You don’t understand! The pain…

Man With Golden Arm - Saul Bass

Graphic Design and the Movies

“You mean just stop? Cold turkey? You don’t understand! The pain…”

These words were spoken by Frank Sinatra in his role as Frankie Machine in the Otto Preminger’s classic The Man with the Golden Arm.

In 1954 Preminger asked graphic designer Saul Bass to create the title image for the movie: an impactful, hard-hitting image that would drive home to movie-goers the painful intensity of drug addiction.

Man with Golden Arm TitleBass met the challenge and created a stark, frightening rolling title image. It made viewers sit up and pay attention, and it was a harbinger of what was to come in the film.

Along with the pounding and electrifying jazz music of Elmer Bernstein, Saul Bass’ graphic design title treatment of Man with the Golden Arm set a new standard for design of opening titles in cinema.

See and hear the opening credit to the movie in this very short but very cool video: click here, you won’t be sorry!

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