Are these the fifty best first lines in film?

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."
"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



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