Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anatomy of a Title Sequence

These opening credits (composed by legendary title-screenmaker Saul Bass) for Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder ('59) are tremendous. They aren't on the level of his work on North by Northwest or Vertigo, but the way the capture the tone and the mood of the film in just 90 seconds is wonderful.

As a whole, Anatomy of a Murder is an excellent monochrome smooth-jazz courtroom drama with a refreshing air of crazed dry humor and lightness about it. It deviates from your standard variety legal spectacle because of its almost self-mocking, burlesque spirit. James Stewart's Paul Biegler (a washed-up, broke defense attorney) isn't Atticus Finch and his almost deadpan performance is certainly one of his most interesting.

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