North by Northwest title sequence by Saul Bass
I am probably as much of a film title geek as a total non-designer could be. Titles are one of the main reasons I love watching old movies (vintage clothing and set designs are high up on the list too.)
When I was out in LA, I was very excited to go see the Saul Bass exhibition @ the Skirball, but I must confess: it was a bit of a letdown. The reel they put together was sort of weird, and the collection of posters was impressive but not installed in a very inventive way. Nothing about the exhibition seemed to fill the space enough, nor did it measure up to the awesomeness of Saul Bass.
North by Northwest is peak experience for me as far as mid-century movies go: Hitchcock! amazing architecture! the clothes! Cary Grant at his best... and of course that A+ title sequence from Mr. Saul Bass himself.
Update: Holy shit! Via louisebrooks.com on del.icio.us I found this amazing feature: Titles Designed By Saul Bass on Not Coming to a Theater Near You. This page includes essays, analysis and stills and it's beautifully designed. Goodness gracious! It's been around, and made the rounds, but it's new to me.