Classic Title Sequences


In honor of the Oscars,

the New York Times gives a little credit

where credits are due,

but not officially acknowledged —

title sequences.

There is no Oscar awarded to these

wonderful bridges from reality

into the cinematic world and back out again.

At their very best,

they are themselves innovative,

emotional experiences,

microcosms of their movies.

Some highlights from title sequences of the past:



“Dr. Strangelove,” Pablo Ferro, 1964. The title sequence that inspired a thousand hand-drawn title sequences. With an orchestral version of “Try a Little Tenderness” playing, this footage of one jet refueling another in mid-air is delicately, beautifully sexual and creepy.



“Psycho,” Saul Bass, 1960. The graphic slicing through the credits is an abstract representation of the horrors to come. Bernard Herrmann’s score mimics and enhances this violent effect. Like the movie, the title sequence is frightening in its minimalism.



“Seven,” Kyle Cooper, 1995. These titles offer our first glimpse of the movie’s mysterious serial killer — his writings and possessions, his terrifying preparations. The type seems scratched on the celluloid by the killer himself. This sequence is almost as scary as the movie.

New York Times




~ by eaesthete on 02/22/09.

2 Responses to “Classic Title Sequences”

  1. I can still remember when ‘Seven’ was released. The title sequence just blew me away. Riveting and so perfectly in sync with the plot of the film. I’m a film editor and I was encouraging people to see the film just because of the title sequence – it was that good!

  2. “Anatomy of a Murder” often pops to mind. This really should be a category unto itself. (Remember being introduced to “The Pink Panther”?)

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