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Favourite film opening?


Naitch
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Came to my in a dream this topic or more specifically came to me after watching quite possibly my favourite ever film, 'Once Upon a Time in the West'...again.

 

Anyway, this is one of my all time favourite film openings. Film itself isn't an 'easy watch', popcorn flick kinda of an affair. It is quite a slow pace and the camera lingers on facial expressions with said expressions telling much of the story and there isn't a huge amount of dialogue but I think it's an absolute masterpiece of filmmaking.

 

It's also an homage and a nostalgia piece for the old West and for the Westerns that Leone loved and the opening itself is based on 'High Noon' where some of the villains of the piece wait around at a train station.

 

Opening is essentially around 10 minutes long with only a couple lines of dialogue spoken right at the beginning and the rest is these three shady looking fellas sent by the main villain, Frank waiting around in silence for a train to arrive with only the occasional sound like water dropping, a fly buzzing around, a windmill type thing creaking in the background and so on breaking the silence and it's a deliberately slow build up with a lot of close ups but there's always this real relentless sense of tension to the whole thing which rises even further when we finally see the train arriving and we know something's about to go down and it ain't going to be pretty. They start to walk away thinking the man they're supposed to meet and take to meet Frank hasn't gotten off the train but we hear the brilliant Morricone 'Harmonica' score kicking in and the tension rises to a near crescendo; train pulls out of the station and behind the train is stood Charles F'n Bronson who faces off with the three of them and then following bit of brilliant badass Western dialogue is delivered:

 

Harmonica: And Frank?

Snaky: Frank sent us.

Harmonica: Did you bring a horse for me?

Snaky: Well... looks like we're...

[snickers]

Snaky: ...looks like we're shy one horse.

Harmonica: You brought two too many.

 

Bang, bang, bang, bang and so begins a Western of epic proportions.

 

Also, supposedly Leone wanted the three bad guys to be played by Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach who would have been known to audiences as, of course, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and it would have been such a great touch having the three of them killed off in the first 10 minutes. But alas, it didn't happen.

 

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHZpO6aNLwE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHZpO6aNLwE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

That's most of the opening right there.

 

So, ah, favourite film openings then?

Edited by Naitch
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The opening scene to Reservoir Dogs.

 

****WARNING: ADULT CONTENT****

 

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXLVGarpTzc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXLVGarpTzc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

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I pondered it being quite ambiguous to a degree myself. Like, how long exactly does an opening last? When does an opening end? What do we consider an opening? Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

Well you have the pre credits to blade which shows the birth of well blade and then we have the bloodbath scene. So would you consider the birth of blade the start of blade or would you consider the bit after the titles the actual start of blade.

 

Great I am even more confused than normal :lol

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Harmonica: And Frank?

Snaky: Frank sent us.

Harmonica: Did you bring a horse for me?

Snaky: Well... looks like we're...

[snickers]

Snaky: ...looks like we're shy one horse.

Harmonica: You brought two too many.

 

Bang, bang, bang, bang and so begins a Western of epic proportions.

 

Also, supposedly Leone wanted the three bad guys to be played by Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach who would have been known to audiences as, of course, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and it would have been such a great touch having the three of them killed off in the first 10 minutes. But alas, it didn't happen.

 

So, ah, favourite film openings then?

What I love is the reason Leone chose Henry Fonda to play Frank. He asked Fonda to play the main villain, but the actor (famous for all his good-guy roles,) wondered why the director wanted him to play the part and refused. Leone's response? To fly out to New York and speak to Henry Fonda in person.

 

"Picture this: the camera shows a gunman from the waist down pulling his gun and shooting a running child. The camera tilts up to the gunman's face and...it's Henry Fonda."

I pondered it being quite ambiguous to a degree myself. Like, how long exactly does an opening last? When does an opening end? What do we consider an opening? Etc. Etc. Etc.
I consider a movie opening to be the first main scene (which can be pre- or post-title).

 

My favourite (at the moment... it can, and does, change) is from 'Empire Records'. It sets the tone beautifully and is soundtracked to 'The Honeymoon Is Over' by Cruel Sea (although the entire movie is soundtracked by awesome tracks). I can't find the opening, but here's the trailer for a movie I feel everyone should see at least once.

 

This is the soundtrack that was released for the movie...

 

  • "Till I Hear It From You" by Gin Blossoms
  • "Liar" by The Cranberries
  • "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins
  • "Free" by The Martinis
  • "Crazy Life" by Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • "Bright As Yellow" by The Innocence Mission
  • "Circle of Friends" by Better Than Ezra
  • "I Don't Want to Live Today" by Ape Hangers
  • "Whole Lotta Trouble" by Cracker
  • "Ready, Steady, Go" by The Meices
  • "What You Are" by Drill
  • "Nice Overalls" by Lustre
  • "Here It Comes Again" by Please
  • "The Ballad of El Goodo" by Evan Dando
  • "Sugarhigh" by Coyote Shivers
  • "The Honeymoon Is Over" by Cruel Sea

 

In the movie, but not included on the soundtrack, are tracks from Dire Straits ('Romeo & Juliet'), The Clods ('Can't Stop Losing Myself' and 'Hey Joe'), The Buggles ('Video Killed the Radio Star'), AC/DC ('If You Want Blood) and The The ('This is the Day') among others.

 

I love this movie so much and wish it had a bigger audience.

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The Opening for Clerks 2 amuses me alot when it starts

in B/W then Dante opens the shutter infront of the quickstop showing the fire in colour.

I also would give support to both Wayne's World's opening and Blade's bloodbath scene. I'd also suggest the Omaha Beach scene from Saving Private Ryan.

As some of you will expect me to suggest an Asian or Anime movie opening I will give 2 suggestions. The opening sequence of Police Story and Ghost in the shell.

Edited by Anime Otaku
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Being the Kung Fu film fan I am, I'm going to have to go for the following:

 

Heroes Two - Starring Chen Kuan Tai and the late Alexander Fu Sheng, the opening of this film sets the tone for whats to come, a full on martial arts assault! :)

Embedding was disabled on the video of this opening, so here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl69mKCa0QA

 

Master of the Flying Guillotine - Starring Jimmy Wang Yu, the opening of this classic film is crazy. A blind old man on a mountain sets fire to an old shack, then kills a bird for no apparent reason, then starts laughing maniaclly. This film has barely any story, its basically just fighting. I still don't understand why this film was lost for over 20 years, but I'm sure glad they found it! :lol

I couldn't find a video of just the opening, but somebody seems to have uploaded the whole film to YouTube! So this video is the first 10 mins of the film, including the opening.

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTAieFa63IE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTAieFa63IE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

These are more films I think the openings of are really cool:

Fighting Ace - Starring John Liu

Fist of Fury - Starring Bruce Lee

Drunken Master - Starring Jackie Chan

Legendary Weapons of China - Starring Gordon Liu

Mantis Fist Boxer - Starring a bunch of unknown guys! :lol

Ninja Operation: Knight and Warrior - Starring Richard Harrison (the whole film is unintentionally hilarious)

 

:xyx

 

Shaolin Hand Lock - Starring David Chiang, Lo Lieh and Chan Wai Man.

 

Again, I couldn't find just the opening and somebody has put the whole film on YouTube. I don't know how they get away with it! :lol

Anyway, the opening is the first few minutes of this video, check out the funky colours!:

 

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAjK4iiNKpU&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAjK4iiNKpU&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

By the way, I got my username from this film!:xyx

Edited by Inno
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What I love is the reason Leone chose Henry Fonda to play Frank. He asked Fonda to play the main villain, but the actor (famous for all his good-guy roles,) wondered why the director wanted him to play the part and refused. Leone's response? To fly out to New York and speak to Henry Fonda in person.

 

"Picture this: the camera shows a gunman from the waist down pulling his gun and shooting a running child. The camera tilts up to the gunman's face and...it's Henry Fonda."

 

Yeah, I've posted this before but it's worth posting again:

 

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

You do have to place it into the context of the time, it wouldn't be as special a moment today but film stars were much more revered back then (especially a Fonda who was a product of the classical age of Hollywood where they were even more revered) and had a certain air of mystery and whatnot to them that's missing today and as said Fonda was known for playing the good, noble, righteous characters. I mean, man was in 'Young Mr Lincoln', played Wyatt Earp, was the central juror in '12 Angry Men' and so on and now, out of nowhere, he shows up in a Leone Western as a cold blooded killer who just gunned down a family and then shot a little boy in cold blood. I'm thinking the modern equivalent could possibly be if it was, say, Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford, someone of that ilk anyway. Although both of them have played bad guys in the past they're probably the closest comparison.

 

I love this movie so much and wish it had a bigger audience.

 

Ditto.

 

Warren Beatty being my own personal character in it. Only time I've ever thought Renee what's-her-face was semi attractive too. Always looks like she's sucking on a really sour sweet or something every time you see her these days and facially also rather resembles a tomato.

Edited by Naitch
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Terminator 2 has my fav film opening personally

 

Starts off with scences of modern LA, cars on the motorway and kids playing in a park then cuts to LA 2029 the cars are magled with skeletons inside, all the roundabouts and swings in the park are melted and broken with skulls littering the floor. Camera moves through the wreckage as Sarah Conner's voice tells us the story of hat happened then it stops on a skull and crunch! a robotic foot smashes it and we pan up and back to reveal a gun-toting T-800 and a full blown lazer war going on between man and machine

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This is the greatest opening of Cinema history.

 

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oma9uPz9YYk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oma9uPz9YYk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

 

And here's Terminator 2. WARNING - INTENDED FOR OVER 18'S

 

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcisPdJVNl8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcisPdJVNl8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

Edited by Da Showstoppa
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Here are the openings to Blade and Blade II.

 

Blade

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

Blade II

[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk8q8_Yvyu8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk8q8_Yvyu8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

 

Unfortunately, I can't find the opening of Blade II on its own, but the effect is still the same in the first part of the above video. I had reservations about Luke Goss playing the main villain, but he actually made Jared Nomak one of my fave movie bad guys.

 

Wesley Snipes as Blade though, is quite possibly the coolest motherf*cker on the planet.

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