Let there be lips! The unforgettable opening to a cult classic

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As a stripped-down version of the Twentieth Century Fox theme plays, a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show begins. “And God said, Let there be lips!” And there were lips: red lips, white teeth, black background. An androgynous voice sings “Science fiction, double feature.” Between verses, the lips freeze in black and white before fading into a cross above a church.

If it were not for expensive usage rights and the studio’s inability to secure Shirley Bassey-level talent, these unforgettable ruby-red lips, singing a song with someone else’s voice, might never have come to be. An iconic and blustering introduction to one of cinema’s greatest cult films, the opening credits to The Rocky Horror Picture Show set the tone for the film’s punk energy and playfully paradoxical atmosphere...

Learn about the genesis and lasting power of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Art of the Title