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Credit where credit's due


brianNH
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On our first date, my wife (well, before she was my wife) and I went to a movie; and when the movie ended, as everyone around us bolted for those noisy doors and the usher started scraping gooey syrup off the floor,  my wife and I stayed in our seats.  We read the names of the Best Boy, Assistant Caterer, and the Secretary of the insurance company for the film; and we both turned to each other saying, "You read the credits, too!?"  Well, that sealed the deal for me right then and there.  So rather than ruin two marriages, we decided to marry each other.  And we've been reading movie credits together for going on 40 years now.

I'm a sucker for movie credits.  Beginning or end, doesn't make any difference.  Except there's one movie that absolutely enthralls me with its opening credits.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea -- and I have some difficulty with it from time to time -- but the 1954 Judy Garland  "A Star is Born"  transports me to magical movie land in the first couple of seconds.  Up front, I have a weakness for nighttime city landscapes where all the twinkling lights are shimmering in the distance.  ASIB, check.  The orchestra begins something exciting.   Again, ASIB, check.  Then comes "Judy Garland" in this beautiful red font with flecks of light throughout.  I'll even just watch the movie for the credits at this point.  And I am happy.

The one other movie that has any similar effect on me is because of the score.  I'm talking Elmer Bernstein's "The Magnificent Seven."  Right now as I'm thinking about it, I'm getting goose-bumps.  Goose-bumps, I tell ya!  Here, look!    

So I'm pretty sure that if you were all in the same theater as my wife and I that night long ago, we'd be in real good company.  And the usher would just have to wait to clean up the jetsam until we were ready to leave.  

I'm curious now to find out if any of you out there have any similar experiences about opening or closing credit sequences.  I'm very eager to  hear about them.

Thanks,

Brian

 

 

 

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There's a difference between appreciating opening credits and end credits:

Opening credits are the overture that set the tone of the movie, and relax you out of the real world into the movie's setting--And, back in the studio-factory days, there were only a few people to credit, so the end credits could only be the cast list.

Nowadays, titles have to be flashed to "sell" the movie, the major cast-and-director credits have to be the stylized opening-credits at the end, followed by crediting 8-10 minutes of every CGI technician whose union demanded he be represented.  That's one reason the Marvel-wannabes latched onto the "Mid-credit sequence", where they could give us a stylized credits for the big union people, and then let audiences walk out during the long scroll of little ones.

And now we have reactors on YouTube saying "What's with the long opening credits?  Did they all do that back then??" as if it blows their mind that movies before they were born didn't title-flash back then, either.  Just try getting one distracted off the how-long issue to pay attention to the Swedish subtitles in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, let alone the epic "overture" credits to The Sound of Music or South Pacific.

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Well, I'm not sure the OP is going on about the LOOK of the credit titles, but whatever......

My  sticking around for the closing credits depends on the movie.  For instance, if there's a tune played among some others in a movie that I'm curious about, many flicks will list the song's name and the artist who performed it in the closing credits.  OR the classical piece's name and performers, or such.  And say, for an animated feature, who did the voice for some cartoon character whose name wasn't in the opening credits and sounded familiar to me but I couldn't quite place.  Plus any location info that might interest me.  But I'd always joke that I "needed" to stay and see who the "best boy" was!  Then complain mockingly, "I don't understand WHY there's no Oscar category for  "best best boy" or "Grip"!  ;)   Or I'll allude that I might want to hire the caterer of the movie and need to know who that was.  :D

Sepiatone

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Absolutely! He took a section of film that most (myself included) had always at best looked at as just a means of finding out who the cast was and transformed it into art. And quite often an integral part of the movie as well.

I'm pretty sure the first movie I saw with his title work was To Kill a Mockingbird.  I can't even imagine that film without that opening title sequence. It sets the film up beautifully and tells you everything you need to know about the movie. It slowly and quietly moves along, just like the Southern summer days in the story.  The soft tuneless humming as the picture is being  drawn, the glimpses of the "treasures" from the cigar box, you've just been introduced to Scout, the main protagonist and told all about her before she's even been seen. It was just absolute brilliance!

I've heard some of the hosts make mention of Bass in the past but I really wish they'd devote an evening to his films sometime.

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Sorry for any confusion, Sepiatone.  I was interested in people's reactions to how the movie's essential information is conveyed either at the beginning or the end of the showing.  To be sure, different eras and the various studios handled this presentation with a wide range of possibilities.  But when everything comes together from the director, producer, set designers, and -- for me -- the composer, in such a wonderfully coherent synthesis, I think true art is being created.   Citizen Ed looks at the Saul Bass contribution to "To Kill a Mockingbird," and I listen to Elmer Bernstein's music. (The Elmer Bernstein who wrote the scores for "The Magnificent Seven," "The Ten Commandments," "Some Came Running," and "Meatballs!")  But the two contributions work so incredibly well together to form the opening up of a new world to the audience.

This kind of ties in to another reason why I enjoy credits.  Mainly because it is the "credit" for those whose  technical and  artistic labor produced the thing I am watching.    Maybe because I have always worked in the back of the house in kitchens and pastry shops that I have a certain fondness for the craft of the people whose faces are never seen by the consuming public.  I like to acknowledge the effort made by all those faceless names that scrawl across the screen -- whether demanded by their unions or not.  

Thanks for your responses so far.  

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Well, I'm not sure the OP is going on about the LOOK of the credit titles, but whatever......

My  sticking around for the closing credits depends on the movie.  For instance, if there's a tune played among some others in a movie that I'm curious about, many flicks will list the song's name and the artist who performed it in the closing credits.  OR the classical piece's name and performers, or such.  And say, for an animated feature, who did the voice for some cartoon character whose name wasn't in the opening credits and sounded familiar to me but I couldn't quite place.  Plus any location info that might interest me.  But I'd always joke that I "needed" to stay and see who the "best boy" was!  Then complain mockingly, "I don't understand WHY there's no Oscar category for  "best best boy" or "Grip"!  ;)   Or I'll allude that I might want to hire the caterer of the movie and need to know who that was.  :D

Sepiatone

Hey now, as someone whose first few movie credits were as Best Boy, i can attest to their importance.  Lighting in general in film production seems to never get the credit they deserve and in my experience the majority of time spent on set is waiting for the lighting to get set-up just right.

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22 hours ago, brianNH said:

On our first date, my wife (well, before she was my wife) and I went to a movie; and when the movie ended, as everyone around us bolted for those noisy doors and the usher started scraping gooey syrup off the floor,  my wife and I stayed in our seats.  We read the names of the Best Boy, Assistant Caterer, and the Secretary of the insurance company for the film; and we both turned to each other saying, "You read the credits, too!?"  Well, that sealed the deal for me right then and there.  So rather than ruin two marriages, we decided to marry each other.  And we've been reading movie credits together for going on 40 years now.

I'm a sucker for movie credits.  Beginning or end, doesn't make any difference.  Except there's one movie that absolutely enthralls me with its opening credits.  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea -- and I have some difficulty with it from time to time -- but the 1954 Judy Garland  "A Star is Born"  transports me to magical movie land in the first couple of seconds.  Up front, I have a weakness for nighttime city landscapes where all the twinkling lights are shimmering in the distance.  ASIB, check.  The orchestra begins something exciting.   Again, ASIB, check.  Then comes "Judy Garland" in this beautiful red font with flecks of light throughout.  I'll even just watch the movie for the credits at this point.  And I am happy.

The one other movie that has any similar effect on me is because of the score.  I'm talking Elmer Bernstein's "The Magnificent Seven."  Right now as I'm thinking about it, I'm getting goose-bumps.  Goose-bumps, I tell ya!  Here, look!    

So I'm pretty sure that if you were all in the same theater as my wife and I that night long ago, we'd be in real good company.  And the usher would just have to wait to clean up the jetsam until we were ready to leave.  

I'm curious now to find out if any of you out there have any similar experiences about opening or closing credit sequences.  I'm very eager to  hear about them.

Thanks,

Brian

 

 

 

The Credits for the (already Transcendental) films A Very Long Engagement and Cloud Atlas are.. ..INCREDIBLE.

Might be a few others but those are particularly memorable for this one.

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Hoo-ray for credits! When I first moved here, the local movie house was still run by it's original owner, a crusty old lady reminiscent of Margaret Hamilton.

IMG_1782+3.jpeg?format=500w

I was the last person in the theater when she turned off the projector (one woman show) and I yelled "BOO!!". She came down to talk to me & asked why I was still sitting there-she thought I was asleep. I said "to watch the end credits".

"WHY? Who cares?" Well I do because I like catching friend's names on screen. It's just respect for those who contributed to the craft of film making. 

I do have to mention though, I found the opening credits for UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE astounding:

Reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore's dancing style.

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Glorioski, Tikisoo!  That's what I'm talkin' about!  Glad you're a credit fan, too.  

Now that would really be something if the old movie house owner could write the credits across the sky with a broomstick.  I think I'd pay top dollar to see that!

Thanks for your contribution.

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