CineSavant Column

Saturday March 11, 2023



Here’s a great resource that’s been around for years — a Toronto-based website run by Editor-In-Chief Lola Landekic, and “dedicated to title sequence design in film, TV, and beyond.”  A whole heap of main titles creativity is on tap at The Art of the Title.

Scores of sequences are available to view just on the front page … and they include many classics. The graphics in the many new title sequences are a real education. Just for fun, here are a couple of immediate winners:  Old  and  New.



And Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ Matt Barry knocked us out on Thursday with the announcement of April titles, many of which I’m curious about and want to review.

It’s a month for collectors — some unfamiliar but very attractive vintage titles are included. Fans of Irene Dunne will note Rouben Mamoulian’s High, Wide and Handsome and Gregory La Cava’s Lady in a Jam. Fans of pre-Code naughtiness will be interested in the lurid Search for Beauty with Ida Lupino and Buster Crabbe. For Fritz Lang and Kurt Weill completists is the gangster comedy You and Me with Sylvia Sidney. There’s even something for the growing Basil Rathbone fan base, a John Brahm adventure called Rio.

The same goes for Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema XII which for once offers some genuine noirs: William Castle’s Undertow, Richard Basehart in Outside the Wall and Hugo Haas with John Agar and Cleo Moore in the weird Hold Back Tomorrow.

Getting into the 1950s, Tyrone Power stars in The Mississippi Gambler. Then we finally get a Blu-ray of Robert Rossen’s They Came to Cordura, its all-star cast topped by Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth and Van Heflin. Somehow I’ve never had a chance to see the whole thing. Sidney Lumet’s classic 12 Angry Men debuts in 4K Ultra HD. The extra resolution ought to let us count Henry Fonda’s facial pores, and see which actors are wearing toupees.

The ’60s titles are a happy surprise. Don Siegel’s Hell is for Heroes should have been out in Blu long before now — it stars Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Bob Newhart, and was one of our favorite combat pictures as kids. We’re less familiar with The Truth about Spring with Hayley and John Mills, and Moment to Moment with Jean Seberg and Honor Blackman.

Newer pictures are equally desirable: Dennis Hopper’s cult item Backtrack, also in its alternate cut Catchfire, with Jodie Foster, Vincent Price and John Turturro; James Frawley’s disaster film comedy The Big Bus, with an all star cast. We then will tap the much-desired 4K Ultra HD of Sidney Lumet’s Serpico with Al Pacino. It’s going to be a lot to cover . . .

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson