Best Movies The Best Opening Movie Scenes of All Time  

Ranker Film
43k votes 4.7k voters 336k views 101 items

The best opening movie scenes of all time are those first sequences of iconic films that set the tone for the magnificence that follows. Just like the famous novels with catchy first lines, all of these films have incredibly memorable opening scenes for one reason or another. What's your favorite opening scene in a movie? Vote for your picks, add them, or re-rank this list of the best all-time opening movie scenes right here!

There's a reason why some of the directors listed with these great films are repeated. Certain directors have quite the eye for insanely good opening movie scenes. Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino fall squarely into the category, directing favorites such as Jaws and Inglourious Basterds, respectively. Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, and various members of the Coppola family are just as good with several of their films also making the cut.

But what makes a great opening scene? That's often a matter of opinion. Some might opt for the first scene of Trainspotting, while others will respect what is shown first in films such as Scream, Once Upon a Time in the West, or The Dark Knight.

What all of these do is make us want to watch the rest of the movie that much more. They draw us in, hook us, and make us yearn for the next sequence. Considering that's kind of their job, in these cases of best opening movie scenes of all time, we have to say, bravo!
1 1,489 VOTES

Up


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Christopher Plummer, Ed Asner, Laraine Newman, John Ratzenberger, Delroy Lindo, + more

Initial Release: 2009

Directed by: Pete Docter

Also Ranked

#6 on The Best Animated Films Ever

#10 on The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time

#5 on The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

#10 on The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

1,151 338
Is this great?
see more on Up
2 1,868 VOTES

Saving Private Ryan


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, + more

Initial Release: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best War Movies Ever

#93 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#33 on The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

#1 on The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

1,423 445
Is this great?
see more on Saving Private Ryan

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen, Frank Welker, Denholm Elliott, + more

Initial Release: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#77 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

#6 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#14 on Movies That Should Never Be Remade

#8 on "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

1,175 379
Is this great?
see more on Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
4 1,359 VOTES

Jaws


Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, John Searle, + more

Initial Release: 1975

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#49 on The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

#39 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#27 on Movies That Should Never Be Remade

#17 on The Best Mystery Thriller Movies on Amazon Prime

1,037 322
Is this great?
see more on Jaws