Saving Private Ryan and Other Movies With The Most Memorable Opening Scenes

Making a first impression when making a film is one of the things that can make one stand out from the crowd for years to come. It cements the tone of a movie and grabs the attention of an audience. Nowadays, people seem to think that you need to start with some vague murder, chase or scene to confuse people. It does not have to be that way, as you will find out.
From the movies listed here, you will see that all of them managed to make an impact with audiences. They are essentially, the ‘unforgettable ones.’

Saving Private Ryan and Other Movies With The Most Memorable Opening Scenes

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

On a technicality, the opening scene is that of Matt Damon as an old man, tearfully stumbling his way to an American Cemetery in Normandy. However, the scene we are talking about is the one on the beach on D-Day. It is critically acclaimed as one of the most memorable scenes in movie history. The intensity, the practical effects, the length and the horror portrayed is so realistic, it is impossible to forget. Spielberg outdid himself here.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to tension and great writing. He has not made a single bad movie and Inglourious Basterds has the best scene he has ever written. Colonel SS Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz, is hunting out a Jewish family hidden on a farm in France. The family is hidden beneath the floorboards under his feet. His performance here is magnificent. It is the classic Hitchcock’s ‘gun under the table’ scenario.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger raised the bar on how you play a villain forever. The opening scene in this movie has him robbing a bank. Without giving too much away, he is wearing a mask and we do not know it is him and neither do the robbers helping him. He uses the crew to help him do what he wanted and then takes them out through cunning and exquisite violence. And that is how you introduce a villain, with depth and a memorable quote.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Need we tell you which scene we are talking about? This is an introduction to one of the most iconic characters in movie history. Indiana Jones is basically Ross from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. but with a whip and a cooler demeanor. The hat and the whip are introduced here too and the scene is brought to its climax with the scene where he is carrying the relic while being chased by a boulder he triggered.

Saving Private Ryan and Other Movies With The Most Memorable Opening Scenes

The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King’s introduction is one of the best moments and now, our biggest hope is that they can recreate this scene in the live action remake. The song set up the scene perfectly, the rituals flowed in line with the setting and it ends with the newborn being revealed and lifted up to the sky by Rafiki. The sun shines through the clouds, the animals reverently bow and you are immersed in a moment that stays in your memory forever.

Honorable Mentions

1. Spectre (2015)
2. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
3. The Godfather (1972)
4. Goodfellas (1990)
5. Jaws (1975)
6. Dazed and Confused
7. Trainspotting