Author Pat Kirkham discusses the closing credits of Otto Preminger's In Harm's Way designed by Saul Bass, from her authoritative book Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design.
Preminger's sprawling two-and-a-half-hour wartime melodrama follows a naval troop from just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the end of World War II.
Saul's metaphorical epilogue is evocative of the “violent and eternal qualities of the sea.” It connects the broad historical sweep of the ﬁlm and the violence of war with the volatile cycles of nature. Using images of water, waves, storms and explosions, Saul created a powerful montage. Tension builds, from beautiful gentle waves against a beach to stormy seas and enormous explosions that seem to grow out of the sea itself. Finally, the sea calms again to reveal the moon's reﬂection on gently lapping waves.
Pat Kirkham is Professor in the History of Design, Decorative Arts and Culture at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design & Culture, New York. She has written and edited a number of books, including Charles and Ray Eames (1998) and Women Designers in the USA 1900–2000 (2001).
©2011 Laurence King Publishing Ltd. Used with permission.
Titles: Saul Bass
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith