MY FAVORITE SAUL BASS OPENING TITLE SEQUENCES
Saul Bass is the father of the opening title sequence, my medium. Today would have been his 95th birthday.
- 1.VertigoAlfred Hitchcock, 1958. The mother of all title sequences for the mother of all thrillers. The super saturated colors, the crazy spirographs. It's a masterpiece, and totally hypnotic.
- 2.Anatomy of a MurderOtto Preminger, 1958. If I had to choose one image that most inhabits the "Saul Bass signature style" it would be the title treatment for Anatomy of a Murder. Updated in 1995 by Art Sims for the poster to Spike Lee's Clockers.
- 3.PsychoAlfred Hitchcock, 1960. Bonus points because Bass also storyboarded (and some say directed) the shower scene.
- 4.The Age of InnocenceMartin Scorcese, 1993. Scorcese brought Bass out of title design retirement for a stretch in the 90s. This might be his most beautiful sequence.
- 5.West Side StoryRobert Wise & Jerome Robbins, 1961. Bass uses the language of the streets, scrawling on brick walls and traffic signs.
- 6.Grand PrixJohn Frankenheimer, 1966. An editing tour-de-force with more split screens than The Brady Bunch. It's a racing movie, and the main title is superimposed over an exhaust pipe. Awesome.
- 7.North by NorthwestHitchcock, 1959. Bass was not afraid to fuck with the studio logo.
- 8.Bonjour TristesseOtto Preminger, 1958. A sleeper, but I love the child-like cut-outs. It's a little lesser-known, so I ripped it off entirely for a movie called The Last of Robin Hood by the directors of Still Alice a couple years ago.
- 9.The Seven Year ItchBilly Wilder, 1955. Light and simple and perfect. Color panels peel back to reveal the eccentrically handwritten titles.
- 10.It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldStanley Kramer, 1963. I'm not as much of a fan of his fully animated sequences — the ones with cartoony characters — but this one earns a spot because it's endlessly inventive with one simple visual question: How many things can you do with a drawing of a globe?
- 11.Something wild (1961)Suggested by @BEKaplan