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credits

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What is the greatest television credits sequence of all time?

1

Game of Thrones

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
Game of Thrones

Quite possibly the one sequence to spawn more imitations, spoofs and remakes than any other on our list is the Emmy award-winning opening to Game Of Thrones. Implementing a small-scale version of George RR Martin’s endlessly rich world, the camera adopts a bird’s eye view to showcase what’s in store for the viewer. It sweeps across the vast sun-dappled topography this Middle Age-esque fantasy inhabits, every majestic turn and pause accented by Ramin Djawadi’s beautiful score that’s impossible to stop humming. Perhaps the reason die-hard Thrones fans never miss the segment, is because it is riddled with clues pertaining to the next hour’s entertainment. The determination and breadth of challenge taken on by the team at Elastic, who crafted the journey through the seven kingdoms, meant every single episode’s titles varied. As the series of cogs and pulleys cause cities, towns and castles to rise and fall, who knows where the next stop on the map will be as the story focus shifts from one episode to the next.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Angus Wall | Soundtrack: Ramin Djawadi "Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:40

Genre: Fantasy | Style: Table-top modeling, animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011) | Youtube Views: 12,344,670

2

Dexter

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 46
Dexter

The sloppy push of a knife as it skewers a soggy fried egg. A dull razor scraping against a bristled cheek. Pink bacon slathers as it’s devoured by a hungry mouth. The stark visual montage of Dexter is chiefly why it remains memorable to audiences - but it’s the attention to crisp, clear sound design that amps up the morning routine of the Miami serial killer. Tight close-ups of Dexter preparing for the day evoke sickening sensations, as even the most pedestrian of activities - like pulling a sweater over his head - draws comparisons to the macabre nature of his ‘dark passenger.’ It’s a very cleverly composed sequence, with every step taunting the viewer even more due to the carnival-theme musical score. A jittery, happy-go-lucky ditty that only creates anxiety and fear. The colour palette of these credits might be bright, bold and striking - but the heart of the piece beats as black as night.

Running Years: 2006-2013 | Credits Designer: Eric Anderson | Soundtrack: Rolfe Kent "Dexter Main Title" | Sequence Length: 1:56

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2007), Nominated - Primtime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (2007), Won - BMI Cable | Youtube Views: 4,062,828

3

The X-Files

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
The X-Files

Dare you quest into the realm of lurking terror that awaits every man? From the opening strains of Mark Snow’s theme, an eerie whistle of a tune now synonymous with the show, the matter of whether or not the truth is out there has never seemed more ambiguous. The 40-second title sequence encourages audiences to question the impossible through a simplistic bricolage of live-action footage and static imagery. A lurking shadowy figure hovers in a hallway, a screaming man’s face is distorted by an unknown force, grainy hand-held footage depicts a flying saucer hovering in the sky amidst flashes of barely-visible monstrous shapes. Partly to establish tone, and introduce us to the premise, it ultimately makes you wonder; if that elusive truth is “out there” - who would want to come face-to-face with its inextricable horror?

Running Years: 1993-2002 | Credits Designer: James Castle, Carol Johnsen, Bruce Bryant | Soundtrack: Mark Snow "Materia Primoris" | Sequence Length: 0:42

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences (1994), Nominated - Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual | Youtube Views: 768, 467

4

True Detective

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 46
True Detective

A simmering struggle between images of light and dark, the seedy gothic underbelly of the Deep South is exposed to astonishing effect during the opening moments of True Detective. The implied ‘truth’ behind the show’s two leads is introduced via a montage of juxtaposed stills, depicting the industrial wastelands of Louisiana. Serving as a reflection of the characters’ complex personal issues, the sequence focuses on the fragmented nature of humanity and how people are defined by their environments. Double-exposure photography chillingly fuses together images to form new, terrifying icons of horror. Head shots of its two stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, devolve from what you’d expect from HBO. Signalling their strife in uniquely unsettling methods, there’s no finer example of a mood-setting TV opener than this.

Running Years: 2014-? | Credits Designer: Raoul Marks | Soundtrack: The Handsome Family "Far From Any Road" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2014) | Youtube Views: 1,025,284

5

American Horror Story

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 51
American Horror Story

An anthology horror show that’s in a league of its own, American Horror Story’s opening credits are arguably the greatest in terms of atmospherics. The work of design house Prologue, chief designer Kyle Cooper cut his teeth on David Fincher’s Seven and has matured further into the darkest recesses of human nature. The disturbing imagery - broken dolls, fetuses floating in jars, corpses trapped beneath plastic wrap - roll out like a scene from a fractured mind unable to untangle this jumble of horrors. For each subsequent season the specific footage has been tweaked to include clues to the season’s narrative arc, but all remain twinned to one constantly pulsating terror - the soundtrack. A bloodcurdling disjointed jam, perfectly timed to the changing onscreen icons, there’s no chance you’ll doze off before the real fright begins.

Running Years: 2011-? | Credits Designer: Kyle Cooper | Soundtrack: Cesar Davila-Irizarry "American Horror Story" | Sequence Length: Still photography, live-action

Genre: Horror | Style: Still photography, live-action | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2011, 2012), Won - BMI Cable Award For Music Composition (2012), Won - OFTA Television Awards for Best New Theme Song In A Series, Best New Titles Sequence (2012, 2013) | Youtube Views: 274,579

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The United States of Tara

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 55
The United States of Tara

Sometimes, a simple stream of head shots with captioned names serves a TV show that might not harbour the most unique premise. A wholly brilliant dramedy from the sprawling creative mind of Diablo Cody? It had to have the perfect title sequence. Part exposition device, part creative jamboree, the stop motion cut-out figures that introduce us to the world of split-personality Tara paint her three “alters” to utter perfection. Each pop-up lures us into a triptych of seemingly different worlds, each inhabited by their respective alter. Springing up out of nowhere, the seamless blend between the trio of larger-than-life personas hosted inside the regular mom are brought to life by award-winning designer Jamie Caliri. The most telling element - the cherry on top of the sundae - is Tim DeLaughter’s catchy theme song, a riff on Tara’s mission to take control of her fate.

Running Years: 2009-2011 | Credits Designer: Jamie Caliri | Soundtrack: Tim DeLaughter "Learn To Love The Ride" | Sequence Length: 1:05

Genre: Comedy drama | Style: Stop-motion animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2009) | Youtube Views: 811,232

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The Simpsons

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 44
The Simpsons

Fox’s premier family comedy is renowned for the attention to detail creator Matt Groening and co. cram into every single title sequence. As puffy cumulus clouds part to reveal the title breathlessly worded out in song - BAM! - the fast-paced race home for The Simpsons through the town of Springfield begins to Danny Elfman’s legendary orchestral theme. Now in its second update since the series began in 1989, the creators kept two of its defining gags in tact. When the camera peers in on Bart’s detention, his chalkboard punishment changes from week to week; ranging from amusing childish quips to cutting social commentary. However, ask anyone about The Simpsons title as the unanimous verdict on their brilliance will be in the mere mention of the couch. Moments before the episode starts proper, the family scramble into the living room to retire on the sofa - and each week are confronted by a new challenge preventing them from doing so. It’s really an impressive addition to the show - which has seen guest directors Guillermo Del Toro and graffiti artist Banksy brought on to helm sequences - proving that this is one classic comedy that’s still got what it takes.

Running Years: 1989-? | Credits Designer: Matt Groening | Soundtrack: Danny Elfman "The Simpsons Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:30

Genre: Comedy | Style: Animation | Awards: Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music (1990), Won - BMI TV Music Award (1996, 1998, 2003), Won - National Music Awards UK Favourite TV Theme (2002) | Youtube Views: 15 million+

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The Sopranos

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 42
The Sopranos

The gangster genre of 70s, 80s and 90s cinema brought the intimate lifestyles of wiseguys into the public consciousness. HBO took that notion a step further with The Sopranos. Delivering a black comedy drama via mob patriarch, Tony Soprano, the show capitalised on his continued struggle between his familial obligations and his life as the leader of David Chase, the show’s creator, forged a simple opening sequence that introduces us to Tony’s daily route from New York City back to his New Jersey homestead. It’s an engaging minute that sheds light on a routine activity that even mobsters undertake on a day-to-day basis. To top it off, Alabama 3’s sultry song accompaniment further showcases the inner turmoil of the show’s loveable antihero.

Running Years: 1999-2007 | Credits Designer: David Chase | Soundtrack: Alabama 3 "Woke Up This Morning" | Sequence Length: 1:37

Genre: Drama | Style: Live-action | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 160,431

9

Mad Men

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 53
Mad Men

The shortest entry on this list by far, Mad Men’s simple graphical sequence begins with the cut-out figure of a man entering his office. It harks back to the pioneering work of film credit designer Saul Bass, which is a clever touch as his finest achievements in this particular artform were at their best during the 50s and 60s - the very era Mad Men depicts. To the tune of RJD2’s string theme - again a nod to theme composer Bernard Hermann - the shady man plummets from the great height of a skyscraper. His descent is glorified as his tumbling body whizzes past gigantic advertisements. Moments before he splatters to his death, he is scooped up by an impossibly large woman’s foot. Thematically it addresses the show’s dark streak running throughout each season; everything might look peachy keen but even the suave Don Draper can fall from grace.

Running Years: 2007- | Credits Designer: Mark Gardner | Soundtrack: RJD2 “A Beautiful Mine” | Sequence Length: 0:36

Genre: Drama | Style: Animation | Awards: Won - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design (2008) | Youtube Views: 1,497,964

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The Outer Limits

Nov 17, 2014 - youtube.com - 54
The Outer Limits

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. As a series of waves oscillate across the screen, the monotone “control voice” narrated by Vic Perrin immediately confronts viewers with the possibility that they are subject to a shady government experiment. While this spooky anthology series draws inevitable comparisons to The Twilight Zone, its opening credits evoke a far more sinister work at play. Much like the hysteria derived from Orson Welles’ War Of The Worlds radio broadcast, the clever wraparound credits serve as a quasi-cautionary warning. At the time of release, breaking the fourth wall was not a common occurrence, making this one of the most chilling opening titles ever seen on the small screen.

Running Years: 1963-1965 | Credits Designer: Project Unlimited, Inc. | Soundtrack: Dominic Frontiere "Outer Limits Theme" | Sequence Length: 1:08

Genre: Sci-fi | Style: Animation | Awards: None | Youtube Views: 41,580


GOAT Staff Score - TV Credits Sequence

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. Only weighted scores are displayed in this table. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (25%)Visual Style (20%)Soundtrack (20%)Atmosphere (15%)Critical Reception (10%)Influence (10%)Raw ScoreFinal GOAT Score
United States Of Tara85625127510
The Outer Limits11261819265
The X-Files269981044665
American Horror Story743109740625
The Sopranos33734626420
True Detective47886538630
Dexter910547439695
Game Of Thrones10910710248855
The Simpsons62452928455
Mad Men58113321380

GOAT Verdict:

Games of Thrones The Greatest Television Credits Sequence of All Time
One of the most popular TV shows currently on the air, Game Of Thrones’ also lays claim to possessing the Greatest TV Credit Sequence Of All Time. Ranking far higher than every other entry on the shortlist by a landslide, it snags the title with ease. For such an intricately-woven storyline that continues to tangle itself with each passing season, the only way to present such a masterclass in television is via its breathtaking introduction. The sprawling map of the seven kingdoms rendered in painstaking 3D models demonstrates the vast universe the show’s beloved characters inhabit to stunning effect. A web of machinations – cogs, pulleys, levers – all sync together to orchestrate the rise and fall of empires; a truly informative introduction that incites genuine excitement for the episode to come. It’s no surprise that it won the Emmy for Outstanding Main Title – but it’s still a shock that Ramin Djawadi’s achingly-beautiful score went unnoticed.

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What is the greatest film credits sequence of all time?

1

Goldfinger

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 31
Goldfinger

Long considered one of the finest title sequences ever created, Goldfinger’s dynamic opening credits are the brainchild of Robert Brownjohn. The dynamic combination of a unique visual approach and a showstopping tune elevate the short introduction to Mr. Bond’s 3rd adventure from mere necessity to cinematic masterpiece. Honing in on the key themes - action, mystery and romance - Brownjohn projects scenes from the movie onto the body of actress Margaret Nolan, as Shirley Bassey belts out the now-classic theme song. There are few entries on the list that achieve so much in such a limited time frame. Establishing the tone, setting the scene, entertaining the audience, Goldfinger pioneered a new wave of title design, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by scholars. In 2012, MOMA dedicated a focus installation entirely to the three minute segment which examined the ingenuity Brownjohn brought to the art of titles.

Release: 1964 | Director: Guy Hamilton | Credits Designer: Robert Brownjohn | Budget: $3 mm

Genre: Action | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Shirley Bassey “Goldfinger” | Sequence Length: 2:50

Nov 08, 2014 - vimeo.com - 38
Fight Club

Bursting out of the gate to the briefest twang of a string instrument, Fight Club’s opening titles are a perfect harbinger for what’s to come. The first shot in the dizzying 110-second sequence commences at the narrator’s fear centre, as the Digital Domain effects team proceed to showcase their then-state of the art techniques for mapping out the human brain. While the audience white-knuckle their way through the frenetic journey, slaloming around firing synapses and neurons, the block-rockin’ beats of The Dust Brothers’ drum n’ bass accompaniment hammers home the impending sense of mayhem that’s about to unfold. While you might not realise it at the time, the seed of identity, and what truly makes us individual, has already been planted by the time the camera retracts along the oily ridge of a Smith and Wesson.

Release: 1999 | Director: David Fincher | Credits Designer: Kevin Tod Haug, P. Scott Makela | Budget: $63 mm

Genre: Neo-Noir | Sequence Style: CGI | Soundtrack: The Dust Brothers “Stealing Fat” | Sequence Length: 1:48

3

The Shining

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 30
The Shining

If there’s one thing Stanley Kubrick will always be remembered for, it’s his insistence on long, uninterrupted takes. From the very first moment of The Shining, his approach pays off instantly, with an elongated bird’s eye view of a beautiful scenic vista. A snow-capped mountain range, a burst of evergreen trees, a shimmering body of water, a long winding road... and a yellow VW Bug snaking its way through the terrain. The automobile, the vehicle containing our soon-to-be-suffering family, is reduced to a dot in the frame, an obvious nod to the desolation and dread that awaits the Torrances at the Overlook Hotel. On that basis alone, it takes home the gold for greatest atmospheric title sequence. But twinned with Carlos and Elkind’s drudging score, a reimagining of a 13th Century Gregorian chant, which plays on the terror of the isolated human experience you can’t help but sense that there is evil afoot. Does The Shining possess the creepiest opening sequence? There’s absolutely no
doubt about it.

Release: 1980 | Director: Stanley Kubrick | Credits Designer: Stanley Kubrick | Budget: $19 mm

Genre: Horror | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind “Dies Irae” | Sequence Length: 3:00

4

Se7en

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 29
Se7en

For the titles of David Fincher’s serial killer thriller, designer Kyle Cooper’s credits owe a debt to the opening credits from To Kill A Mockingbird. Borrowing the idea of detailing a killer’s specific rituals, Cooper consulted Fincher and wound up using the exact props featured in the film to outline John Doe’s methodical behaviours. The soundtrack, a remixed version of NIN’s Closer, is a fitting accompaniment, turning the haphazard grainy shots of diaries and fingerprints into a staccato jam. Unnerving, frantic and edgy, it’s a must see sequence that shone a light on the relevance and duty of a film’s very first impression. If it weren’t for this jarring, unsettling sequence, we’d never have seen the equally horrific titles they went on to influence in TV’s anthology scarefest, American Horror Story.

Release: 1995 | Director: David Fincher | Credits Designer: Kyle Cooper | Budget: $33 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: CGI | Soundtrack: Nine Inch Nails “Closer” | Sequence Length: 2:08

5

Lord of War

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 32
Lord of War

Nicolas Cage’s gun-running actioner explores the world of global arms dealers. So for its rather fitting opening credits, we’re offered a look into the origins of ammunition. In the clever self-contained segment, the camera hitches a ride on the back of a bullet from its moment of conception to its final expulsion from the barrel of a rifle. Proving that the obligatory 120 seconds dedicated to listing a film’s cast and crew can double as an exposition-rich environment, the bullet we follow travels across the globe. From factory to shipping container to a gun-totin’ gang, the first-person narrative - the person being the bullet -borrows a lot of its clout to its similarity to a video game shoot-em-up style. This impactful beginning is topped off with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”, an eerily cheerful ditty that establishes a sombre tone for the entire movie.

Release: 2005 | Director: Andrew Niccol | Credits Designer: Yann Blondel | Budget: $42 mm

Genre: Action | Style: CGI / Live-action| Soundtrack: Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” | Sequence Length: 3:30

6

Reservoir Dogs

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 28
Reservoir Dogs

For his debut feature, Quentin Tarantino made an effortlessly cool impression. The story of a botched heist converted cinemagoers to his unique style that emanates from three simple elements; dialogue, music and plot. In the twenty-five years since he surfaced as a cinematic trendsetter, his skill for matching soundtrack to scene has gone unrivalled. So, it’s no surprise that for his first outing he keenly displayed a knack for setting the tone for his entire career. The bare bones sequence begins after the opening scene, as the leading cast exit a cafe in slo-mo to the tune of George Baker’s Little Green Bag. A shockingly simple idea, it has since gone on to influence countless filmmakers as a way to establish the dynamics of a central group of characters. Often mimicked, but never bettered, Tarantino’s first credits sequence is one of the suavest ever committed to celluloid.

Release: 1991 | Director: Quentin Tarantino | Credits Designer: Quentin Tarantino | Budget: $1.2 mm

Genre: Crime Action | Style: Live-action | Soundtrack: Selection “Little Green Bag” | Sequence Length: 2:00

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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 27
It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

One of Saul Bass’s longest-ever sequences, clocking in at just over four minutes, his titles for It’s A Mad Mad Mad World reflect the frenzy of the film perfectly. The child-like drawing of a globe serves as the centrepiece for a whole host of visual gags, which all burst forth amidst a flurry of bold typeface credits. Taking a lighthearted approach, Bass emulates the film’s subject matter in tone only. A bright colour scheme matches Ernest Gold’s frivolous musical theme, the two elements riffing off each other to form a cohesive short that stands up as a solitary piece of animation. The cluttered, haphazard pace hones in on what it is that indeed makes this a “mad, mad, mad, mad” world, taking the title and implementing an almost-literal take on what that might mean.

Release: 1963 | Director: Stanley Kramer | Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $9.4 mm

Genre: Comedy | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: Ernest Gold “overture” | Sequence Length: 4:13

8

The Magnificent Ambersons

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 30
The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles’ melodrama set a precedent for the iconic filmmaker, whose latter works marked him as a suspenseful auteur with an eye for the sinister. What marks the closing credits of his sophomore effort as unique, is Welles’ attempt to connect the audience with the people who made his vision possible via spoken credits which had only been incorporated once previously. As the final shot fades, his baritone voice recites the names of his cast and crew; for each credit a shot of their face or the technical equipment used flashes onscreen. The last mention is of course for Welles himself, which is uttered with a pride that we seldom hear filmmakers proffer. It’s a technique that the director received a lot of flack for subsequently, but served as the ultimate homage to his radio beginnings.

Release: 1942 | Director: Orson Welles | Credits Designer: Orson Welles | Budget: $1.1 mm

Genre: Melodrama | Style: Live-Action | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “End Title” | Sequence Length 1:25

9

North by Northwest

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 31
North by Northwest

Legendary graphic designer Saul Bass had already established himself as the go-to man for punchy credits sequences by the time Hitchcock enlisted him to create the opening for North By Northwest. From the first shot, his minimalist style is unmistakable, and twinned with an urging score by Bernard Hermann it became a trendsetter in the industry. It opens as a series of lines shoot across the screen in Bass’ signature cut-out animation method, before they merge together to form a skyscraper. Names and titles appear in a block typeface; their erratic movements across the screen one of the first times kinetic typography had been used so extensively in a credits sequence. The cumulative effect of Bass’s visual choices and Hermann’s brash theme, clue the audience into the many crossroads Cary Grant’s unsuspecting Roger Thornhill will have to face.

Release: 1959 | Director: Alferd Hitchcock| Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $4.3 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “Main Title” | Sequence Length: 2:15

10

Catch Me If You Can

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 33
Catch Me If You Can

A clear homage to the graphic designers of the 50s and 60s, the trendy titles for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation by Kuntzel & Deygas were heavily influenced by Saul Bass’s earlier credit sequences. Keeping in the jaunty spirit of the film itself, the brilliant segment hops and jumps from one scene to the next in a mini-narrative all of its own. The cut-out figure of the central character, Leonardo DiCaprio’s charming swindler, leaps from one environment to another while being pursued by a lofty law enforcer. As he makes his way through the colourful universe, a number of professionals come to his aide. Sleek lines, bold colour palettes and smooth typefaces shoot in and out of every shot with a grace and ease that’s made all the more cool by John Williams’ jazzy 60s-influenced score.

Release: 2002 | Director: Steven Spielberg | Credits Designer: Kuntzel & Deygas | Budget: $52 mm

Genre: Drama | Style: Cut-out animation | Soundtrack: John Williams “Catch Me If You Can” | Sequence Length: 2:30

11

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 32
The Charge of the Light Brigade

This British Crimean War movie fuses a handful of animated sequences into its liveaction story, the first of which is brought spectacularly to life by Richard Williams depiction of the noted countries involved in the conflict. Like most of the entries on this list, Williams successfully sets the tone and imports a great deal of background information into the short opening credits segment. Each nation is represented via an animal counterpart; a gorilla, a turkey, and a sleeping lion interact across a simple line drawing of the world. Of course, its impact would be nothing without the imposing main title from composer John Addison, a lurching string accompaniment offering every creature a voice. Together with the “Victorian Punch” style of animation - its influence stemming from the cartoons of that era - it’s a truly haunting beginning.

Release: 1968 | Director: Tony Richards | Credits Designer: Richard Williams | Budget: $6.5 mm

Genre: Action | Style: Animation | Soundtrack: John Addison “Main Title” | Sequence Length: 2:50

12

Vertigo

Nov 08, 2014 - youtube.com - 31
Vertigo

Saul Bass’s sparse handiwork shines through on another Hitchcockian caper. From the spinning titles that emerge from a close-up of Kim Novak’s face, to the blossoming melodrama of Bernard Hermann’s score, its unnerving tone sets the scene for the suspenseful feature. One of the first examples of computer art wizardry, John Witney’s spirographic images flow in psychedelic swirls, drawing us into a puzzling sequence that perfectly captures the director’s chosen mode of delivery: suspense. Since its release the piece has been critically lauded for its own brilliance outside of Hitchcock’s glorious classic, even being deemed by some to have raised the bar for graphic design. In this modern age of CGI-reliance, revisiting one of the finest examples of an arguably forgotten art form makes one long for the days when credits were just as integral as the movie itself.

Release: 1958 | Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Credits Designer: Saul Bass | Budget: $2.4 mm

Genre: Thriller | Style: CGI, Live-action | Soundtrack: Bernard Hermann “Prelude” | Sequence Length: 3:20


GOAT Staff Score - Film Credits Sequence

The candidates have been assigned a raw score across a range of criteria. The raw scores have been weighted to reflect the impact that each individual criterion has on the 'Final GOAT Score'. -->TURN DEVICE SIDEWAYS TO VIEW ON MOBILE-->
 Originality (25%)Visual Style (20%)Soundtrack (20%)Atmosphere (15%)Critical Reception (10%) Influence (10%)Raw Score Final GOAT Score
Goldfinger12121191211671125
Fight Club81110106752900
The Shining3912124444755
Seven588119546750
Lord of War910663236685
Reservoir Dogs439771242635
Mad, Mad World1143181037610
The Magnif. Amber.106552129575
North by Northwest 257211936520
Catch Me If You Can17485328445
Charge of the Light72241824405
Vertigo611310627395

GOAT Verdict:

Goldfinger is the Greatest Film Credits Sequence of All Time
Sweeping top marks in the heaviest weighted categories, without a shadow of a doubt, Goldfinger takes home the title of Greatest Movie Credit Sequence Of All Time. There’s simply no greater appreciation for the fading art of title design; the sequence embraces every aspect of the Bond brand into a fully-rounded piece of cinema by itself. Richard Brownjohn’s painstaking preparations, including an entire separate film shoot to capture the exquisitely-lit Margaret Nolan, are nothing short of breathtaking. Factor in Shirley Bassey’s titular theme, a brassy, punchy number that shines a light on every single moment Brownjohn borrows from the film, and it leaves no room for even its closest competitors. In an age where the reliance on CGI is ever-increasing, Goldfinger’s titles stand as a reminder that technology doesn’t always create the greatest impact. After all, how many movie title sequences have been granted their own installation at one of the world’s most revered art establishments?

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