The Art of the Opening Credit #3


Seconds (1966) directed by John Frankenheimer - Saul Bass title sequence, OST Jerry Goldsmith
The titles were designed by Saul Bass and shot entirely with reflective mylar.

7 comments:

Frank Coleman said...

Quite possibly the most terrifying opening sequence in motion picture history.

Flickhead said...

It's an interesting contrast between the avant-garde visuals and the gothic music. I first saw the film when ABC ran it on their Sunday Night Movie, probably in 1968 or '69, and was blown away by the credits and the drug-induced blackmail scene with John Randolph and the girl in the checkerboard room. Then, as now, a fascinating film, Rock Hudson reaching for substance in his career, just like Tyrone Power did when he made Nightmare Alley.

Frank Coleman said...

I had exactly the same experience. It remains a favorite - thanks for posting!

peterrocker said...

One of those movies that once seen, never ever forgotten.

Ed Howard said...

It's an interesting movie in general, but the credits are arguably the best part, really gorgeous and terrifying, a perfect introduction to the film's theme of unstable appearances and shifting identities.

Tommy O'C said...

The credits are truly remarkable but the whole movie is mind-bending in so many ways, from the camera angles to the stark isolation, the familiar juxtaposed with the unreal suffused with a melancholy longing for the unattainable—a second chance at life and the essence of its preciousness. Maybe Nietzsche was right, we’d do it all over the same again—but under different circumstances. Harlan Ellison was said in a 1994 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction to have cited Seconds as a defining example of a science fiction movie—and with virtually no special effects, as we know them. The opening credits perfectly set the mood for what we’re about to see—a twisted, disturbing, surreal story—as few movies do. I don’t agree this is the film’s peak—it’s a unique opener. And that ending—so inevitable (those foreshadowed pieces suddenly connecting) was a jaw-dropper. Very unsettling and haunting. It was a rare chance for Rock Hudson to show his acting chops and break typecasting. And the American public ignored it in droves. Seconds is a true, fascinating standalone of a film.

said...

I'm always amazed that so many are totally unaware of this gem of a film. Perhaps my favourite film.