Skip

FADE IN
February 25, 2011 2:26 AM   Subscribe

IFC News presents film's 50 Greatest Opening Title Sequences of All Time - Start here, or all 50 on one page
posted by fearfulsymmetry (41 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Saul Bass wins #1, but he should have won more. we still couldn't find room for many of their best efforts -- you won't see "Anatomy of a Murder." ... Anatomy of a Murder.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:42 AM on February 25, 2011


My favorite is still the opening to the Royal Tenenbaums, the back story to a Musak version of "Hey, Jude:, and then introducing characters, a la a playbook, having them look right into the camera while their world works around them.

Also, the title credits to The Watchmen movie is easily the best thing about that movie.
posted by gc at 2:59 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen a lot of these films, so I can't disparage this list for not including my favorite:

The opening scene to "The Italian Job" where Beckermann is speeding through the Alps in that red sports car while "Days Like These" plays and the opening credits roll. Then he drives into the tunnel...
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:06 AM on February 25, 2011


For me, A Clockwork Orange still does it like few others. Talk about setting the mood.
posted by Decani at 3:07 AM on February 25, 2011


Love the title sequence for Enter the Void
posted by dydecker at 3:16 AM on February 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, Jean Claude Van Damme made a self-referential meta-film that scored 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and resulted in Time magazine placing him just behind Heath Ledger for performance of the year? And its got an awesome opening? How did we miss this?
posted by memebake at 3:19 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


On RTFA, the Watchmen is #8 (scroll down a bit).
posted by gc at 3:19 AM on February 25, 2011


Star Wars vs. Saul Bass [previously]
posted by clearly at 3:22 AM on February 25, 2011


For me, A Clockwork Orange still does it like few others. Talk about setting the mood.

Agreed. Its omission is a sin. It's a sin, it's a sin, it's a sin!
posted by Ljubljana at 4:04 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


JCVD was epic
posted by Damienmce at 4:05 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Forget the fact this list is ordered and limited to 50... it's a fun, random list to peruse.
posted by victors at 4:06 AM on February 25, 2011


Who's we?

The rafter monologue in JCVD is amazing. Like goosebumps. Opening sequence and end are also really good.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:35 AM on February 25, 2011


the back story to a Musak version of "Hey, Jude"

Good lord, it's an instrumental version - it's not muzak!
posted by crossoverman at 5:05 AM on February 25, 2011


Tropic Thunder belongs on this list; it perhaps only works in a cinema rather than on DVD, but I thought it was genuinely brilliant.
posted by nowonmai at 5:13 AM on February 25, 2011


Good lord, it's an instrumental version - it's not muzak!

Maybe, but Anderson's movies are the cinematic equivalent of Musak, so he wasn't too far off to begin with..
posted by ReeMonster at 5:13 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, wait, perhaps I should read the post before commenting. Don't mind me.
posted by nowonmai at 5:15 AM on February 25, 2011


Maybe, but Anderson's movies are the cinematic equivalent of Musak, so he wasn't too far off to begin with.

I'm just going to say - "Wrong!" - and go on with my day.
posted by crossoverman at 5:21 AM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


the back story to a Musak version of "Hey, Jude"

Good lord, it's an instrumental version - it's not muzak!

posted by crossoverman at 9:05 PM on February 25 [+] [!]

Augh, that's totally right. In my mind, I translated The Mutato Muzika Orchestra as the "Muzak "Orchestra," and have for some time.
posted by gc at 5:24 AM on February 25, 2011


I have no idea where that extra quotation mark came from...
posted by gc at 5:25 AM on February 25, 2011


I'm just going to say - "Wrong!" - and go on with my day.

Is that supposed to be proof that my personal opinion is wrong? Let's see how important his films are considered in 30 or 40 years.
posted by ReeMonster at 5:33 AM on February 25, 2011


I always liked the opening credits of "Around the World in 80 Days" and feel that it influenced "Catch Me If You Can".
Fun post, thanks!
posted by pentagoet at 5:46 AM on February 25, 2011


I'd vote to include some more great comedy openings like Ruthless People or any of the Pink Panther flicks, and the second Casino Royale was great.
posted by twsf at 6:06 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seconding twsf's vote for Casino Royale. That was a fantastic opening credit sequence, and my favorite of the Bond movies.
posted by azpenguin at 6:12 AM on February 25, 2011


A really hard list to cut down to size and it would be good to see the other 100 that didn't make it.

Run Lola Run & Delicatessen aside, it's a bit short on non-English language cinema. The openings to Amélie, Battle Royale ('The girl definitely just smiled!') & Tampopo should really get in there.

They refer to it in the article but no Pink Panther in the top 50 is pretty shabby.

All that aside, a decent list and good to see they gave props to Exit Through The Gift Shop & Go.
posted by i_cola at 6:17 AM on February 25, 2011


Um, i really like the opening for Cars.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:38 AM on February 25, 2011


"Catch Me If You Can" but no "North By Northwest"? Obviously these are the same people who vote in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame derivative artists but bypassing the original.
posted by Gungho at 7:12 AM on February 25, 2011


I do not see any Pink Panthers entries on this list. I find this most distressing.
posted by Ber at 7:20 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well not exactly bypassing the original entirely...Bernard Herrman scored 4 of the top 50. ( yes I know the music is only part of the title sequence...Titles by Deluxe!
posted by Gungho at 7:22 AM on February 25, 2011


It's not the best, but I really enjoyed the opening to Zombieland (watch here, switch to HD if you can). (NSFW, slow-mo zombie violence and boobs)

Also, the remake of Dawn of the Dead is pretty ace. Johnny Cash sings in the end of the world in a few minutes.

The intro to Halloween establishes the entire movie and its themes with profound minimal efficiency (video, terrible quality).

(If you notice a recurring theme in here, it's only because I love zombies and horror movies.)

I'm glad and kind of surprised to see 'Go' made the list.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:28 AM on February 25, 2011


No Trainspotting? Pity.

(And if we can extend this to TV too, even though I'm not as much of fan of the series as most are, the opening credit sequence to Dexter is brilliant, and perfectly sets the tone for the show.)
posted by schmod at 8:05 AM on February 25, 2011


the back story to a Musak version of "Hey, Jude"

Interesting side note: Anderson wanted the late, great Elliott Smith to record a cover of "Hey, Jude" to use for the opening credits but Smith was so far gone in his drug abuse and so intimidated by the task that he just did not/could not do it, leading anderson to use Smith's "Needle in the Hay" for the scene where Luke Wilson's character attempts suicide.
posted by holdkris99 at 8:09 AM on February 25, 2011


I can't argue with "Vertigo" as number one, though I'd have probably given the top ten to Hitchcock titles. Just my bias. The 50 they list are pretty damn stupendous, though. Some personal favorites (of the ones that have viable links): "In a Lonely Place." "The Maltese Falcon." "Cool Hand Luke." "Sweet Smell of Success." "Imitation of Life." And, a recent discovery (for me), simple, unornate, perfect: "Woman in the Dunes." Also, in the "what it says on the tin" category: "Blue Velvet."
posted by blucevalo at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2011


No love for "Manhattan"? That's my favorite opening.
posted by sbutler at 9:26 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Under the Volcano's title sequence is by far my favorite, and it tends to get left off of these lists.

Oh cool. .after other futile attempts to find it, here it is!

The movie itself is skippable.
posted by Danf at 9:29 AM on February 25, 2011


Apocalypse Now! is Charlie Sheen's favorite
posted by arveale at 9:31 AM on February 25, 2011


I swear to God my Netflix queue was already full.
posted by dhartung at 9:33 AM on February 25, 2011


Although understandably not on anyone's list of fifty greatest openings, the first ten minutes of Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract totally blew me away when I saw first saw it thirty-ish years ago. Still does, come to that.
posted by Grangousier at 9:40 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Trainspotting etc etc... there's a difference between an opening (brilliant though Trainspotting's is ) and a title sequence.

Italian Job and Pink Panther should definitly be there. Some faves of mine Get Carter, Jackie Brown, The Wanderers
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:06 AM on February 25, 2011


I love how in some of the youtube links, I can actually have a chance to watch the whole movie like The Naked Kiss.
posted by spec80 at 10:27 AM on February 25, 2011


No Trainspotting etc etc... there's a difference between an opening (brilliant though Trainspotting's is ) and a title sequence.

Slowly working my way though them, one or two a day... and Snatch has names of characters not actors and is thus a total cheat. If they are going to do that, then why not include Trainspotting which does the same, bah!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:21 PM on March 1, 2011




« Older The words are evolving as you read!   |   Skate Skulls Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post