pm
DL (mail):
Leaving Las Vegas
9.28.2005 9:22pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
Finding Fish (aka antwone fisher)
Finishing Mary (1918 short)
Becoming Collette
Becoming Jane (2007? about jane austen)
Becoming Marty (2003, obscure)
loving lulu 1993
fighting tommy riley (2005) might not work grammaticly
fighting eddie.
i make no claims about quality
9.28.2005 11:51pm
Tim Converse (mail) (www):
Sleeping with the Enemy
9.29.2005 2:27am
Tom R (mail):
It's like the destruction Ronald Dworkin wrought upon law reviews by triggering a spate of "Taking [XYZ] Seriously" titles. At one time I had six or seven journal articles listed somewhere that promised to take something seriously for the very first time.
9.29.2005 4:13am
JF (mail):
Lovin' Molly
9.29.2005 11:06am
not Linda Greenhouse:
Will "Becoming Justice Blackmun" be put on the big screen?

I think a cartoon would be cool, with Beavis and Blackmun. "He said 'sodomy.' Heh heh."
9.29.2005 6:40pm
Tom R (mail):
There's also Dating the Enemy, which pioneered the genre of the funky Australian body-swap comedy. See Guy Pearce before he acquired an LA accent!
9.29.2005 7:51pm
Goober (mail):
Tom R---

Did any involve the Takings Clause?
9.30.2005 5:01pm