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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: What movies have standout opening credits?

Today’s question comes from Kirk, who writes:

Does anyone do opening credits — other than listing the 14 production companies involved?

I was rewatching Bullitt the other night, and thought again how brilliant and creative the opening credits are. Besides the fantastic film work involved (pre-computer graphics), they also get you off to a bewildered start which is a perfect setup for the movie.

And his actual question:

What movies have standout opening credits?

If you need some inspiration, see Smashing Magazine’s “30 Unforgettable Movie Opening Sequences,” Unreality’s “Ten of the Best Movie Opening Credits,” and IFC’s “The 50 Greatest Opening Title Sequences of All Time.”

In recent years, I’m not sure anything has blown me away the way that Watchmen’s opening sequence does (watch it on YouTube, not embeddable here). It brilliantly sets up the alternate reality the story takes place within.

More classically, I adore the opening “titles” of Fahrenheit 451 (also on YouTube, also not embeddable), which are spoken to you, since this is a world in which no one reads.

Your turn…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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