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 Favourite Openings

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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:06 pm

No, this isn't a spiritual successor to James Bond's best tits.

What are your all time favourite openings of any film? I'm not talking about main titles here since we've already got a thread for that, but prologues count.

Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY has to be one of the most daring. A pitch black screen lasting for several minutes with just Ligeti's Atmosphéres blaring through the speaker cones. Referenced later by Spielberg and Williams in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Because in this age where the idea of an overture is practically antediluvian, people forget about this, and think 2001 starts with Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra and the shot of the earth in the sun's shadow.
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Makeshift Python
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:12 pm

Favorite? Tough. It certainly isn't MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III's.

I do like Goldfinger's PTS. I think Hamilton was on the mark on making an unrelated mini-adventure that would sum up the entire film.
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Blunt Instrument
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:18 pm

The opening of A New Hope ... from the Fox logo and fanfare to the Star Destroyer rumbling into view, it doesn't put a foot wrong. Brilliant.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:34 pm

I really liked the opening to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The entire sequence of the grief stricken man working on a clock that ultimately ticks backwards foreshadows the story of Ben Button. A life of love and death, good and bad and moments of spontaneity and the unexpected. It's all conveyed so well.

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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:04 pm

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:17 pm

A Touch of Evil, has that great extended shot following the bomb, I love the way that once planted it's sort of downplayed against everything else thats going on till you hear the dollybird complaining about hearing ticking etc.

Close Encounters (my favorite Spielberg) has that neat collection of 'psudo sightings' that sort of roll you into the mood in a gentle manner, you never really see anything but the anticipation is nicely baited.

The aforementioned Godlfinger is also one of my favourites, it packs so much into the few minutes it plays, style, action storyline are all there in spades....and Moonraker likewise has both a terrific special effects sequences stealing the shuttle then the breathtaking ariel antics, just too bad about the circus =/

Batman Returns has the birth of the Penguin done in pure operatic style, I know Danny Elfman can overuse his choral motifs but this is a deliciously appropriate deployment here.

I'm probably forgetting some real corkers., but my favourite openings are more related to establishing style and mood than delivering aderenalin or story.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:59 pm

CARRIE has a gorgeous opening.
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FourDot
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:03 am

Star Wars is still the one that always comes to mind. A terrifically arresting first shot, as well as the great fanfare that precedes it.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:36 am

Mr. Brown wrote:
CARRIE has a gorgeous opening.

Several, in fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:34 am

My favorite belongs to ex-Mrs. De Palma.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:42 am

I like Raiders with the paramount logo turning into a real mountain.
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FourDot
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:51 am

Wouldn't the curtains have been drawn for 2001, rather than a pitch-black screen shown? But the idea of an overture in that day and age is hardly daring.

The only overture I can think of that has accompanying images is West Side Story.
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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:59 am

FourDot wrote:
The only overture I can think of that has accompanying images is West Side Story.

Didn't BEN HUR?
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:16 am

FourDot wrote:
Wouldn't the curtains have been drawn for 2001, rather than a pitch-black screen shown? But the idea of an overture in that day and age is hardly daring.

The only overture I can think of that has accompanying images is West Side Story.

Didn't Lawrence of Arabia?
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FourDot
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:31 am

A lot of these films that had images added onto the overture for home video, to prevent people from thinking that their machine was busted.

I think it was more common for the overture to play with the curtains drawn. I could be wrong, but I do know that when you see a still image over an overture for a lot of these older films, it's been added for the video release (and preserved for the DVD, frustratingly.)

For instance, with Ben-Hur, I'm pretty sure that the first image you're supposed to see is the static MGM logo.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:33 am

Either way, 2001 is only film I've got that doesn't have a title card telling me it's the overture. That's something at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:36 am

Well, it's a testament to Kubrick's stature that home video companies can be bothered preserving his original theatrical intent.

And yet they still manage to botch things like the Barry Lyndon aspect ratio.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:33 pm

my three favourite openings.



DAF, GF and TB

Honorable mention to Planet of the Apes (1968)
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:32 am

Wrath of Khan for the "The 23rd Century" tag before we hear the sounds of the bridge and Horner's theme fading away.

God knows about anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:12 am

Black Narcissus and North by Northwet-as great title sequences.

Curiously enough, I actually find the opening shot of Goldeneye to be quite impressive. But of course FRWL, OHMSS, TSWLM, and MR as well.

The Back to the Future clock sequence is also a favorite

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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:23 pm

Rewatched the Lion King this year - the first time I'd seen it since I was about 5 or 6. Really is a magnificent film, and the opening sequence is just brilliant.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:42 am

Oppers, Rave and Dog.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:45 am

Red October



the coldness of the inlet, the camera on Connery, how noise gradually creeps in, the Russian hymn, Neill's words and the zoom out to show Red October herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Favourite Openings   Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:30 am

The lion king (The circle of life)
Mission Impossible 2. In my opnion this movie have 2 openings, the part after the 30 seconds of maintitle too in Argintina.


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