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For when your thoughts are drifting to things not so movie, or if you're feeling trivially inclined.
591

Best Credits according to Gilligan
Topic by: hamano
Posted: January 20, 2004 - 3:43 PM PST
Last Reply: March 25, 2007 - 11:22 PM PDT

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author topic: Best Credits according to Gilligan
hamano
post #1  on January 20, 2004 - 3:43 PM PST  
Let's pick on Cinenaut and critique his list of "Best" movie credits! Or just post your own favorites. You can talk about your favorite songs over ending credits, too.
hamano
post #2  on January 20, 2004 - 4:02 PM PST  
My all time favorite opening credit sequence is from Cronenberg's Dead Ringers. It's almost better than the film itself! Unfortunately this DVD is out of print, and I had to go on half.com to buy a copy. But it's well worth it!

The opening shows a series of engravings (and some pseudo-engravings made for the sequence) showing medical instruments, instruments of torture, wombs, and unusual babies like conjoined twins. Very understated in its own way, stately, and magnificent!

Annie Lennox has sung songs over some closing credits. I liked the song she did for Coppola's Dracula although the lyrics were a bit turgid. She just sang over the closing credits of LOTR: The Return of the King, but that pales in comparison to Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) singing over the ending to LOTR: The Two Towers. Elizabeth Fraser also sang a version of "Song to the Siren" with 4AD superband This Mortal Coil which inspired David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti when they were working on the soundtrack to Blue Velvet. Lynch finally ended up using "Song to the Siren" on Lost Highway.
Cinenaut
post #3  on January 20, 2004 - 4:03 PM PST  
I'm definitely open for suggestions on good opening credits sequences, and that's Maynard G. Krebs to you, Pikachu! Get hep, daddy-o.

I know there are lots of good opening or closing title sequences I'm missing. I loved the closing credits for School of Rock, with Jack Black doing a musical commentary on the credits.
Cinenaut
post #4  on January 20, 2004 - 4:05 PM PST  
I wasn't really thinking of regular old credit crawls with good music. I was trying to list really unique stuff, like the quilt credits in the Price of Milk or the fun animated ones you'd see in some 60s movies.
hamano
post #5  on January 20, 2004 - 4:08 PM PST  
Oh, and I thought they did a really good job on the opening for Batman which had these sweeping closeups of some kind of dark stone wall, which at the end was revealed to be the Batman logo when the camera finally pulled back. Tim Burton is a kind of genius at this, I guess. Wasn't he the first director to use a "doctored" studio logo at the beginning of a film, with the snowy "20th Century Fox" logo at the start of Edward Scissorhands?
DLeonard
post #6  on January 21, 2004 - 12:53 AM PST  
Someone posted a review of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and specifically mentions the opening credits. And they deserve special mention. Not only is there a rather groovy song by The Supremes but the animation was created by Art "Gumby" Clokey. Great stuff.


ColonelKong
post #7  on January 21, 2004 - 8:49 AM PST  
Pretty much anything designed by Saul Bass is good, one credit sequence of his that doesn't get mentioned very often is the one for John Frankenheimer's Seconds.

Cinenaut's list mentioned Amelie, another JP Jeunet-directed film with an inventive credits sequence is Delicatessen, which still isn't on DVD for some reason. City of Lost Children didn't have a particularly flashy credits sequence, but I liked how the film's title was painted above the bell on a carnival hammer game (what's the actual name for those things where you hit it with a hammer to get the thing to go up to ring the bell?). The alternate opening credit sequence for Alien Resurrection on the Alien Quadrilogy disc is fun too, I wonder what kind of credits A Very Long Engagement will have.
ColonelKong
post #8  on January 21, 2004 - 8:51 AM PST  
Once Upon a Time in the West has another great credits sequence, my favorite in a Sergio Leone film. You won't hear the film praised for it's credits very often, but I also like the credits for Once Upon a Time in America, very simple (white text in a rather ornate font on black, silence at the beginning with a scratchy 1930's recording of "God Bless America" slowly fading in), but somehow, they're just perfect and do a great job of setting a very somber tone for the film.
IWhitney
post #9  on January 21, 2004 - 9:25 AM PST  
I think if you're going to include Catch Me If You Can, then you have to go back to the source, Charade, or anything by Maurice Binder. Dr. No and other Bonds up through Dalton, Barbarella, etc.

Spike Lee's got some good credits as well, although I can't remember which are opening and which are closing. I think it's Jungle Fever that uses the road signs and Summer of Sam has newspaper headlines (although I'm pretty sure those were closing credits).
Cinenaut
post #10  on January 21, 2004 - 9:41 AM PST  
I love Charade, but I don't remember what the credits are like.
underdog
post #11  on January 21, 2004 - 10:28 AM PST  
I would agree that pretty much any Saul Bass sequence is memorable. North by Northwest is indeed wonderful; I also find Vertigo's opener unforgettable. Quite a few Hitchcock films have great opening credit sequences.

Also agree that Catch Me If You Can deserves mention --recall that film had a very catchy, bouncy credit sequence.

I'm still a sucker for animated credits if they are accompanied by a nice score -- Pink Panther movies being a perfect example of this. (I even liked the City Slickers opener.)

In addition to Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, don't forget The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Morricone score alone is enough to warrant mention, but the credits themselves are cool -- one of the first times I remember paying attention to a film's credits as a kid.

Other faves: Memento
Snatch

and Dr. Strangelove!

For closing credits, I always remember M*A*S*H* for some reason, because the guy on the PA breaks the 4th wall and reads off the cast's names

Worst credits I've ever seen (not fair pickings, really): Eegah! Which is available in the MST3K'd version. Has to be seen to be believed.

C

IWhitney
post #12  on January 21, 2004 - 10:47 AM PST  
> On January 21, 2004 - 9:41 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I love Charade, but I don't remember what the credits are like.
> ---------------------------------

Just imagine the credits for Catch Me If You Can but replace the straight arrows with cool swirly lines. The cover for the sadly out-of-print Criterion DVD is based on the opening credits.
Cinenaut
post #13  on January 21, 2004 - 11:20 AM PST  
I must confess that I haven't actually seen Catch Me If You Can yet. I'll have to pop in my VHS copy of Charade to see the credits and then rent the other one.
ColonelKong
post #14  on January 21, 2004 - 11:25 AM PST  
> Worst credits I've ever seen (not fair pickings, really): Eegah! Which is available in the MST3K'd version. Has to be seen to be believed.

I got a big kick out of the time that MST3K showed "Attack of The The Eye Creatures" (yes, it actually had the word "the" twice!)
Brockton
post #15  on January 21, 2004 - 12:47 PM PST  
My memory is failing me here, but I half a fond (though weak) recollection of the titles for Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. I believe you see a hand painting out white credits on a black background. Please correct me if I've got it wrong, but it was something like that.

I second the motion on Delicatessen.
larbeck
post #16  on January 22, 2004 - 8:45 AM PST  
First Carpenter and now Cronenberg is already out of print. There is not justice! IMHO, making copies of out of print DVD's and distributing in a non-profit way would be FairUse but do NOT attempt this until you have Large Lawyers with Big Bucks ready to lose to Da Man.

But meanwhile, back on topic, the first Muppet Movie has a bit at the very, very end: Animal's huge mug pops on and his screams "GO HOME! MOVIE OVER! GO HOME!". This gag has been repeated several times, for example in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

> On January 20, 2004 - 4:02 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
>...but that pales in comparison to Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) singing over the ending to LOTR: The Two Towers.

YES! And if you get the Extended Edition of the Fellowship of the Ring, you get about half of the soundtrack album on the 30 minutes of credits that includes all the charter members of the LOTR fan club. I loved it in 5.1 at the movie theater, especially since the loudmouths all left.
hamano
post #17  on January 22, 2004 - 1:26 PM PST  
I remember being impressed with the opening credits sequence for The Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon, much more impressed with that than the film itself. Now I can't remember exactly what it was... gene sequence letters swirling around? Some kind of bubbly green liquid? It was very pretty... does anyone else remember this?
WSherman
post #18  on January 22, 2004 - 2:15 PM PST  
>but that pales in comparison to Elizabeth Fraser
(Cocteau Twins) singing over the ending to
LOTR: The Two Towers.

Except that it's not Elizabeth F. on the closing credits of the Two Towers. It's Emiliana Torrini (according to the track credits for the soundtrack album).

Elizabeth F.'s voice appears in the film in the "Helm's Deep" scene when the character Haldir is killed; this is a reprise of her original appearance from Fellowship, during "Gandalf's Lament" in Lothlorien.
Tuna
post #19  on January 22, 2004 - 2:52 PM PST  
Fight Club had a neat one and then a bunch of movies copied it
hamano
post #20  on January 22, 2004 - 3:21 PM PST  
> On January 22, 2004 - 2:15 PM PST WSherman wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Except that it's not Elizabeth F. on the closing credits of the Two Towers. It's Emiliana Torrini

> Elizabeth F.'s voice appears in the film in the "Helm's Deep" scene when the character Haldir is killed; this is a reprise of her original appearance from Fellowship, during "Gandalf's Lament" in Lothlorien.
> ---------------------------------

Oops, my bad! I meant Ms. Torrini was better than Annie Lennox! I should've suspected... usually you can't understand half of what Liz Fraser is singing... she uses her voice more like an instrument than a mode of language/communication. Where was Sheila Chandra used? Jackson and co. definitely seem to have a consistent taste for a certain kind of vocal... Celtic without being really celtic, or something like that... Celtic with a touch of something foreign or alien to it...
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