10 Greatest Movie Opening Scenes Of All Time

There is an important trick all movie makers learn before making any movie. As a recent Screenwriting graduate, this very trick was drummed into my head from the very beginning of my three years learning the craft of writing for film. That trick is this: make the first 10 minutes of your film truly great, and the audience will likely sit through and watch the film to the end with interest. Fail to grab the audiences attention within this 10 minutes and you more often than not lose your audience completely. In fact, if your screenplay isn't interesting within these first 10 pages, a script reader will most likely just stop reading your script at this point and your movie will never get made. Not all of the movies I have included on this list are movies that I ended up loving, but each one has a great opening couple of scenes which made sure that I at least watched on until the end. I will try to keep this list fairly brief, and let the openings speak for themselves, but the following 10 are movie openings I consider to be the very best. I welcome debate, and if I have missed out your favorite or simply overlooked a film, please inform me in the comments section. Speaking of overlooking things... this very word brings me neatly onto the film I have placed at number 10... Can you guess what it is...

10. The Shining

http://youtu.be/TgCejsyS0t8 Based on this opening alone I imagined this film would frighten the life out of me. Turns out it really didn't, but this opening is one I still struggle to watch to this day. This is also an example of a film which, because of the strength of this very simple opening scene which is simply Jack Torrance's car driving up to the Overlook Hotel, hooked me in very early on and made me watch all the way to the end. Do I love the film as a whole... yes and no. More clarity at the end wouldn't have gone a miss, but then again, the final scene showing the protagonist Jack Torrance standing amongst a group of people in a photograph years before he was born is chilling as ever and a great, but slightly baffling end to a pretty surreal but more enjoyable than not film. Kubrick is one of my favorite directors of all time, and features twice more on this list. The way he has made a simple car journey here into one of the most frightening scenes in all of cinema history means he deserves all the credit he has been given over the years. A truly visionary man... it is just a shame Stephen King hated this film adaption so much.
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I am a recent Screenwriting for Film and Television graduate from the UK. I am an unashamed geek who loves everything Marvel, and anything Joss Whedon has ever touched (except for maybe Alien Resurrection and Titan A.E). My current favorite TV shows are Breaking Bad, Family Guy, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Homeland and Glee. I look forward to debating things with all of you in the future. (As of January 2013 I have had over 1 million views since joining WhatCulture in September 2012. You can reach me at danieljamesbowen@hotmail.co.uk)