When you sit down to watch a movie you know from the first ten minutes or so if you’re going to like it or not. With that in mind, it’s essential for filmmakers to make sure they appeal to their audience in the opening sequence to draw them into the story and ensure they stay hooked for the rest of the movie. While not every film in history has managed to nail their opening these movies have managed to captivate their audience from the very first second.
The Lion King
Disney’s animated adventure The Lion King is considered by many to be the studio’s greatest ever film. The story is compelling, it is filled with ups, downs, laughter, and tears. It’s such a good story that the film was made into a Broadway show, later rolled out across numerous countries. An incredible story, the opening sequence sets the tone of the movie and is, without a doubt, one of the greatest film openings ever. The movie starts with a sunrise over the African desert followed by a host of animals all making their way to Pride Rock to witness the unveiling of the new Prince of the Jungle, baby Simba. The scene is so iconic that many people lift their own babies just like Rafiki does to the infant lion cub, aloft in the air above their heads.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg is considered to be a master at his craft, and in the opening five minutes of action adventure Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, he hooked us all in. We follow a band of people as they trek through the jungle, discovering an ancient tomb that hasn’t been opened in seemingly thousands of years. The group is chased by native tribes people who use poison blow darts to try and subdue them, letting the audience know that these people are in peril in the depths of South America. We cut to a man in a leather jacket who pulls out a worn looking map, before cracking his whip as a sign of things to come. The leather-jacketed man is Indiana Jones, and we follow him as he enters a booby-trapped temple, overcoming the odds and retrieving a golden idol, making his escape from the tribal people in a plane on standby. The scene has us hooked from the get-go, and the audience were then fully prepared for the onslaught of action that would come later in the movie.
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is an action movie that really brings the horrors of the Second World War to the screen. It depicts the struggles the brave soldiers had to go through to overcome the German army looking to take over the world as we knew it. The opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan takes us to the beach of Normandy as the troops came to the shore in their boats, faced with the terrifying prospect of overthrowing the Germans. The soldiers were mowed down in their thousands by machine gun fire as the soldiers bravely sacrificed themselves for the greater good. The movie’s opening sequence is ten minutes of pure action and agony as the soldiers, led by Tom Hanks, tentatively fight their way up the beach from their boats on the shore to the military base at the top of the hill.
If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet then check them out as soon as possible. All you’ll need to watch is the first ten minutes, and then you’ll be hooked thanks to the amazing opening scenes that’ll make you want to invest the next hour and a half of your life to their stories.