The Greatest Opening Credits: Superman

It would be cool if there was an Academy Award for the best credit sequence of the year! Some filmmakers really go all out on the credit sequence…and then there’s Woody Allen (black screen, white letters, same font, every movie, every year). In my world, there are a few movies that would rank on the list of all time great credit sequences. There is no better place to start than with Richard Donner’s masterpiece, “Superman.”

Seeing “Superman” in the theater when it opened in 1978 is still one of my most vivid movie going memories. The credits set the tone for the next few hours perfectly. I remember being excited, I also remember being terrified.  The credits communicated that my little brain was in for more excitement than it had bargained for.

I mean having those words zoom past you onto the screen was better than any 3-D effect I’ve ever experienced. Add John Williams’ famous score and it was enough to make an 8-year old kid pee their pants before the movie even started. I didn’t pee my pants on this one by the way…”The Empire Strikes Back,” that’s another story. The sound effects for the credits are great too. They swoosh, they roar…Richard Donner’s final directing credit even clangs like two big hunks of steel banging together. Awesome!

It’s been copied many times, but no other film has matched the power of the visuals and music of the man of steel.

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