Best Movies The Best Opening Movie Scenes of All Time  

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

Initial Release: 2009

Directed by: Pete Docter

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#46 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#6 on The Best Animated Films Ever

#1 on Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most

#23 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

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Saving Private Ryan


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

Initial Release: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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#1 on The Best War Movies Ever

#64 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#93 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#2 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

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The Lion King


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Actors: Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Rowan Atkinson, + more

Initial Release: 1994

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

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#9 on The Best Musical Movies of All Time

#10 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#1 on The Best Animated Films Ever

#2 on Animated Movies That Make You Cry the Most

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

Initial Release: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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#2 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#2 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#6 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

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

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