Best opening scenes?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob Spears, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Bob Spears

    Bob Spears Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife and kids have been out of town for the last three days so I have had unlimitled Home Theater access and have been re-watching all of my favorites. It just struck me after I watched the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs for the first time since I saw it in the theater many years ago what a GREAT scene this is. I immediately pulled out Pulp Fiction and watched that opening scene and was again blown away. I just wanted to see if anyone agreed with me and if you guys had an other movie suggestions that have really well performed opening scenes that just GRAB you.

    cheers and happy holidays

    bob spears
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I have to throw in the tracking shot of The Player here. But to mention two other movies with openings that are almost the best scenes of the movie (and of a reasonably good movie as well): Glory and Blade.
    Cees
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    Dances with Wolves 'looks like a suicide' if you have the dts, crank it up, and glory in the brilliant marriage of score and image, damn, if only they'd provided an isolated score.
    Dogma, pre credits with Loki and Bartleby, one of the funniest opening sequences!
    Jaws, need I say more
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    The Shop Around the Corner (great cast interaction!)
    The Godfather (this scene always kicks my ass, so beware, it will be excruciating turning the film off)
    Gangs of New York
    Mononoke Hime
    Chariots of Fire "and wings on their feet" always gives me chills, up through the vangelis credits [​IMG]
    Christmas Vacation - going to get the christmas tree! (this is so true, and if the light doesn't shine down on the tree with the hallelujah angels chorus playing in the background, you know you haven't gotten the right tree yet IRL)
    Saving Private Ryan
    LAwrence of Arabia
    Bridge on the River Kwai
    The Great Escape
    The Aparment
    DR. STRANGELOVE!!!
    2001 (the apes part is my favorite!)
    Ehh I can't think of any more, though there are all sorts popping around in my head [​IMG]
    Adam
     
  4. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Just about every James Bond film after From Russia with Love [​IMG]
     
  5. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

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    Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf v. Balrog. 'nuff said.
    Gonna have to second Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, and Raiders of the Lost Arc.
    The World is Not Enough, the boat chase down the Thames River
    Fight Club, just wondering what the hell is going on, then the immediate jump to the testicular cancer therapy group
    Star Wars IV, the Rebel ship goes overhead, impressive. The Star Destroyer goes overhead, and keeps going, and going, and going, real impressive.
    Analyze This, the meeting at the country mobster's house, just hilarious
    There are others, of course, but those just jump out at me.
     
  6. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    Oh come one, we all know the winner here!

    Austin Powers: GoldMember!

    Come on that opening is CLASSIC! Could you imagine an entire movie with the likes of Cruise, Devito and Spacey?
     
  7. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Nothing beats the first 20 min of Saving Private Ryan IMO.
     
  8. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I held a tournament on this very subject a while ago, you can probably find it if you search for it. The winner was Raiders of the Lost Ark .
     
  9. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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  10. Declan

    Declan Second Unit

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    Strange days- the robbery blackjack clip

    Swordfish- "you what the problem with Hollywood is....they make shit" "each one of the 22 hostages has been wrapped with explosives"

    Raiders/Crusade- might give the laser of each of these a spin tonight

    Private Ryan- one of the best

    Fellowship- the prologue
     
  11. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    Minority Report's opening is great.

    Also, i love the opening to Big Lebowski.
     
  12. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Star Wars
    - Grabs you by the balls the first minute and never lets go.
    Glory
    - Awesome stuff
    Saving Private Ryan
    - Made you glad for the sacrifices that were made that fateful day.
     
  13. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I'll second FELLOWSHIP.
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned:
    VERTIGO - opening titles (Bass & Herman) follwed by rooftop pursuit and the first vertiginous shot
    MANHATTAN - Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Allen's monologue, and Gordon Willis' magnificent black & white scope photography. I used to watch this sequence every day after I came home from work. [​IMG]
    CITIZEN KANE - reveal of Xanadu, Kane's death, followed by NEWS ON THE MARCH newsreel
    HEAVENLY CREATURES - sardonic newsreel featuring "Christchurch, New Zealand's city on the plains" cuts to a tragic scene at Hagley Park
     
  14. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Cliffhanger...
    ...but I can't say much for the rest of the movie.
     
  15. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    I would like to add "A Touch of Evil" directed by Orson Welles. One long shot of many events for the movie's plot lasting 11 minutes.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Here's some of my favorites:

    8 1/2 (nightmare)

    Napoleon vu par Abel Gance (snowball fight)

    City Lights (statue scene)

    The Playhouse (Starring Buster Keaton...co-starring Buster Keaton in a Buster Keaton film produced by Buster Keaton is association with Buster Keaton. Key grip - Buster Keaton...etc)

    Yellow Submarine (Once upon a time...or maybe twice...)

    Fantasia (Orchestra warming up)

    Moulin Rouge (2001)
     
  17. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

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    Let's not forget John Ford's The Searchers, which has one of my favorite opening scenes, and also one of my favorite closing scenes.
     
  18. Tim Ke

    Tim Ke Stunt Coordinator

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    i love the opening to Dirty Harry - the rooftop sniper and Harry's investigation with that cool Lalo Schifrin score!
     
  19. Chris Hopper

    Chris Hopper Agent

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    IMO I think, Ghost in the Shell, Leon, and Jackie Brown have some of the best openings ever, though I know I can think of more.
     
  20. Scott D S

    Scott D S Supporting Actor

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    Monty Python and the Holy Grail - When I grow up, I want to be a moose technician!

    Manhattan - I second this one.

    Deconstructing Harry - I just like the the intercutting of a pissed off Judy Davis with Annie Ross' Twisted playing in the background.

    Everyone Says I Love You - First musical number, Ed Norton sings Just You, Just Me (although I like the Captain Spaulding and My Baby Just Cares for Me numbers better).

    North by Northwest - I love Bernard Hermann's music for this one!

    Back to the Future - I only came to appreciate it recently, and I'm not talking about the long shot of the clocks. The entire film is a perfect example of giving exposition.

    Contact - I wish the Star Trek films would use a cosmic pull-back like this one.
     

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