Saul Bass Turns 100

Saul Bass Turns 100

20 Episodes

There were title sequences before Saul Bass, and there were title sequences after Saul Bass. The legendary graphic artist, born 100 years ago on May 8, revolutionized the art of motion-picture credits with his groundbreaking opening to Otto Preminger’s THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, using strikingly minimalist design elements to visualize the story’s explosive theme of drug addiction. Over the next forty years, Bass would employ techniques ranging from animation (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, OCEAN’S 11) to live action (WALK ON THE WILD SIDE) to avant-garde experimentation (SECONDS) to time-lapse photography (THE AGE OF INNOCENCE) to create some of the most dazzling title sequences of all time, miniature works of art that not only set the mood for the feature to follow but which often help to tell the story itself. Though he directed only one feature—the visually stunning science-fiction head trip PHASE IV—Bass left behind a widely influential legacy as one of the most innovative film artists of the twentieth century.

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Saul Bass Turns 100
  • Saul Bass Turns 100 Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Bass on Bass

    Episode 2

    The following program produced by the design firm R/GA features a 1996 interview with graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass.

  • The Man with the Golden Arm

    Episode 3

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1955 • United States
    Starring Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak

    Otto Preminger’s groundbreaking depiction of drug addiction brought an explosively controversial topic to the screen with empathy and unflinching frankness. Frank Sinatra gives a harrowing perform...

  • The Big Knife

    Episode 4

    Directed by Robert Aldrich • 1955 • United States
    Starring Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Rod Steiger

    Hollywood superstar Charlie Castle (Jack Palance) has it all, except for a way out. When he tries to leave show business, his tyrannical studio boss, Stanley Hoff (Steiger), blackmails him with a let...

  • Around the World in 80 Days

    Episode 5

    Directed by Michael Anderson • 1956 • United States
    Starring David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley Maclaine

    Winner of five Academy Awards, including best picture, Michael Anderson’s grandly entertaining epic brings Jules Verne’s classic novel to colorful, star-studded life. When dapper nineteenth-cen...

  • Storm Center

    Episode 6

    Directed by Daniel Taradash • 1956 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Brian Keith, Kim Hunter

    The first Hollywood film to take a forceful, overt stand against McCarthyism issues an urgent response to anti-Communist sentiment and speaks powerfully to the rights and responsibilities of citizens...

  • Cowboy
    Episode 7


    Episode 7

    Directed by Delmer Daves • 1958 • United States
    Starring Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi

    Tempers flare and fists fly in this action-packed sagebrush classic directed with lean, mean grit by genre master Delmer Daves. Glenn Ford stars as Tom Reese, a range-hardened trail boss who has just ar...

  • Bonjour tristesse

    Episode 8

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1958 • United Kingdom
    Starring Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Jean Seberg

    Otto Preminger’s second collaboration with the singular Jean Seberg casts her as Cecile, a hedonistic teenager living on the French Riviera with her similarly decadent father Raymond (David Niven),...

  • The Big Country

    Episode 9

    Directed by William Wyler • 1958 • United States
    Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker

    This bold, epic western from director William Wyler stars Gregory Peck as a ship’s captain who ventures west to marry his fiancée (Carroll Baker), only to discover that his new town is a hotbed of...

  • Anatomy of a Murder

    Episode 10

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1959 • United States
    Starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara

    A virtuoso James Stewart plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: the defense of a young army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a local tavern owner who he belie...

  • The Facts of Life

    Episode 11

    Directed by Melvin Frank • 1960 • United States
    Starring Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Ruth Hussey

    Comedy legends Bob Hope and Lucille Ball join forces in this sophisticated romantic comedy with a touch of drama. When their spouses are unable to join them on a planned group trip, longtime friends Larr...

  • Ocean’s 11

    Episode 12

    Directed by Lewis Milestone • 1960 • United States
    Starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

    New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Roulette wheels spin, cards snap, slots chime, champagne fizzes . . . and the lights go out. It’s the perfect time to steal a kiss or a $25 chip. But for Danny Oce...

  • Something Wild

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jack Garfein • 1961 • United States
    Starring Carroll Baker, Ralph Meeker

    A complex exploration of the physical and emotional effects of trauma, SOMETHING WILD stars Carroll Baker, in a layered performance, as a college student who attempts suicide after a brutal sexual assault but...

  • Walk on the Wild Side

    Episode 14

    Directed by Edward Dmytryk • 1962 • United States
    Starring Laurence Harvey, Capucine, Jane Fonda

    One of Saul Bass’s most iconic title sequences—in which a black cat slinks through a gritty urban nightscape—sets the lurid tone for this deliriously entertaining hothouse melodrama based on Nelson A...

  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

    Episode 15

    Directed by Stanley Kramer • 1963 • United States
    Starring Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar

    Stanley Kramer followed his Oscar-winning JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG with this sobering investigation of American greed. Ah, who are we kidding? IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, about a group of strange...

  • Bunny Lake Is Missing

    Episode 16

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1965 • United Kingdom
    Starring Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier, Noël Coward

    After her young daughter ostensibly disappears from a London daycare, a desperate mother (Carol Lynley) gets another shock when the authorities—led by Laurence Olivier’s cynical Scotland Yard ...

  • Seconds
    Episode 17


    Episode 17

    Directed by John Frankenheimer • 1966 • United States
    Starring Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph

    Rock Hudson is a revelation in this sinister, science-fiction-inflected dispatch from the fractured 1960s. SECONDS, directed by John Frankenheimer, concerns a middle-aged banker who, dissatisfi...

  • Phase IV
    Episode 18

    Phase IV

    Episode 18

    Directed by Saul Bass • 1974 • United Kingdom, United States
    Starring Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick

    The sole feature directed by graphic-design visionary Saul Bass is a brain-warping science-fiction freak-out in which a mysterious cosmic force turns a colony of ants in the Ari...

  • The Human Factor

    Episode 19

    Directed by Otto Preminger • 1979 • United Kingdom
    Starring Richard Attenborough, Nicol Williamson, Derek Jacobi

    It’s spy vs. spy in Otto Preminger’s final film, a crackling Graham Greene adaptation scripted by Tom Stoppard and costarring British acting legends John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, and Ri...

  • The Age of Innocence

    Episode 20

    Directed by Martin Scorsese • 1993 • United States
    Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

    No filmmaker captures the grandeur and energy of New York like Martin Scorsese. With this sumptuous romance, he meticulously adapted the work of another great New York artist, Edith Whar...