Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Capture the Title

I recently stumbled upon Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens Page. It is a wonderful collection of screen captures of movie title screens.

I've always enjoyed watching opening credits to movies. I usually notice which the font is used, where the title pops up on-screen, and the music that plays throughout the opening credits. It is not something I think a lot about, but when I see a good title screen, I appreciate it because sometimes it makes a bold, non-verbal statement about the film I'm going to see.

Now, in alphabetical order, I present to you, a list of my ten favorite title screens.

I love the whole writing-on-notepad opening credit thing. I think it's pretty darn cool that it was writer/director Cameron Crowe writing it. That man has awesome handwriting, compared to my own sloppy scrawl.

I know this is pretty much the usual title screen to most Woody Allen movies, but I love the simple white text on black background. It is unbelievably classy.

This image is a true icon of the bristling elegance of early sixties cinema. Audrey Hepburn + Pastry + Tiffany's + Moon River = Title. I love it.

Catch Me If You Can is one of Steven Spielberg's most entertaining and underrated films of all-time. But fortunately, the highly stylized, sixties-inspired opening credits is often not overlooked. Like the film itself, the opening credits is a lot of fun, complete with a brilliant John Williams score to top it off.

I just saw this film fairly recently and liked it quite a bit since I'm a fan of Bob Dylan's music. I have to say, Cate Blanchett is really as marvelous as everyone says she is. Anyway, I love the opening credits to I'm Not There. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" is a great choice for the opening credits but what I really love was the font used for the credits. I'm no expert on fonts, but it looks like a hybrid of Helvetica and Verdana. Or am I thinking too much into this and it's really just Arial?

Yeah, I have a thing for plain, simple fonts used in opening credits. When I see title fonts for movies like Star Wars and Jurassic Park, I tend to think that they look way too commercial-ready. The way the title appears across Steve Carell's post-suicide attempt Frank kind of sets the mood for the somewhat depressed, unstable bunch at the center of Little Miss Sunshine's dysfunctional family.

Gorgeous, much? Nobody films New York like Woody Allen.

I love this movie and I also love simple fonts. But this font is in pink so it makes it rather special.

This is probably my favorite opening title sequence ever. I find the revealing of the title really cool and creative for some reason. Elmer Bernstein's score is enchanting and lovely to listen to. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite movies (and books) of all-time, so I pretty much love everything about it.

Honestly, Vertigo gives me the spooks. So does this insanely freaky title screen.


Feel free to share your favorite title screens/opening sequences!


  1. I totally agree with you about the opening credits of I'm Not There. Love 'em.

  2. I have to say another title screen I really enjoy is Napoleon Dynamite. While I think the movie is alright, the title screen is really creative.

    I too am a fan of simplicity,

  3. One of my favorite opening title sequences is probably "The Panic Room". I also agree with your choices and I can see that "Catch me if you can" also had a good style opening.

  4. oh man, I dont think I have a favorite title screen opening. I do however like the ones you listed

  5. Oh marcy dear, where for art thou marcy?

  6. Catherine - Yeah. But I'm Not There is just a gorgeous-looking movie from beginning to end.

    Shawn - I haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite, although a lot of my friends love it. And this comment proves that I'm still well and alive :)

    Jaccstev - I haven't seen Panic Room. Glad you agree with me about Catch Me If You Can. It's one of the most awesome opening credits I've ever seen.

    Farzan - Thanks!

  7. Freaking awesome set of opening credit captures, I like them all, especially "Catch Me If You Can."

  8. Yeah Nick, Catch Me If You Can is certainly a popular one. I love it.