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Old 23-11-2005, 12:32   #1
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Classic Film Title Sequences

What's up with the place this week? It's deader than Paramount's classics schedule. Did everybody jump on a plane to Hawaii and leave me behind?
Anyway, how about classic main titles? Did a quick search and only found a thread on Saul Bass, but apologies if there's already been a "general" one too.
My fave (non-Saul Bass) titles would be:

Superman: The Movie - one of the first DVDs I watched on my home cinema system (and loud!). By the first bars of Williams' theme, the hairs on the back of my neck were on end; by the end of the credits, I was just blown away. Fan-bloody-TASTIC.

The Italian Job - cool-as-hell Rossano Brazzi eases a Ferrari around winding roads high in the Italian mountains, while Matt Monro's ultimate "lazy summer day" tune, On Days Like These, plays away. Glorious.

Kiss Me Deadly. Stylish, original, still fresh all these years later. I was amazed to find credits like this on a 1955 film.

The Bond films. Enough said. If I had to pick one, Dr No. Cos it's the first.

Any other favourites?
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Old 23-11-2005, 12:36   #2
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The rotoscoping on the Leone dollars trilogy, and subsequent other spaghetti's, are excellent.
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Old 23-11-2005, 13:18   #3
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se7en was pretty good from memory.

There's a special name for these sequences, and it's really annoying me that i can't remember it - any idea's?
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Old 23-11-2005, 13:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1mg
se7en was pretty good from memory.

There's a special name for these sequences, and it's really annoying me that i can't remember it - any idea's?
Yup they're called 'Classic' titles sequences, right up to 1980...

I'd nominate most anything by Saul Bass, but if we are leaving him out of things...

Love the titles sequence and seague into the introduction for Casablanca; (Stieiner's Warners classic fanfare is usually all a film needs...)

The Wild Bunch, Jerry Fielding's military style snare drumming, the Bunch ride into town, the kids get the scorpion to sting itself in a sea of red ants...

Alien, Jerry Goldsmith's score, the icy cold of space, the anticaption of, well, something, and I love the title sequence for The Thing From Another World, Tiomkin, theremin, and that dazzling title effect.

Hondo - have you ever seen a 3D title effect that looked so damned 3D in 2D (if, er, you get my drift). I'm also very fond of Seven Days in May, Dr. Strangelove, From Russia With Love and The Getaway.

('Ere Dave; can I get back to work now? )
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Old 23-11-2005, 13:57   #5
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THX 1138's is excellently done, the backwards credit sequence and Gregorian-lite music leading into the opening montage (nevermind... nevermindmind, mindmind).
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Old 23-11-2005, 14:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
The rotoscoping on the Leone dollars trilogy, and subsequent other spaghetti's, are excellent.
Of course! How could I forget the Dollars trilogy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
('Ere Dave; can I get back to work now? )
Work? So that's it! I knew there must be a reason they pay me to sit here all day.
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Old 23-11-2005, 14:55   #7
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I always liked the screen filling up with diamonds for the Imitation of Life titles and no list of great title sequences would be complete without a mention of Barbarella.
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Old 23-11-2005, 15:11   #8
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Does anyone think up title sequences without having a film to put them to? I've spent years of my life daydreaming such things (and the music that would accompany them). Call me shallow, I often find such things more interesting than the films themselves.

I like to compartmentalise *cough*

S'not much of a film, but I liked the arch, utterly obvious credits sequence of the Sinatra vehicle Assault on a Queen.

Being a fan of anything that sticks a pretentious song over the intro credits, Apocalypse Now wows me pretty much every time. I literally was dribbling when I saw this theatrically, in a nearly empty arthouse cinema.

As end credits go, not much beats Cross of Iron - the nursery rhyme chant gradually seguing into the mournful score, the freeze frames, the brutal intercutting of Nazi atrocities.

Carpenter's Dark Star also has a lovely, utterly apposite scene-setting credits sequence, with the titular ship lazily sauntering about the cosmos with Benson, Arizona drawling over the top.
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Old 23-11-2005, 16:28   #9
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The closing credits on Around the World in 80 Days are fun.
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Old 23-11-2005, 16:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Soprano
The rotoscoping on the Leone dollars trilogy, and subsequent other spaghetti's, are excellent.
Was just about to post this! Bought them all today, watching Fistful of Dollars now

Austin Powers has the funniest title sequence ever made
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Old 23-11-2005, 16:42   #11
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2001: A Space Odyssey
Se7en
Superman the Movie (I'm not a fan of the tinkering done to the film's audio, but can't deny those titles whooshing over you head are superb)
North by Northwest
Psycho
Spider-Man
The Hulk (so sue me - I think the titles have a great comic-book feel to them)
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Old 23-11-2005, 17:34   #12
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No one's mentioned the Pink Panther movies yet. I tend to associate great title sequences with the 60s, which I guess was their heyday (even tripe like What's New Pussycat has an elaborate title sequence), although a few films like the recent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang seem to want to bring them back.

Anyway, for some reason, I've always liked the title sequence of Billy Liar (the fast tracking shots across people's houses).
Then there's the witty neon cityscape of the My Man Godfrey credits.
And Jules Et Jim has a high-spirited credit sequence, which, as the Criterion commentary says, is like a trailer for the film you're about to see. Which reminds me of the mayhem going on behind the credits for The Palm Beach Story.
I find it a bit dated now, but still impressive is the Bullitt title sequence. Its designer, Pablo Ferro has a website here where you can check out his credits and watch his credits (sorry) in the Portfolio section.
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Old 23-11-2005, 18:02   #13
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"Cry of the Banshee" has Monty Python era Terry Gilliam titles
"Once Upon A Time In The West"
Japanese film titles are often very striking-often very simple,but always very carefully done-too many to mention here-"Woman of the Dunes" utilises passport and other official stamps, as the film,like much of Shindo's work,is about identity.
Mario Bava's "Lisa and the Devil"
Roman Polanski often favours the credits going from north to south down the screen,giving a disorientating feel.
Although I'm not a fan of the film I like the titles for Godard's "Bande A Part" alot.
The titles for Kobayashi's "Kwaidan" are beautifully simple-coloured inks dropped into water-very effective and eerie-I think Bava's "Black Sabbath" uses this technique...or i may be confusing it with the drop of water episode,can't remember,not seen it for years

"Bullit"-a little obvious
J.Hodson mentioned "The Getaway",an example of how much can be conveyed by simple means-love the bit where McQ crushes his matchstick model and the shot of the deer at the beginning.




Film titles are worthy of a great big book with lots of lovely pictures

Last edited by derek cassidy; 23-11-2005 at 23:08.
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Old 23-11-2005, 18:46   #14
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The titles of The Court Jester are quite lovely, Kaye singing and ushering off Rathbone's persistent, dastardly credit wherever it shows its dastardly face... #villains full of villainy...#
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Old 23-11-2005, 19:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
Does anyone think up title sequences without having a film to put them to? I've spent years of my life daydreaming such things (and the music that would accompany them). Call me shallow, I often find such things more interesting than the films themselves.
Yes I do that,also poster designs and music,then unfortunately I start to become rather bitter with frustration then I console myself with "all the great films have been made anyway,todays films are crap and I'd be casting pearls before swine"
why hasn't "crap" been asterisk-ised?

Last edited by derek cassidy; 23-11-2005 at 23:04.
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Old 23-11-2005, 19:05   #16
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ooh - how could I forget the wonderful Monkey Business. "Not yet, Cary."
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Old 23-11-2005, 22:49   #17
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The titles on Corman's Little Shop Of Horrors are probably unique for being even more impressive on the colorized version!
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Old 24-11-2005, 01:35   #18
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For me...

Casino

Vertigo

The Untouchables

Batman (1989)

Superman

Mean Streets

Basic Instinct
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Old 24-11-2005, 21:00   #19
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Yeah, the Saul Bass Vertigo title sequence was lovely.
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Old 25-11-2005, 08:36   #20
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The titles for Marathon Man always give me the chills, they're so perfect - the vintage footage of the Olympics... the cheers gradually subsiding as Hoffman's obsessive puffing becomes louder, Michael Small's dissonant synthetic soundtrack looming larger, the main title running into the frame...
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2001: A Space Odyssey, Casino, classic film, Cry of the Banshee, Kiss me Deadly, North by Northwest, On Days Like These, Psycho, Se7en, Spider-man, Superman: The Movie, The Court Jester, The Italian Job, THX 1138, Title Sequences

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