Friday, February 26, 2010

My Favorite Film Title/Credit Sequences Part 2

This is my continuation of a blog series arc I started in Part 1 featuring my favorite film title or end credit sequences.

Main Title - Catch Me If You Can: whoever did the titles for Steven Spielberg's 2002 true tale of Frank Abagnale Jr. sure had a playful sense. The mesmerizing 2-D titles and graphics summarize the story in the sequence, and all in perfect tune with a jazzy opening score by John Williams. It exudes a carefree and thoroughly 60's feel.

Closing Credits - Ferris Bueller's Day Off: John Hughes' unexpected end credits to his 1986 teen comedy are wonderfully funny and work well with the story that's been presented. The unpredicted scenes inter-cut with the closing credits made the staying worthwhile, and funny as hell.

Main Title - Charade:  The 1963 mystery comedy with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn is a favorite of my friend from across the pond, Livius, and mine. As he puts it, "I also love the beginning of Stanley Donen's Charade, as the body is tossed from the train before that superb score and credit sequence kicks in." Those vortex-like graphics, with the accompanying rhythmic Henry Mancini track, is one of the great old-time title sequences in film history.

Main Title - Total Recall: The 1990 Paul Verhoeven film featured some of the best in cascading graphics. The translucent movie titles are driven to the pulsing beat of Jerry Goldsmith's larger-than-life score. It is a rousing opening for this sci-fi actioner.

Main Title - Blade Runner: Ridley Scott's 1982 film may have relatively simple titles on the screen in its opening sequence, but the look of it (along with the eerie and distinctive Vangelis score) make it unforgettable. What comes after the LOS ANGELES NOVEMBER, 2019 title has to be one of the all-time best cityscape eyeopeners ever for audiences.

Main Title - The Thing From Another World and John Carpenter's The Thing: I was going to look-up the iconic title sequence from each of these film classics (since they are such favorites of mine), but I discovered it was already done, recently (and a whole lot better than I ever could have) by the fine folks over at The Art of the Title Sequence. Who are they?
A compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world. We honor the artists who design excellent title sequences. We discuss and display their work with a desire to foster more of it, via stills and video links, interviews, creator notes, and user comments.

Featuring opening title design for film and television from Croatia, New Zealand, Serbia, Russia, the United States, Brazil, England, France, India, Japan, Italy, Chile, Mexico, Yugoslavia and Egypt.
Their Feb. 22nd post covers both films (including clips of the "Two fine fire melt title reveals"), and an interview with a young title designer, Krystian Morgan, who created a new experimental sequence of the film based on Carpenter's vision. If you enjoy watching or analyzing the special graphic and motion art of title sequences, this is the web site you must visit.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Good call on the CATCH ME IF YOU CAN opening credits. They are definitely my favorite, hands down, from the past decade. I really like this film and it feels almost underappreciated among Spielberg's filmography. Thanks for reminding me about this film, I really need to watch it again.

    Oh, and I also thought that the opening credit sequence for WATCHMEN was pretty snazzy. It managed to introduce you to the complex, intricate world created in the comic books and give you a sense of what it was all about.

  2. Pretty cool post. The first one that came to mind was spiderman and I had just watched the Wild Bunch just before your part 1. I often wish to have all the Bond intros for a sit down viewing and back in the vhs days I made a tape of them during Bond week. LOL.

  3. J.D.: I agree that, for some reason that's hard to fathom, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is "underappreciated among Spielberg's filmography." It had a very good cast, made good box office, and then dropped from everyone's radar. Also, I have to get off my butt and re-watch WATCHMEN on disc. I saw in theaters, and the BD is just sitting there... mocking me ;-).

    HnL: The Bond openings would be a great sequence to watch in succession. I'm sure they are all on YouTube, but having all of them in order in one extract would be cool.

    Thank you, both, for your comments.

  4. Some nice choices there. I'd echo JD re Watchmen. Viewed my Hannibal Blu-ray last night, and the credit sequence is right up there.

  5. Hi, Steve. I agree, too, with those HANNIBAL credit sequences. Totally unexpected and imaginative. Thanks, my friend.

  6. le0pard13: I got the WATCHMEN ULTIMATE CUT DVD set for Christmas but haven't had a large enough chunk of time to watch it all but am looking forward to see all of the TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER stuff fits in with the Director's Cut. I've been thinking of doing an extensive review of the film and my conflicting feelings about it.

  7. J.D., I think that would be a great review! In such a short period since it's come out, WATCHMEN has on disc a theatrical cut, director's cut, and now a Ultimate Cut. And separately you have Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood, and the well done Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (the animation of the original graphic novel). Put me down as someone who definitely would enjoy your take and feelings about it. Thanks.

  8. I'd love to read this, too. Of course, you can bet we haven't seen the last of Watchmen DVD releases.

  9. More great stuff here. Bravo.
    Looking at the Charade intro reminded me just how good Mancini scores can be, and I remembered the wonderful moody beginning of Blake Edwards' atypical Experiment in Terror.

  10. Serious movie buff when you're concerned with not just the credits but how they're done. :-)

    It's not a movie, but I love the opening of Mad Men on AMC.

  11. The opening credits of Mad Men is an outstanding example of great design and the use of graphics, Nordette. Thank you for adding to this and your kind words.

  12. I'll second JD - thus thirding you -- on CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. Also the Charade sequence. And those Ferris Bueller closing credits are still great.

    At first I couldn't remember seeing Total Recall. Isn't that ironic?

  13. "At first I couldn't remember seeing Total Recall. Isn't that ironic?"

    You're too funny, Naomi. Thanks for your comment.