Title Credits of the 1960s

Behold, the 1960s

Ah, the 60s. One of the most iconic decades of all time. The fear derived from international chaos – Bay of Pigs, Vietnam and the JFK assassination, for starters – was coupled with unheralded progress. This was the decade that man landed on the moon, when the Mustang was unleashed on the streets for the first time and when the British Invasion was in full swing. Where would we be without the 60s?

Shaken, Not Stirred

It was also an unprecedented era for film. This was the decade that Mia Farrow terrified us in Rosemary’s Baby and when Butch and Sundance were tearing up the West (and Bolivia). Charlton Heston was caged up by damn, dirty apes and Paul Newman proved that he could, in fact, eat fifty eggs. A great time for movies indeed, as larger-than-life characters and groundbreaking story-telling mechanisms offered the world a release from the serious issues that were transpiring outside of the theaters.

Perhaps one of the more overlooked gifts from these movies, however, were the opening credits. Never before had such attention been granted to the art of opening credits, some of the best of which we have shared below. While certainly not as gripping as the stories that followed, opening credits in the 60s commanded attention in their own right. Cleverly and colorfully created, designers like Saul Bass proved that while opening credits could have personality, too. As a design agency, this is the sort of work we get really excited about. Who says that marketing communications have to be boring? It’s all about making a gripping presentation, and that is always welcome – regardless of the medium or context.

With that in mind, take a look at some of the most memorable opening credit sequences of the 1960s. Pay attention to the play on words and how some, like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World tell a story in of itself. You’ll hardly realize that you were watching the “boring part” of these amazing films.

   Ocean’s Eleven – 1960

    Charade – 1963

   Bullit – 1963

    Dr. Strangelove – 1964

    The Graduate – 1967

As mentioned above, Saul Bass was one of the driving forces behind creative title design. His work can be seen in the clips above from the films Psycho, Ocean’s Eleven and It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Some of his other pieces include the intro credits from The Man With The Golden Arm, Vertigo and Cape Fear. Check out the short video below, a medley of some of his more memorable sequences:

Favorite? Least favorite? Did we miss any? Share with us your thoughts below!