Cinematic Perfection:

26 Greatest Opening Scenes in Movie History

There are many movies with strong opening scenes but some of the best ones truly stay with you.

Someone on a popular online forum asked film lovers which movies have the greatest opening scenes. Here are the top 26 responses.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The John Williams score, the whip, the silhouette, the spiders, the traps, the boulder chase — no single part of the opening to Spielberg and Lucas' Raiders of the Lost Ark doesn't scream iconic.

Scream (1996)

Do you like scary movies? The opening to Wes Craven's deconstructionist masterpiece that subverts the rules that he helped codify is sensational.

Up (2009)

Most films have a few subtle gags for grown-ups — Up has a tragedy in four parts. Carl and Ellie's story is beautiful, honest, and touching.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The opening to James Cameron's sequel was a feast for the eyes when it was released in 1991, but what makes it remain so powerful is the meticulous mis-en-scene that demonstrates how everything we love could be gone in a literal flash.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

This is probably the most tense conversation over a glass of milk ever committed to film. If the opening of Inglourious Basterds were a guitar string, it would be about to pop at any moment.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Never before or since has an opening text crawl filled fans with joy and excitement to see the sequel to one of their favorite films. That fight on Hoth is pretty decent too.

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