Mt Rushmore of Great Opening Scenes

SO, one of my favourite things to do on my here blog is participate in Blogathons, especially really cool ones like Two Dollar Cinema’s Mt Rushmore of Movies 2017 blogathon. The rules are simple: take 4 cinematic things you love and tell us why they should be carved into rock for all eternity. Don’t hold back. It’s a chance to talk about something you love so DO IT! For me, nothing beats a really good opening scene. So I’m gonna share some of my favourites, but if that’s not your vibe then make sure you head over to Two Dollar Cinema to find something that is. But first, at least give my picks a chance?

Scream (1996)

I feel like I talk about this film a lot recently. But it’s because I love it so much and the opening is so good! Not only did the entire film rejuvenate the stale slasher genre, it’s opening scene is some of the best minutes in horror history. Drew Barrymore, playing Casey Becker, is home alone cooking popcorn and preparing to watching a scar movie. When the house phone rings she answers and strikes up a conversation with the sinister voice on the other side. In which one of the most infamous lines in horror was said “what’s your favourite scary movie?” The opening of Scream really set the tone for the film. It killed off one of the biggest  movie stars of the time and delivered enough tension and gore to be right up there with the Mt. Rushmore of movie openings.

Drew Barrymore in Wes Craven's "Scream"

Image from IMDB

Up (2009)

ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN IF THE OPENING SCENE OF UP DIDN’T BREAK YOU?! In the opening scene we meet Carl a young kid who’s obsessed with exploring. Whilst Carl is playing one day he meets fellow explorer Ellie, who expresses her dream to move her clubhouse to a place called Paradise Falls. Cue montage of the two growing up, falling in love and saving up for their Paradise Falls fund. A lot of cuteness and a marriage later, the heart break begins. Failed attempts at having children, illness striking and killing Ellie and Carl being left alone in his house is just about enough to make you stop the film there and go hug a loved one. It really is Pixar at its best and delivers a lot of emotion all in one punch whilst planting the roots for the film’s plot.


Image from IMDB

American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman’s introduction is… unforgettable. The opening minutes of American Psycho are both relaxing and uneasy. The film opens with a slow track into Bateman’s New York apartment, he’s beginning his daily routine. An frozen eye mask on his face while he works out, a shower in which he carefully selects his shower gel and shampoo. Then his specific skin care routine that ensures he stays looking youthful and healthy. All finished off with a face mask that serves as the perfect metaphor for our main character. It’s an opening scene that doesn’t pack a lot of action; not a lot happens, but it’s the perfect way to introduce us to the American Psycho himself.

American Psycho.jpg

Image from IMDB

The Dark Knight (2008)

I mean, when the opening scene of a film is released in IMAX for people to watch MONTHS before the full film is released, you know you’ve got a corker. A normal day in Gotham begins with a bank robbery, obviously. But this is Gotham so the bank isn’t any oridnary bank (it’s a fucking Mafia bank) and the burglar isn’t any oridnary burglar (he’s The Joker). Fantastic editing, fast action and tension building was the perfect way to introduce Heath Ledger’s Joker. I’m not one to partake in the ‘Best Joker’ debate, but I do love this introduction. It’s sharp, brutal and scary (imagine having to hold onto a grenade so it doesn’t blow up). Christoper Nolan reintroduced us to his Gotham perfectly, so that’s why it’s filling the fourth place in my Mt Rushmore of Movie Openings.


Image from IMDB

I had a blast doing this. Thank you to Two Dollar Cinema for hosting, I can’t wait to read everyone else’s!



15 thoughts on “Mt Rushmore of Great Opening Scenes

  1. m.brown says:

    Whoa. This is an absolutely perfect list in my eyes. I don’t really recall the opening of American Psycho (the last time I saw it….might have been theatrically), but this is astounding nonetheless.

    I think Up is the gold standard for openings, as it really gives so much weight to everything that is going to come up after it. And, it really came out of nowhere, too. You sit down to an animated flick happy and smiling, and five minutes later your heart has been ripped from your chest…in the most beautiful way possible. Sooooo soo well done.

    And Scream? That scene is truly legendary. The rest of the movie is great…but damn, you can’t get much better than that hook.

    Thank you so much for this entry. Nothing boring about this one at all!!!!!


  2. Brittani says:

    SO MUCH YES! I love every single one of these that you chose. Even though I resented Up for a long time because damn it, I was not expecting to spend the first 10 minutes of that movie crying.


    • actualandrew says:

      Up is far from one of my favourite Disney films but that opening really does get to me. To a point where if I’m not in the right mind set, I can’t watch it. It’s so wonderfully done and so heartbreaking. Classic Disney.


  3. Stephanie Ward says:

    Awesome post! I’d forgotten about that opening scene in American Psycho, but it really nailed the overall vibe of the movie (and the book). And the beginning of Up gets to me…every single time.


  4. mettelray says:

    I think I have seen Scream but I don’t remember it that well.. and I’ve yet to watch Up but I know about that opening scene. My favourite of course is the last one because when I was finally emotionally ready to watch The Dark Knight (the sudden death of LEdger kept me away from the cinema that year…), I sat down and I was blown away by how different he was… in every way, so it didn’t feel like I was watching Ledger, it felt like I was watching the Joker.. and that’s what makes that opening scene and the entire movie amazing.
    As of yesterday, I would say the opening scene of Logan is also amazing!!


    • actualandrew says:

      The Scream franchise has some pretty strong openings but none better than the first. I don’t really rate Up, but that opening came out of nowhere so it had to be mentioned. And I know exactly what you mean with Ledger, he completely took on the role. It’s incredible to watch but also saddening because he was such a terrific actor and his life was cut short. I’ve just come back from Logan and completely agree! It was amazing from start to end.


  5. Sonia says:

    This is such a great list! I love every single one of these. I’ve seen Up like a million times and the opening always makes me cry.


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