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Topic: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Title sequences are avpart of Bond Movies and they are well worth talking about. I imagine this thread being about the title sequences that have been, the sequences of the future and the once that could have been. I'll start by talking about what could have been.
I've recently watched Dalton's two Bonds. I really enjoy them, but Binder was past his most inventive period by then. The only image I really like in TLD's title sequence is the woman in the champagne glass. Wouldn't a naked woman with a cello in front of her be a good image? I think Fleming was inspired by a female cellist he knew who sometimes played in the nude when he wrote the character?
It would be a striking visual:

https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo--naked-girl-playing-cello-250635289.jpg



LTK also has an unimpressive title sequence. It occured to me how circles are often seen in the movie: roulette tables, truck tyres, the cocaine shredding machine, rifle scopes, helicopter rotors, the 007 logo ….
wouldn't it be great to use circles as a motif for the sequence?

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

The female cellist Fleming knew best was his half-sister, Amaryllis Fleming (same mother, different fathers- just like Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli). She gets a mention in TLD (the story).

https://i.postimg.cc/RWj6ML1q/Amaryllis-Fleming.jpg

Seen here with her Stradivarius. No, I don't know it's name.

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Thanks. I seemed to remember the cellist was related to Ian Fleming, but the sentence would've sounded weird if I couldn't be more spesific.

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

The title sequences are absolutely an iconic part of the Bond franchise in my opinion. There is probably a strong argument that they are pretty dated and sexist but that notwithstanding they have been pretty consistent.

In regards to the most recent movies, I loved Casino Royale and Skyfall’s title sequences but was really disappointed by Spectre’s - it didn’t seem to work for me

My name has changed! I’m no longer dufus......now I’m DB6

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

I'm sure some see the title sequences are sexist. I see why, but personally I don't find the sequences problematic.

Last edited by Number24 (5th Jan 2020 21:17)

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

I don’t see them as problematic - for me it’s creative and I like it but I also appreciate some may have a different view

My name has changed! I’m no longer dufus......now I’m DB6

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Women and sex is a theme in Bond movies, so showing beautiful women in the title sequence is a natural thing. As long as it's done with style it's a good thing.

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

The Bond film title sequence is a topic most definitely deserving a dedicated thread for indepth discussion.
Like the Barry music or the Adam sets, the opening credit sequence, usually designed by Maurice Binder, is a definitive identifying element of the films, instantly recognisable as a BondThing and much parodied and paid earnest tribute to in many other unrelated films over the years.

We ought to have a few handy youtube links, so we all know what we're talking about.
Here's someone who has uploaded most of them, in groups of three:
Part 1Dr. No (0:00), From Russia with Love (2:45), Goldfinger (5:05)
Part 2: Thunderball (0:00), You Only Live Twice (3:00), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (5:32)
Part 3: Diamonds Are Forever (0:00), Live and Let Die (2:47), The Man with the Golden Gun (5:25)
Part 4: The Spy Who Loved Me (0:00), Moonraker (2:42), For Your Eyes Only (5:30)
Part 5: Octopussy (0:00), A View to a Kill (2:55), The Living Daylights (6:05)
Part 6: Licence to Kill (0:00), GoldenEye (2:48), Tomorrow Never Dies (5:23)
Part 7: The World Is Not Enough (0:00), Die Another Day (2:51), Casino Royale (6:05)
sorry we'll have to find the last three elsewhere

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

These opening credits, starting with the belly dancer in From Russia with Love, are most definitely a sexy thing, objectifying the female form, in abstracted sillhouette, and frequently entangling the abstracted female forms with giant sized phallic gun barrels.
We can each impose our own value judgements, but that is what they are and I wouldn't want them any other way. They are like a hyper-stylised animated version of pulpy paperback covers from the fifties, in the way they exploit the female form to suggest the type of thrills to be found within.

Note how in many if them, the credits themselves are strategically imposed directly on the naughty bits. Binder knows exactly where the viewers eye is going to focus next, maybe we'll see a nipple, oh no we don't but at least there's the name of the director!


Dr. No didn't have sexy credits, it had jazzy animated circles, echoing the gunbarrel shape and the double oh, and invoking neon displays. More similar to the animated title sequences of Hitchcock films such as Vertigo.
First sexy credit was From Russia with Love, and according to wikipedia, Binder did not do that one, nor Goldfinger. He did Dr. No, then returned with Thunderball, once the sexy credits format was established.
So, although it's Binder's name we associate with this whole opening credit style, it was someone else who first came up with the concept. Wikipedia doesn't tell me who did do the credits for From Russia with Love. Does anybody know who we should be thanking?

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Robert Brownjohn did the credits for FRWL and GF.

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Great work, Caractacus Potts!

Of cource Maurice Binder made some of the most iconice title sequences in the series, do any of the other members agree he should have been replaced earlier?

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Number24 wrote:

Great work, Caractacus Potts!

Of cource Maurice Binder made some of the most iconice title sequences in the series, do any of the other members agree he should have been replaced earlier?

The first one of Binder's that to me started to look a little tired was TMWTGG, but then his work on TSWLM was quite inventive again, and celebrated at the time, featuring Bond himself. Binder's reported infatuation with Sheena Easton lifts the FYEO credits, but after that he doesn't really seem convincingly to come to terms with the 80s (which was a strange time for pop culture generally). The TLD credits sequence was interestingly weird, but the LTK one is relatively lacklustre. When Danny Kleinman came in, for GE onwards, he was highly respectful of Binder - paying homage but bringing to bear new sets of skills for the digital age and a fresher engagement with each new movie's themes. He was missed on QOS.

Last edited by Shady Tree (6th Jan 2020 18:56)

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

Barbel wrote:

Robert Brownjohn did the credits for FRWL and GF.

thanks Barbel, I'd never heard his name before.

I found Brownjohn has  own website, with detailed pages explaining how he did the credits for  From Russia With Love and  Goldfinger
Both ...Russia... and Goldfinger feature two dimensional text and images superimposed on a woman's three dimensional body (and Margaret Nolan from Goldfinger is plenty three dimensional!)


Starting with Thunderball, Binder's aesthetic is different: he really likes silhouettes, the women's figures are repeatedly reduced to flat black negative space cut into an everchanging colourful background. (He also likes a skinnier bodytype than Brownjohn did: that's one thing I would change)
I noticed even in Dr No, starting from the point where the Bond theme crossfades into the percussion, Binder is using silhouettes, though here they are not so eroticised as in his more classic sequences.

For Your Eyes Only is the sequence where I really notice the credits strategically placed on the bits I'm straining my eyes to see better: note where Broccoli's name appears! hey, Cubby, down in front, I'm trying to watch a movie here!

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Re: Thoughts and comments about title sequences

I’ve always preferred the way Brownjohn used the female body in his title sequences over Binder.

But my favourite title sequence will always be Dr. No’s. I love his use of geometric shapes and colour. For that reason I also love his non-Bond titles for Charade and Billion Dollar Brain (probably my favourite title sequence of his).

Saul Bass’ North By Northwest titles might by my all-time favourite, and they are very geometric.

As to the original post, a naked cellist for the TLD titles would have been brilliant. Using the cello as a motif (it’s shape, women swinging around the bow, vibrating strings) could have made a brilliant and relevant title sequence.

But I think John Barry and a-Ha missed out by not incorporating a cello prominently into the theme. Barry just couldn’t get away from the flute he loved so much. Not even Kara’s theme was played on a cello. Maybe too on the nose? So back to the titles, you can’t use a visual cello motif over music that isn’t cello-centric. It would be confusing.