CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

An Analysis of the Opening Credit Sequence in Film

Melis Inceer, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Humanities

Dept/Program: Visual Studies

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Timothy Corrigan

Date of this Version: 30 May 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.



This paper presents an analytical look at the opening credit sequences of movies. Starting with a chronological background, the study looks at the progress of opening credits based on historical and technological changes. This first section aims to identify some of the major names in the field, while marking the turning points for opening credits throughout five major time periods (1.Pre-credit Era; 2.1920s; 3.1930s-mid 1950s; 4.1955-1970s; 5.1980-Present). The second part of the study categorizes opening credits stylistically and associates these classifications with different stages in history. The third section raises the question of what makes successful credits, pointing out the ambiguity that stems from having different purposes for using a certain type of opening credit sequence in relation to various genre conventions. The next section consists of an analysis of a selection of contemporary movies through their credit sequences. This section demonstrates the extent of different uses for credits and supports the assertion that as the opening credit sequences are becoming works of art that can stand on their own, they are beginning to have a crucial role in the success of movies, especially in the action/thriller genre. The paper concludes with a look at the future of opening credits marking their ongoing evolution.


Visual Studies

Suggested Citation

Inceer, Melis, "An Analysis of the Opening Credit Sequence in Film" 30 May 2007. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 10 July 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.




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