Monday, March 21, 2011

One of the Best Opening Titles

Stanley Donen's Arabesque ('66) is only a moderate addition to the girl-and-a-guy 60's mod spy thriller, but Henry Mancini's original score and Maurice Bender's opening titles make for one of my new all-time favorite credits sequences. 
It's funny how the opening title cards never amounted to squat during the 30's, 40's and early 50's when they were all, for the most part, indistinguishable. Yet it seems once Saul Bass did The Man With the Golden Arm ('55) followed by Vertigo ('58) and Anatomy of a Murder ('59), the flood-gates opened for the next two decades.
And you won't find better opening titles than in the 1960's, the decade of the gimmick. Split-screens, kaleidoscopes, pinwheel primary colors, etc., it was all there. The opening titles to Stanley Donen's Charade ('63) were very Hitchcockesque, but Arabesque is more James Bond, I love it.

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