Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Are these the fifty best first lines in film?

06.15.2012

The Prestige opening shot

You know the moment - the rating screen has passed, production company logo screens have passed, the screen goes black, and then someone says something so absurdly cool that you can't help but grin and whisper "f*** yeah." Or someone asks a question with such conviction and distinct language that you're immediately drawn in, because what they said was so strong and strange that you have to know more.

Picking a favorite first line from a film is hard enough, but the website ShortList has taken up the challenge of picking fifty of the best first lines of film.  And while they generally shy away from most of the older classics, with the exception of CITIZEN KANE, the list still is fairly good and complete and covers a wide range of films. I don't agree that all are the best, as some became iconic due to the movie that followed rather than being brilliant on their own merit, but that's just a personal nitpick with what is otherwise a pretty cool list.

You can find the whole thing in full here (click on a picture to be shown the full quotation), but a few of my own favorites from their selection include:

"Are you watching closely?" (THE PRESTIGE)
"After I killed him, I dropped the gun in the Thames, washed the residue off me hands in the bathroom of a Burger King, and went home to await instructions."
(IN BRUGES)
"Do you find me sadistic?" (KILL BILL VOLUME 1)
"The world has changed.  I feel it in the water.  I feel it in the earth.  I smell it in the air." (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING)
"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold." (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS)

Kill Bill opening shot

Extra Tidbit: I would have also included: "Squeal. Squeal like a pig." (LET THE RIGHT ONE IN) "Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place perhaps you've seen in your dreams." (NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS)
Source: ShortList

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

4:18PM on 06/16/2012
Not even remotely close. Is it a list compiled by someone born in the 1980s?
Not even remotely close. Is it a list compiled by someone born in the 1980s?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:43PM on 06/15/2012
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don't come out.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:32PM on 06/15/2012

List has plent y of greatness, but...

...it's definitely a little more geared toward modern film. You can get a clear sense of what kind of people contributed to the list. I'm not opposed to that at all, except that when you make a 'definitive' list of 'best whatever,' it's better to get a wider mix of votes. I think it'd be interesting to see, say, Time Magazine do a similar list, as theirs would probably lean more toward the older classics - and then combine those two lists together for a more definitive one.
...it's definitely a little more geared toward modern film. You can get a clear sense of what kind of people contributed to the list. I'm not opposed to that at all, except that when you make a 'definitive' list of 'best whatever,' it's better to get a wider mix of votes. I think it'd be interesting to see, say, Time Magazine do a similar list, as theirs would probably lean more toward the older classics - and then combine those two lists together for a more definitive one.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:31PM on 06/15/2012

50 Best Last Lines in Film

I prefer last lines of films.

"Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
I prefer last lines of films.

"Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:29PM on 06/15/2012
hu
hu
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:28PM on 06/15/2012
Glad to see my two favorites are on there...Goodfellas and Mallrats.
Glad to see my two favorites are on there...Goodfellas and Mallrats.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:21PM on 06/15/2012
I've always liked Clive Owen's little narrative to begin Inside Man
I've always liked Clive Owen's little narrative to begin Inside Man
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
11:54AM on 06/15/2012
I can't remember word for word but the opening dialogue in "Sunshine" by Cillian Murphy is pretty awesome.
I can't remember word for word but the opening dialogue in "Sunshine" by Cillian Murphy is pretty awesome.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+6
11:54AM on 06/15/2012
Um, I'm pretty sure their quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is not the first line of the movie.
Um, I'm pretty sure their quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is not the first line of the movie.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-10
11:01AM on 06/15/2012
Whaaat? No..

"I have had it with these muthaf**king snakes on this muthaf**king plane!"

That's Gold Jerry.. Gold!
Whaaat? No..

"I have had it with these muthaf**king snakes on this muthaf**king plane!"

That's Gold Jerry.. Gold!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:58AM on 06/15/2012
"The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air." That line had me grinning like The Cheshire Cat. My date - who didn't know LotR - said she didn't know which was more entertaining: watching the film or watching me watch the film.
"The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air." That line had me grinning like The Cheshire Cat. My date - who didn't know LotR - said she didn't know which was more entertaining: watching the film or watching me watch the film.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:58AM on 06/15/2012

Agreed

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold." (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS)
- will always be one of my favorites.
"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold." (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS)
- will always be one of my favorites.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:38AM on 06/15/2012

Also would include...

DUNE: "A beginning is a very delicate time..."

LORD OF WAR: "There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation..."

MI3: "We've put an explosive charge in your head. Sound familiar?"
DUNE: "A beginning is a very delicate time..."

LORD OF WAR: "There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation..."

MI3: "We've put an explosive charge in your head. Sound familiar?"
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:40AM on 06/15/2012
Forgot about Lord of War. Definitely.
Forgot about Lord of War. Definitely.
9:34AM on 06/15/2012

Not bad

"My name is Lester Burnham. In less than a year I'll be dead."

And then I draw a blank. Well, "Stand by Me," too. It's interesting how many of these are narrations. And yes, while many on that list are iconic, most of them have that hook that makes you just want to know more.
"My name is Lester Burnham. In less than a year I'll be dead."

And then I draw a blank. Well, "Stand by Me," too. It's interesting how many of these are narrations. And yes, while many on that list are iconic, most of them have that hook that makes you just want to know more.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More