20 Greatest Opening Movie Scenes Of All Time

"All my life all I ever wanted to be was a gangster."

Inglorious Basterds
The Weinstein Company

Though a film isn't made in its opening sequence, some of the most affecting scenes in all of cinema have come from the very first moments of a given picture. Whether they be thematically important to a story at large, cinematographically outstanding or groundbreaking in their own unique way, there've been dozens of memorable and/or spectacular introductions to some of cinema's most beloved films - some recent, others not so much.

Homaged, referenced and replayed repeatedly, some of cinema's most engaging openings have taken form in different genres, different scales and in different ways. Some aim to ratchet up the tension slowly, whereas others plunge into the action immediately (often, into sci-fi dystopia), grabbing everyone's attention straight away and ensuring a fast start to the story's proceedings.

Some of the most effective auteurs to have mastered the act of the opening sequence include Francis Ford Coppola, Sergio Leone, and Quentin Tarantino. But while they're the usual suspects, there are countless other directors who've managed to impart a memorable opening. (Or two.)

A film might not hinge on those opening moments, but in conveying the drama of any given spectacle, it's better to have a good beginning, than a bad one.

Comics Editor
Comics Editor

WhatCulture's very own Comics Editor. Cats, comic books and spaghetti westerns are my thing. Rants about stuff @EwanRuinsThings

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