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Otto Preminger’s polemic of American government and law opens with a crude illustration of the US Capitol. Its dome is unhinged, displaying the film’s title with the playful interactivity of a cookie jar. The analogy lampoons the political iconography, equating it with the mundane functionality of a household object.
The credits appear in hand-drawn, cursive writing (Bass’ own), over cropped footage of an American flag bellowing in a slow-motion current against an empty, black background. The flag is robbed of its iconography. Perhaps enforced by the film stock, the color red is absent – no bloodshed – but more discrete is the absence of the flag's upper-left corner. The flag’s stars are omitted: no icons of unity to warrant the prize of liberty.