Best Movie Opening

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by Mitch, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    "Son," my dad once said to me, "the thing you have to remember is that there's no such thing as a bad Western."

    Westerns are very much forgotten these days, undeservedly so, but I was reminded of a favourite of mine just recently and it made me think about starting this thread.

    I sometimes like movies that breathe. Films that take time to make their point, but make it extremely well. Films that go against the formula and do their own thing.

    Here is a perfect example, the opening to Once Upon A Time In The West. This scene is remarkable for many reasons.

    First, it is the opening of a film, it's 7 minutes long, and not one word is spoken. Every action is so unhurried. Yet it just makes you anticipate more.

    Second, through the noise of the windmill it introduces how important musical themes will be throughout the film.

    Third, the characterisations are superb and allowed to develop with no need for words.

    Fourth, the camera angles, the angles of the set, the vast spaces beyond, all contribute to a tense microcosm.

    It's a real work of genius. Watch "Once Upon A Time In The West opening fight" for the conclusion to this.

    So what are your favourites MAP? Which films have an opening scene that really draws you into the movie, which films do something different, something unexpected maybe? It might not even continue to be a great film, but what are the openings that make you want for more?

    Now I'm going to watch the final duel for One Upon a Time, which you should too, unless you've never seen it, in which case go get it now! Doooo-dee-doooo-doo.
    Simon and Giovanni like this.
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    It's far from "High concept" cinema, but I simply LOVE the opening to "Shogun Assassin"! The narrative, exposition and pay off is incredible and sets tehe scene for an amazing roller coaster of steel and blood
    axelb, Giovanni and philosoraptor like this.
  3. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    Does "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." count? ;)
    Anth, axelb, Smaug97 and 3 others like this.
  4. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    I mean even the trailer is awesome beyond words!

    Plus it heavily influenced "Liquid Swords" by The Gza
    Mitch likes this.
  5. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Time? Characterisation? Direction/Imagery?

  6. aikiMac

    aikiMac "BJJ Over 40" club member Moderator Supporter


    It's almost cliched now, I know, I know, but the opening of "The Matrix," with Trinity freezing in air and then doing a somersault down the staircase across the street -- wow wow wow. It is forever seared into my brain under the file folder labeled "awesome!!!!!" Seriously. It is. I don't care how many times it's been mimicked and mocked. That opening scene is fully awesome and always will be.

    Additionally, I nominate the opening of "Inglorious Bastards." The tension and the fear is so thick you can almost cut it with the father's wood-chopping axe. Genius directing!
    Anth, axelb and philosoraptor like this.
  7. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Bloodsport has an amazing opening!

    I always watch this movie the night before a tournament!
    Mitch and Hannibal like this.
  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Do bears poop in the woods?
  9. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Yes it really does!! Good call!!
  10. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Ok so I can't link it because of VERY bad language but the first 2:30 mins of "way of the gun". I mean...the film itself is "meh" but damn that opening is great and has some of the best movie insults ever.
    For some reason I seem to like zombie/infected film openings...
    The Dawn of the dead remake opening scene. Not a fan of Zack Snyder in general but that opening scene is gold.
    Zombieland is a great film and has a great opening. Quirky, sets the scene and tone for the rest of the film, funny and has metallica. What more is there?
    28 weeks later. Starts gently but by the time the film title comes up your heart is pounding.
    axelb likes this.
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.


    Try watching that 1st 10mins without a tear in your eye and suddenly know the entire lifetime of 2 people.
    Simon, axelb, Mitch and 4 others like this.
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac "BJJ Over 40" club member Moderator Supporter

    (sniffle) Nope. Can't do it! ::crying::
    Mushroom and Mitch like this.
  13. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Shawshank redemption springs to mind.

    Basically because it's Morgan Freeman monologuing, he could monologue anything and it would sounds engaging.
    Anth likes this.
  14. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    I'm gonna disagree here - I think it's a damn good caper/neo-noir/neo-Western/what-have-you flick with some great shootouts. Agree about the opening though.
  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    It's the brutalisist film intro I've ever seen, plus it was so unexpected.
    Mushroom and axelb like this.
  16. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    I agree on The Matrix. Hard to believe it's 20 years next year since I sat in the cinema and watched film history unfolding before my eyes.

    Some further nominations to this list:

    Scream. The opening sequence with Drew Barrymore and the prank caller/Ghostface still gives me chills to this day.

    The Dark Knight. A brilliant film all round, but that bank robbery scene was superb. "What bus..."

    The Lion King. NANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA! Need I say more? (And if that song is stuck in your head for the rest of the day... you're welcome.)

    Goldeneye. With the exception of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, Pierce Brosnan remains my favourite Bond. And that jump off the dam still has not been topped.

    Saving Private Ryan. I know the D-Day landings technically aren't the very first thing to be shown in this movie, but I don't care. It deserves a mention.
    Anth, Dead_pool and axelb like this.
  17. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Oh yes, saving private Ryan! That first scene blew me away watching that in the cinema. I find that hard to watch and I'm not sure I could watch Dunkirk as my Grandad came over though Dunkirk battle.
    Van Zandt likes this.
  18. Simon

    Simon Moved on. Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Wow. Powerful and made even more so by the musical score.
    Mushroom and Dead_pool like this.
  19. aikiMac

    aikiMac "BJJ Over 40" club member Moderator Supporter

    I almost posted Goldeneye! The bungie drop into the dam, and then the airplane off the cliff - oh, yeah! ::applause::
    I think it is the best Bond intro as far as excitement, but ... it's missing the Bond music!!!! Argh!

    I mean, compare it to "The Spy Who Loved Me" ski scene (Roger Moore). There are hints of the Bond theme music on top of the cheesy soundtrack as Roger Moore skis down the mountain, and the when his parachute opens it's full-on Bond music as he floats away. That's missing in Goldeneye, and as a viewer I say that was a mistake.
    axelb likes this.
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    So I watched an immediate entry into "best movie openings" over the weekend.
    "Baby Driver". Brilliant, brilliant opening few minutes.

Share This Page