Watch: An Hour of Saul Bass Title Sequences

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Opening Titles of Anatomy of a Murder
Photo: Columbia Pictures

I love a good opening title sequence. These days, it is a rarity to get one, with people content on superimposing the titles on the beginning of the film or just eliminating them all together. Opening title sequences can add a lot to a film. They can set a tone. They can establish a style. They can deliver exposition in a clever way. Or they can just be fun to look at. Perhaps the king of opening titles is Saul Bass. From Anatomy of a Murder to Vertigo to Spartacus to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Bass has created some of the most memorable openings to films ever.

He has a unique way of using color, animation, and pace to instantly clue you in to what the movie you are about to watch is. Though the title sequences may differ in look and style, they are all undeniably Saul Bass. You can always tell when he is put in charge of the titles. To more familiarize you with his style, below is a compilation of his sequences. The video is on the long side, at sixty-five minutes, but each second is worth examining and enjoying. You will watch them and understand why the opening title sequence needs to be implemented more often in films nowadays.

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Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

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