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The Best Opening of a Movie


browne1
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has to be The Killers 46 wher the criminal & his pal bully the guy in the diner. "Bright boy" ... Right Bright Boy...ain't that right Bright Boy...Bright Boy doesn't think so ... Bright Boy says...

Whenever I watch that movie I have to stop the movie until I stop laughing. Anybody get that reaction? :)

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> {quote:title=browne1 wrote:}{quote}has to be The Killers 46 wher the criminal & his pal bully the guy in the diner. "Bright boy" ... Right Bright Boy...ain't that right Bright Boy...Bright Boy doesn't think so ... Bright Boy says...

> Whenever I watch that movie I have to stop the movie until I stop laughing. Anybody get that reaction? :)

That's Charles McGraw and William Conrad, and I agree that there's never been a better opening to a movie, beginning with the black sedan speeding through the New Jersey countryside, accompanied by the soon-to-be "Dragnet" theme, in search of a man to kill. And though I don't break out laughing, I do keep a grin on my face during that entire "Bright Boy" dialogue. Total classic.

 

Of course it doesn't hurt that The Killers is up there with Out of the Past as one of the two greatest American noirs of all time.

 

Two runners-up: The Steel Helmet, which opens with a shot of a battlefield in Korea, and a seemingly abandoned helmet just lying there upright. But then as the credits unfold, you see that Gene Evans' head is attached to the helmet, and together they slowly rise up from his foxhole.

 

And on a lighter note, Ginger Rogers singing "We're in the Money" *in Pig Latin* at the beginning of Gold Diggers of 1933 is the best opening of any musical I can think of.

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Here we go with the "best" thing again. When there IS no "best", only our FAVORITES...

 

 

I always liked the opening to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, with the mysterious finding of the old WWII planes in the Mexican desert. Or the opening to *Rocky* showing an overwheight Balboa, lacking any finesse, clumsily slugging his way to a meaningless victory.

 

 

Then there's *Citizen Kane* ...

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Among my favorite opening scenes are: The Letter, Out of the Past, The Killers, Citizen Kane, The Searchers (all previously mentioned) and The Big Clock with Ray Milland and Charles Laughton, Executive Suite and Rebecca

 

for me these are all particularly striking opening scenes!

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The Killers is an all-time great, to be certain. The diner scene and the Lancaster character's seemingly inexplicable lack of self-preservation are actually the entirety of the Hemingway short story.

 

Citizen Kane and snow globes, of course, but there's also the matter of a justly-famous tracking shot crossing the US-Mexican border in Touch of Evil.

 

Billy Wilder's flicks also made for some memorable first impressions: a ghost tank hauling its (nearly) deceased crew aimlessly through the Egyptian sands in Five Graves to Cairo *"Stebbins - dead. Fitch - dead. Abbott - dead. O'Connor - dead. All of them. Driving themselves to the funeral. That's service, sir."*, a bloodied Fred MacMurray reciting his sad story to a dictaphone in Double Indemnity *"{font:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif}{size:small}Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"{font}*, and William Holden begining arguably celluloid's greatest voice-over in Sunset Blvd. *"*{font:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif}{size:small}The poor dope! He always wanted a pool."

{font}

Then there's Carol Reed's pitch-perfect summary of gaunt, post-war Vienna in The Third Man (which later features one of the most immortal character/actor introductions in cinema, but that's another subject . . . :) )

 

And this one's a tad more esoteric, but I happen to love the opening of Beat the Devil. I'll pilfer from the late great Roger Ebert's great movie essay on the film (playing on Aug 1 for Bogie's SUTS day! :P ):

 

{font:Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif}{size:15px}"The village band pounds out an oompah-pah tune, as police march four disreputable characters across the square. Already we're smiling. One is tall and round, one is tall and cadaverous, one is short and round and the fourth is a little rat face with a bristling mustache. On the soundtrack, Humphrey Bogart {font}{font:Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif}{size:15px}tells us they are all criminals, but we know that; they were born looking guilty."

{font}

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beat-the-devil-1954

 

 

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> {quote:title=browne1 wrote:}{quote}Thats it. 2 votes for The Killers. The Killers wins hands down best movie opening of all time. Those of you who voted for movies other than The Killers please accept the suckers award on your way out. :^0

And since I've passed through Chicago many a time, and since I watch The Great McGinty on a regular basis, that means I get to cast 37 more votes for the greatest opening scene of my choice, which brings The Killers' total up to 39 and counting.

 

BTW I expect my $74.00 payoff from Big Jim Colfax to come in the form of a cashier's check. No IOU's from this bird. I was born at night, but not last night.

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> {quote:title=NoraCharles1934 wrote:}{quote}

>

>

> Billy Wilder's flicks also made for some memorable first impressions: a ghost tank hauling its (nearly) deceased crew aimlessly through the Egyptian sands in Five Graves to Cairo *"Stebbins - dead. Fitch - dead. Abbott - dead. O'Connor - dead. All of them. Driving themselves to the funeral. That's service, sir."*, a bloodied Fred MacMurray reciting his sad story to a dictaphone in Double Indemnity *"{size:small}Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"*, and William Holden begining arguably celluloid's greatest voice-over in Sunset Blvd. *"*{size:small}The poor dope! He always wanted a pool."

>

>

>

>

I agree about Wilder's films in general. I love the opening to SABRINA, too about the man whose only job is to take care of a fish named George. But I'm so glad you mentioned FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, which is definitely one of the most compelling openings to any movie ever made.

i464998.jpg

Gotta say I love the opening to Miyazaki's CASTLE IN THE SKY with the fight on the zeppelin, ending with the main character falling out of it. Awesome.

07_castle_in_the_sky.jpg

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Some of my favorite openings are Hitchcock's Rebecca and Rope. If you have ever read the book and are a fan, Rebecca starts off just like the book. Rope starts off with the murder and you find yourself rooting for Brandon and Philip to get away with it.

 

 

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I've probably seen *Rope* a dozen times over the years and never once did I find myself rooting for Philip and Brandon to get away with killing poor David. They were both deranged.

 

 

A great opening is *The Big Country* - that GREAT theme song and the Pony Express traveling at record speed. That opening grabs me everytime.

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> {quote:title=lavenderblue19 wrote: }{quote}A great opening is *The Big Country* - that GREAT theme song and the Pony Express traveling at record speed. That opening grabs me everytime.

I'd heard that theme and the tune from where Buck chases the carriage in so many western themed programs-and John Wayne's headache commerical-that when I first saw the movie I didn't care how good it was just to know where it came from. Of course both film and music are first rate and more. I have it in my collection.

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