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Opening Scenes


pturman
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What is your favorite opening scene? Here's one of mine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this one because of how the hauntingly beautiful theme song starts when we first see the paramount logo,also the way the first images evoke both elegance & glamour yet at the same time an aching loneliness . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pt and Eugenia, those are truly great openings. pt, your scene makes me want walk over to Tiffany's very early in the morning, about a 15-minute walk from where I live. Another favorite New York opener of which I'm very fond is The Subject Was Roses, with Patricia Neal waking up, going out in her Bronx neighborhood to Judy Collins' song.

 

But as a native New Yorker, my favorite scene actually lies elsewhere. Here it is, after the opening credits with Victor Young's lovely music:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56TVoylPyK4

 

(The link actually gives the first part of the film. The opening scene runs to about the 4:15 point.)

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Oh Wow! Yes, thanks for the link. I had forgotten that fabulous opening. Truly beautiful, elegant & haunting!

I would suggest "A Place in the Sun' - Montgomery Clift is walking along the side of the road, you see his back & then he turns his head & the camera catches him full face. Takes my breath away!!

Couldn't find a link for it to share here.

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pt, your second scene is memorable. A boxer like a ballet dancer, dancing to an opera theme. Haven't seen that movie in years!

 

Regarding my choice, The Light that Failed is one of my favorite films. You are quite right to say it looks more Wyler than Wellman. It's one of Ronald Colman's best roles, but he and Wellman did not get along, probably because it's a very Colman-type film and not at all a Wellman-type. But Wellman must have loved the story and Kipling's book, because he produced it as well as directed. I think it's one of Hollywood's very best quiet, melancholy, introspective movies (if one can call a film introspective).

 

 

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Since it's Opening Scenes (plural) I have tried to think of some not previously mentioned:

*Patton* -puts you right in the mood for 2 hours of Geo C Scott.

*Field of Dreams* -Sweet, nostalgic, and so heart-touching to boomer like me.

*The Best Years of Our Lives* -because it is so unassuming, you are drawn into the characters return to the everyday life in the USA

*The Apartment* -CC Baxter's narration of his daily grind at the office, with the slightly sardonic Jack Lemmon VO of trivia about insurance.

*Casablanca* (of course) -quasi-newsreel layout and maps of the setup. they had me at "With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas..."

*Angels With Dirty Faces* -James Cagney walks almost wordlessly through his old haunts, with his expression giving away his contempt, amusement and disdain.

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*A Boy and His Dog* (1975) opens with nuclear explosions.

Then there is the printed statement: "World War IV Lasted Five Days".

Then there is the printed statement: "Politicians had finally solved the problem of urban blight."

 

It is an appropriate opening for a movie which has such dark humor.

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Jake, your favorite here is definitely a great one, however my pick in the same genre of Westerns would be this one...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5I8pPettEI

 

And though admittedly mine here might not actually qualify as an "opening scene" but more as the opening credits, every single time I see this, and maybe especially whenever I hear Jerome Moross' stirring theme here, I just know there's a story about to unfold as big as the western skies, and where I call home.

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The first film that comes to mind when I think of 'movie beginnings' is REBECCA (1940). The beginning (i think of it as a 'prologue') is an excellent introduction. It is both eery and spooky. We know from those 2 minutes that there is mystery to our story. We hear a voice talking of the past, and suggesting there are secrets we will learn about.

I love the way the sequence is filmed. The voice talks about the winding of the drive and, as she talks, we are taken down this long drive ("twisting and turning as it has always done ...") to her former home. Then she talks about moonlight playing odd tricks... and, we are fooled into thinking that lights come on in the house.

Hitchcock's first US film is just terrific, and one of my favorites. It was originally intended for Vivien Leigh (Laurence Olivier's wife), but went to Joan Fontaine since Vivien Leigh was signed for Gone with the Wind. Many feel Vivien Leigh would have been better as the "I" character... maybe, but I have no complaints. this is one great film.

 

rebecca.jpg

original 14x36 poster

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I always liked the opening credits to BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. The silent movie showing "fictitious" Butch & Sundance robbing the train, the sound of the movie projector, the melancholy guitar plucking out Bacharach's beautiful melody. It really makes you feel wistful & nostalgic for a time that's long since disappeared.

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Delmer Dave's classic: The Hanging Tree. Dave's was a precise and insightful director who I believe is highly underrated. He made some great ones.

 

Coop in this movie shows a little of a dark side. This is one of the greatest Westerns ever made. Yes, I know it's my opinion but a good one.

 

 

Jake in the Heartland

 

P.S. This is one of those bootlegs I bought but it's not out on DVD. The copy I have is OK and will work. Got the movie from Amazon who sponsored the seller.

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> {quote:title=casablancalover wrote:}{quote}johnm_001:

> From the first 7 secs, I knew which movie, and I wanted to rush a hill and start singing!

>

> Times like these I want a "LOVE" button.. <3

>

> oops that came out wrong..

>

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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Patton.

 

As a side note: in real life, General Patton studied all leading military generals in his youth. He especially liked studying battles during The War Between the States. Grant, Sherman and Thomas were studied.

 

But his favorites were General Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen.Stonewall Jackson. He used many of their strategies and tactics in his conquest of the Nazis.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh9S1Hk975U

 

Jake in the Heartland

 

 

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>Bette Davis in The Letter (1940).

 

That one is great. I have a lot of respect for people who can set that type of complex scene up and then carry it out perfectly.

 

It is actually two scenes, stitched together with a right to left "wipe". It's actually a combination of a wipe and a dissolve. But it all looks like just one long scene.

 

And I love the bird flying when he hears the shot! That's a great effect.

 

I wonder how many takes they would have to do to make the scene look that good?

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