It’s important for a movie to have a great opening scene as it sets up the movie. Some give us a quick backstory, while others foreshadow an event that will happen later in the movie. It can also be a great starter to set the tone of the movie.
And some of them are unforgettable as they’re the best scenes in cinema.
My favorite movie opening scenes
One of the first scenes I have to think of is the one of Inglorious Basterds. Christopher Waltz delivered one of the most menacing scenes ever.
You just feel sorry for the Frenchman who is trying to be a good person. In the end, he has to choose for the survival of his family over the jews he’s hiding. It’s scary because you understand him as he’s forced to betray them. Otherwise, they would all be dead.
On top of that, Christopher Waltz won an Oscar for this performance. I love how the facial expressions changed, making him more menacing by the second. We also have to give credit to the farmer, who also does an excellent job.
The Dark Knight
It’s a Bank Robbery scene planned by the Joker, where they take each other out one by one after finishing their duty. In the end, the only survivor is revealed to be the Joker.
That’s how you introduce a new villain. Great job, Christopher Nolan! And, I still can’t believe how amazing Heath Ledger was as the Joker.
Vertigo is a famous classic movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
The introduction scene immediately explains the title’s name. It shows us why Scottie retired as a police officer and why he’s afraid of heights.
The clip may be short, but it gives us enough backstory to understand the character’s fear.
Tarzan is my favorite animated Disney movie. I love how it’s a bit darker than the other Disney films. Also, I have no idea why, but I like movies with apes in it. The new Planet of the Apes trilogy is also one of my favorite trilogies of all time.
On top of that, there are many Phil Collins songs, which makes this a thousand times better.
The scene explains it all. How his parents died, how the other baby monkey died, and how Tarzan got found by the apes.
You can’t do anything wrong with Bob Dylan’s song. The intro gives us a quick look at the Minutemen.We get to see where they succeeded, but also their downfall. The intro sets the gritty tone of the film.
And the follow-up is even better. Then we get to see and hear Rorschach’s monologue on the Comedian’s death.
Guardians of the Galaxy
First, they show us tragic scenes when Quill was young when he lost his mother. Quickly after, they opened up with him dancing towards his ‘treasure.’ I did not expect that when I was in the theater, and the opening was so mesmerizing.
The switch from sadness to happiness is unexpected, and I can’t believe how they pulled that off. Normally, this would have been a strange transition, but it worked for this film.
The Lion King
Disney’s most famous animated movie is, without a doubt, “The Lion King.”
It has the most mesmerizing movie opening scene of them all. And everyone, tried it at least once to lift up their pet like in the Lion King. I know I did it a lot.
And, what a beautiful opening song!
This is the saddest opening scene I’ve seen in my life.
It just hits you right in the feels. Pixar always knows how to make you cry, don’t they? It’s not only of the best movie opening scenes, but also one of the best pixar movies ever.
Love can beautiful but also heartbreaking.
Indiana Jones Movies
All of the three Indiana Jones films have great thrilling openings. And yes, I’m not counting the fourth one.
I have a slight preference for the third film because of it’s transition from young to old Indiana Jones. That scene gives me chills all the time. However, that doesn’t take away how epic the other two openings were.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
The second Captain America film is one of the greatest Marvel films I’ve seen.
I was blown away with its movie opening scene where all the fighting was well choreographed. The use of Captain America’s shield was outstanding, and I couldn’t believe how amazing it all was. That’s how great it is.
Saving Private Ryan
War is never pretty, and Saving Private Ryan gave us a look into it. The opening scene shows us the horror of war.
The stakes are high, and we feel it immediately. It’s like we get thrown in these fearful times, where every second can be your last one.