What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnings?

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greta de groat
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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by greta de groat » Wed May 20, 2015 12:31 pm

silentfilm wrote:

So Greta, I'm wondering how you cataloged these credits...
Ha, those are good! The problem with the cataloging standards is that the instructions are so vague and the credits so variable that no two catalogers come up with the same thing! The standard is based on book cataloging, where you transcribe the author statement on the title page. Film credits are considerably messier and the standard doesn't really fit.
Ive seen other joke credits which can be a challenge to transcribe, especially for my assistant whose first language is not english and can be quite flummoxed with something so out of the ordinary. I think i had a film with joke credits by Truffaut or Godard, i can't remember which.

I haven't cataloged this film but by attempting to follow the current standard i would do:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail / written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palen ; camera operator, Howard Atherton ; producer, Mark Forstater ; directed by 40 specially trained Ecuadorian mountain llamas, 6 Venezuelan red llamas, 142 Mexican whooping llamas, 14 North Chilean guanacos (closely related to the llama), Reg Llama of Brixton, 76000 battery llamas from "Llama Fresh" Farms Ltd. near Paraguay and Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.

with, believe it or not, a title added entry for: Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd. in association with Michael White presents Monty Python and the Holy Grail

That's the "ideal" way the best practices would have me interpret the cataloging standard, but i would apply the option and stop after Michael Palen (presumably the "first" statement of responsibility since the cataloging standard think "Python (Monty) Pictures is part of the title because it's connected with a "presents.") I would consign the rest of the credits to a note, along with the editor and composer and maybe the executive producer but skipping the llamas.

Given that the title given in the subtitles turns out to be a joke, i wouldn't have transcribed it, but someone really anal would give the title as Monty Python and the Holy Grail = Monti Python ik den Holie Grailen [i can't really see it that well on that small screen]


But seeing what other catalogers have done, i don't see anyone else providing the fake subtitle title except a few French records, but the credits are variously transcribed as:
Python (Monty) Pictures in association with Michael White ; producer, Mark Forstater ; directed by Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones.
directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin ; produced by Mark Forstater ; directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.
director, Terry Gilliam.
producers, Mark Forstater, Michael White ; screenplay, Graham Chapman ... [et al.] ; director, Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones.
Python (Monty) Pictures in association with Michael White ; producer, Mark Forstater ; written and performed by, Graham Chapman ... [et al.] ; directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.
[presented by] Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd. in association with Michael White ; written and performed by Graham Chapman ... [et al.] ; producer, Mark Forstater ; directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.

I'm disappointed to see that nobody included the llamas.

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Frederica
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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Frederica » Wed May 20, 2015 12:37 pm

silentfilm wrote:

So Greta, I'm wondering how you cataloged these credits...
Or the credits from a Zucker-Abrahams film. That would be fun.
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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed May 20, 2015 3:00 pm

radiotelefonia wrote:The worst opening title sequence is for TOO LATE THE HERO (1970). After some titles, the movie begins and at some point more titles are presented. Then there is a lengthy sequence and after which the rest of the credits are displayed... and Henry Fonda vanishes completely from the film.
And can you blame him?...

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Thu May 21, 2015 1:59 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
radiotelefonia wrote:The worst opening title sequence is for TOO LATE THE HERO (1970). After some titles, the movie begins and at some point more titles are presented. Then there is a lengthy sequence and after which the rest of the credits are displayed... and Henry Fonda vanishes completely from the film.
And can you blame him?...
No :mrgreen:

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Bob Birchard » Sat May 23, 2015 12:29 am

Donald Binks wrote:
Perhaps we should organise a petition? :D
But don't you want to know who contracted the stylist who took care of the gaffer's best boy's assistant?


NO!

I have been told that the reason all these credits are there is for the purpose of someone's resume. Surely a website devoted to the picture would suffice - or an expanded IMDB entry? Why make the paying public suffer? It is just so unnecessary! It becomes even more pointless on television when the credits whizz by so quickly you can hardly see what you are looking at or they are squeezed into half the frame whilst some promo fills the other half. Redickadidless!.

Still, common sense does not exist in today's world does it? :(
The practice of listing every one who worked on a film may have begun with THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER, which, if I recall lists all names without their job titles in alphbetical order. But the practice only became common after CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, on which Spielberg gave credit to all who worked on the picture as a thank you for their efforts, and the practice soon became common.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Ray Faiola » Sat May 23, 2015 4:55 am

In the 1934 Walter Catlett short THE FULLER GUSH MAN, the film opens with Walter addressing Al Boasburg, the writer and director, and he then introduces the entire cast and crew on the set. Fade out, fade in to full titles.

And, of course, there's Tex Avery's BATTY BASEBALL that begins with just the title card, then the game and a player stops mid-run and asks "Where's the MGM Lion? The credits? Who made this cartoon?" And then they go back to the full logo and credits.
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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by westegg » Sun May 24, 2015 9:57 am

I haven't read every word here but I was somewhat appalled watching, years ago on cable, THE FRISCO KID (1979) with Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford. Never mind it's long forgotten. The credits begin, then something like 10 minutes go by, and the rest of the credits return! What? Most drawn out credit sequence ever that I've known, and really gets things off to a rocky start, given a few credits dribbled in at the start.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Wed May 27, 2015 10:09 am

westegg wrote:I haven't read every word here but I was somewhat appalled watching, years ago on cable, THE FRISCO KID (1979) with Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford. Never mind it's long forgotten. The credits begin, then something like 10 minutes go by, and the rest of the credits return! What? Most drawn out credit sequence ever that I've known, and really gets things off to a rocky start, given a few credits dribbled in at the start.
Like TOO LATE THE HERO (1970), which I mentioned before, THE FRISCO KID (1979) was also directed by Robert Aldrich. He used to do that a lot with credits.

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westegg
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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by westegg » Thu May 28, 2015 8:49 am

Ah, good point. Thanks.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Mitchell Dvoskin » Thu May 28, 2015 8:53 am

The longest pre-credit sequence that I recall is the 1968 movie Candy. The entire (almost 2 hour) movie is before the credits. Even the title of the movie is at the end. Nothing at the beginning. The film just starts.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Feufollet » Thu May 28, 2015 3:14 pm

The Todd-AO megahit Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) may hold the world record. The title, which is the very last image before the final fade-out, appears 183 minutes into the film—and that's not counting the intermission!

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by westegg » Fri May 29, 2015 6:41 am

Funny you mention 80 Days. I saw it reissued in 1968 and as a kid I patiently waited for the credits to appear. I gave up once the balloon took off well into the movie!

:)

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Fri May 29, 2015 3:06 pm

westegg wrote:Funny you mention 80 Days. I saw it reissued in 1968 and as a kid I patiently waited for the credits to appear. I gave up once the balloon took off well into the movie!

:)
TAXI! (1932) has most of the credits after the film ends. The first film I remember with credits once the film finishes is BOMBARDIER (1943).

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by mickeyfender » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:07 pm

louie wrote:you would think someone would put the title first just to be daring! it really does seem pointless most of the time. shouldn't there be a dramatic reason to do it? i am baffled by the practice. just like i am baffled by why they make it completely impossible to read a copyright date on the back of a dvd case.
Doesn't Woody Allen start all (or at least the vast majority) of his pictures with just the title, in white lettering on a black background (using the same font each picture), before launching into the story? Granted, I've barely seen any of his most recent films, but if anyone these days starts films the old fashioned way, he'd be the one.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:49 pm

The other day I found a film by Jean Epstein (thought it was on YT - if so, it's been taken off) from 1932 called L'OR DES MERS. About a minute or so of underwater footage unreels before the main title.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Scott Eckhardt » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:19 am

BIRD OF PARADISE (1932) offers a few feet of scenic footage before the main title is displayed.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Scott Eckhardt » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:24 am

ClayKing wrote:I tend to think that the practice of using a pre-credit sequence in films migrated from television. TV shows in the late 'fifties, especially those produced by the film studios (Warners comes to mind), often had a pre-credit sequence to grab the audience and forestall a channel change. Check out many of the reruns that Encore Westerns airs such as The Cheyenne Show and there is a pre-credit teaser at the beginning. Even a half-hour program like Have Gun Will Travel would have a brief teaser spoken by Richard Boone. Perhaps film makers put brief credits some minutes into the film because they feel their audience are comic book readers with short attention spans?
Virtually every sitcom made by Screen Gems from 1961 on had a pre-credit sequence.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:32 am

I saw What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) last night, which is another Robert Aldrich film. It has a lengthy pre-title sequence, as we see "Jane's" act in 1917 when the women were girls, and then we see two studio employees talking about the women in the 1930s when both are adults.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Scott Eckhardt » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:25 pm

The 1932 RKO film BIRD OF PARADISE starts with a few feet of scenic footage underscored by Max Steiner's lovely music before the credits appear on the screen.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Just came across an upload of The U.S. War Department's THE END OF THE ROAD (1919). Was the pre-credit sequence original or perhaps a 'square-up' added for later release?

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:00 pm

In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), there's about a 45-second establishing sequence of May Robson's Aunt Polly on her doorstep yelling "Tom! You, Tom!" and of Tommy Kelly's rope-swinging into a river before the credits begin rolling.

As others mentioned on another thread a few weeks ago, this is a wonderful film.

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:25 pm

Don't think anyone's mentioned THE PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD, from 1932...

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Re: What were the Earliest movies to have pre title beginnin

Unread post by Brianruns10 » Wed May 09, 2018 11:12 am

Viennese Nights is the earliest I can think of. It has a very short opening shot of revelers at an Octoberfest type gathering, as one starts to sing, which sets up a fade to the credits. It's very unusual for the time period.

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