Top 10 Opening Scenes in Film

I strongly believe that a film’s intro can make or break it. Here’s a list of my top 10 opening scenes in film. Some of these have content that may not be appropriate for sensitive viewers.

10. Sin City

This intro is intimate and chilling. The entire film brings the graphic novel beautifully off the page, and this is our first taste of just that.

9. American Psycho

The scene that leads in from the title sequence says a lot up front about the nature of Bateman and the company he keeps (or society in general) as we get  our first taste of this twisted world. However, I think the scene below gives a deeper look into the psycho’s nature.

8. City of God

The cinematography in this scene is just unbelievable. The score is perfect and the symbolism is fascinating.

7. A Clockwork Orange

Cue psychopath. This is probably one of my favourite pieces of dialogue from an intro. The eccentric setting screams of the perversions of this society; that tie in with the atrocities to follow.

6. The Departed

This dialogue and raw footage sweetly sums up the context as well as the mentality of the character controlling a lot of that context. It also provides detail on Colin’s indoctrination so that we see how deep things really run.

5. SAW I

Now i know this franchise has kind of run away. But this first opening scene, of the very first one puts the audience in suspense from the start, and keeps us there for quite some time. In my mind this film got a lot right, from raw cinematography to a score with etched notes and a plot that continually revitalises suspense.

View discretion advised.

4. The Godfather

As one of the greatest movies of all time, there’s no surprise that this intro delves into the two sides of The Don right from the start. His kindness and generosity as a man who loves his (biological) family, and his more distasteful dealings as a mafia boss- brought together in one simple tradition: He may not refuse any requests on his daughter’s wedding day.

3. Jarhead

This intro is just too good. The dialogue is hilarious (for cynics) and what’s happening and what’s being said (in scene and via the narration) dances in a beautiful juxtaposition to the beautiful tune of “Don’t worry, be happy“.

2. The Rules of Attraction

This brilliant movie that says so much by seemingly going nowhere has one of the most stomach-turning opening scenes, not just because of the narrative, but every detail that is played out from each point of view, not to mention the crafty cinematography and reverse motion.

Viewer discretion is seriously advised.

1. Reservoir Dogs

Yes you guessed it. This one comes in 2 parts: The first part is the dialogue scene at the table right at the start of the film. Tarantino starts off this epic random conversation that is so unique, yet so much like many conversations I’m sure many groups of guys have had before.

Viewer discretion is advised.

The second bit is the ever- popular slow motion walk of the dogs in suits and shades.

About the Author: Stephen is co-founder of BTG Lifestyle; a cool awesome guy who just keeps on… truckin’.


Editor-in-Chief at BTG Lifestyle. For cinema.


%d bloggers like this: