10 Best Opening Scenes Of All Time
10. Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Steven Spielberg is quite literally one of the greatest directors of all time, so it’s no wonder that he was able to create one of, not only the best movies, but one of the best opening scenes of all time. When you kickstart a new franchise with an already legendary actor you need to start with a bang, or in this case, a rolling ball. In one of the most iconic scenes in film history, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones wagers his life with a bag of sand all so he can get his hands on a pricey artifact. This 10-minute pumping thrill ride solidified audiences hunger for more Indy and his adventures, so much so that they brought back the franchise after nearly a two-decade long hiatus. No longer did we see Ford as just Han Solo.
9. There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood not only featured, arguably, the best performance by Daniel Day Lewis, but the best opening as well. In There Will Be Blood, the opening scene is what builds Daniel Plainview’s character as a hard-working, sacrificial man. It sheds light on the true nature of oil-drilling in the late 19th century. To understand why Plainview acts the way he does in the rest of the film, one must watch the opening scene. Nearly 5 minutes of pure hard work, slaving away through the rocky terrain only to fall to what will be a lifelong injury.
8. Once Upon A Time In The West
For those of you that have seen this opening scene you’ll understand me when I say it is by far one of the greatest scenes in all of film history–it embellishes the concept of true direction and exactly what cinema is all about. Three gunslinging baddies get off a train with three horses waiting for them, when they hear a harmonica playing in the background–suddenly there’s an even bigger badass gunslinger waiting on the other side of the tracks. What ensues shouldn’t be described in words on a blog, but viewed with the viewer’s own eyes.
7. Star Trek
I’m sure none of you were expecting this to be added to this list, but I think that it is a perfect addition and worthy of a spot in this feature simply because when J.J. Abrams decided to reboot the Star Trek franchise with an alternate timeline, we were all skeptical; we didn’t know if he’ll actually be able to pull it off. But then we saw the opening scene and knew that this sci-fi behemoth was in good hands. To J.J. there’s no better time to introduce a character and establish your franchise as a separate entity then the very first scene.
Now we’ll just have to see if the same applies to the other fanboy behemoth–Star Wars.
The emotional and heartwarming as well as heart-wrenching opening scene in Pixar’s UP is arguably one of the best scenes ever in an animated film, not just an opening scene. From the start we are treated to a nearly 5 minute montage of the protagonist and his wife as they go through married life together–from marriage ’till, ultimately, death. It isn’t necessarily an original idea, but certainly a first for an animated film. Throughout the entire montage, from marriage to death, not a single word is uttered, nor any sort of sound, no laughter, no crying, nothing, although we do see them make these expressions. Instead, we are listening to a mellow tune that ends with his wife’s passing. All this together makes for one of the best opening scenes of all time. There’s no denying its true effectiveness.