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, 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 in a given feature.

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.

Content Producer/Presenter
Content Producer/Presenter

Resident movie guy at WhatCulture who used to be Comics Editor. Thinks John Carpenter is the best. Likes Hellboy a lot. Can usually be found talking about Dad Movies on his Twitter at @EwanRuinsThings.