The picture opens with the Saul-Bass-designed Warner logo that was on the studio's '70s and early '80s pictures. Always a welcome sight, but it's worth pointing out that the filmmakers benefitted here from a precedent that was hard-won. From my friend James Rocchi's recent interview with my friend Steven Soderbergh, on this year's Magic Mike:
James Rocchi: This movie starts with a seventies WB logo. Was that important? I know that’s your call, but is that important or is it just something you do for fun?
Steven Soderbergh: Well, both. I wanted a way of connecting directly to that era of great American films. That, combined with my huge love of anything Saul Bass. I started the process, which I knew wasn’t going to be simple, of trying to get the use of that logo, which I'd tried to get before for the "Ocean's" films. I wasn't able to. It just kept getting kicked back way up. You must know this as well as anyone -- when you're dealing with a really well known successful powerful company, you get this sense that, the really powerful people; you don't even know who they are. I know who Jeff Bewkes (Time Warner CEO) is. I know those names that are in the paper, but you find out about these super powerful people that nobody knows that are never in the paper, and they are deciding everything. This thing would just disappear. This question would disappear, and I would get a "No," and I would say, "Well, who said no?" and they would say, "Corporate."
On this one, because I figured for a while as we've all been talking about it ad nauseam, this might be the last Warner Brothers movie I make for a long time, so this time I finally enlisted Jeff Robinov (WB Pictures President). I just explained, "Look, it’s a cool thing to do. It’s a cool karmic thing to do. It's not going to damage Warner Bros in any way. There'll be one out of twenty people that write about movies will even notice this, but that's fine." He kept pushing, and he finally convinced them to let me do it. It gives me so much pleasure to see it, because I think "Barry Lyndon," you know?
Joseph Failla writes: "A great thrill for any film collector or avid movie fan is to stumble across a print of one of their favorite films with its original theatrical logo intact. Case in point, would that screening of THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COL. BLIMP we just attended, seem nearly as satisfying without its famous Archers logo to start things off?