Great Opening Film Lines
Greatest Opening
Film Lines and Quotes


Greatest Opening Film Lines
(chronological, by film title)
1920s-1940s | 1950s-1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
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Greatest Opening Film Lines
Film Title
Famous Opening Lines
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

(partly voice-over) "Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death."
Play clip (excerpt): Beneath the Planet of the Apes

I Never Sang For My Father (1970)

"Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor's mind toward some resolution which it may never find."
Play clip (excerpt): I Never Sang For My Father (1970)

Love Story (1970)

(voice-over) "What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?"
Play clip (excerpt): Love Story (1970)

M*A*S*H (1970)

- "Radar!"
- "Yes, sir."

(overlapping dialogue)
- "Why don't you get ahold of Major Burns. Tell him we're gonna have to hold a couple of surgeons over from the day shift onto the night shift."
- "I guess I better call Major Burns and tell him to put another - day shift onto the night shift."
- "Get General Hammond down there in Seoul. Tell him we gotta have two new surgeons right away."
- "I'll put in a call into General Hammond in Seoul. I hope he sends us those two new surgeons. We're sure gonna need 'em."
- "What (or who) was that, sir?"
- "I gave everything to Radar."
- "What?"

Play clip (excerpt): M*A*S*H (1970)

Patton (1970)

"...Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Men, all this stuff you've heard about America not wanting to fight - wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war, because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Now, an army is a team - it lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don't know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating. Now, we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we're goin' up against. By God, I do. We're not just gonna shoot the bastard, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel. Now, some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them, spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do. Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose and we're gonna kick him in the ass. We're gonna kick the hell out of him all the time and we're gonna go through him like crap through a goose. Now, there's one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you: 'What did you do in the Great World War II?', you won't have to say: 'Well, I shoveled s--t in Louisiana.' All right now, you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel - and I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere. That's all."
Play clip (excerpt): Patton (part 1) Patton (part 2)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

(voice-over) "There was me. That is, Alex and my three droogs. That is, Pete, Georgie and Dim. And we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our razoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova Milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence."
Play clip (excerpt):
A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
(voice-over) "I sit here, and I can't believe that it happened, and yet I have to believe it. Dreams or nightmares? Madness or sanity? I don't know which is which."
Cabaret (1972)

(singing) ''Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome. Fremde, Etranger, Stranger. Glucklich zu sehen. Je suis enchante. Happy to see you. Bleibe, Reste, Stay. Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome. lm Cabaret, Au Cabaret, To Cabaret."
- "Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies And Gentlemen. Comment sa va? Do you feel good? lch bin euer Confrencier. l am your host."
(singing) "Und sage: Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome. lm Cabaret, Au Cabaret, To Cabaret."
- "Leave your troubles outside! So, life is disappointing? Forget it! ln here, life is beautiful. The girls are beautiful. Even the orchestra is beautiful."

Play clip (excerpt): Cabaret (1972)

Deliverance (1972)

- "You w- you wanna, you wanna talk about the vanishing wilderness?"
- "Lewis, listen, what are you so anxious about this?"
- "Because they're buildin' a dam across the Cahulawassee River; they're gonna flood a whole valley, Bobby, that's why. Dammit, they're drownin' a river; they're drownin' a river, man."
- "All right...We're talkin' to ya. All right."
- "Just about the last wild, untamed, unpolluted, unf--ked-up river in the South. Don't you understand what I'm sayin'?"
- "We understand what you're sayin'."
- "They're f--kin' the river up. There ain't gonna be no more river. There's just gonna be a big, dead lake. That's not progress. That's s--t."
- "It's a very clean way to make electric power. And those lakes up there provide a lot of people with recreation."
- "I don't give a s--t."
- "My father-in-law has a houseboat over on Lake Bowie...."
- "Oh, that's a nice place."
- "You just push a little more power, you push a little more power into Atlanta, a little more air conditioners for your smug little suburb, and you know what's gonna happen? We're gonna rape this whole god-damn landscape. We're gonna rape it."
- "Oh, Lewis, my..."
- "That's an extreme point of view, Lewis."
- "It is. It is."
- "Extremist."
(sound of explosions)
- "We're gonna leave Friday from Atlanta. I'm gonna have you back in your little suburban house in time to see the football game on Sunday afternoon. I know you'll be, you'll be back in time to see the pompom girls at halftime 'cause I know that's all you care about."
- "Lewis, and I wanna thank ya."
Play clip (excerpt):
Deliverance (1972)

The Godfather (1972)

"I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend, not an Italian. She went to the movies with him. She stayed out late. I didn't protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was a'broken, her jaw was a'shattered, held together by wire. She couldn't even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life - beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again."
Play clip (excerpt): The Godfather (1972)

Blazing Saddles (1974)

"Come on, boys! The way you're lolly-gaggin' around here with them picks and them shovels, you'd think it was 120 degrees. It can't be more than 114. (laughter) Dock that chink a day's pay for nappin' on the job."
Play clip (excerpt): Blazing Saddles (1974)

Chinatown (1974)

"All right, Curly, enough's enough. You can't eat the venetian blinds. I just had 'em installed on Wednesday."
Play clip (excerpt): Chinatown (1974)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

(overlapping dialogue)
- "Gentlemen, cock your pistols! Gentlemen. Aim your pistols. One! Two! Three!"
(Narrator) - "Barry's father had been bred, like many other young sons of a genteel family, to the profession of the law. And there is no doubt he would've made an eminent figure in his profession had he not been killed in a duel, which arose over the purchase of some horses."
Play clip (excerpt): Barry Lyndon (1975)

Jaws (1975)

- "What's your name again?"
- "Chrissie."
- "Where are we goin'?"
- "Swimming."
- "Slow up. Slow down some. I'm not drunk. Slow down. Wait! I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm definitely coming. (giggles) Whoa! Hold on. Well, I-I can swim. I just can't walk or undress myself." (chuckles)
- (buoy dings) (sighs) "Come on in the water!"
- "Take it easy. Take it easy."
Play clip (excerpt): Jaws (1975)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

[clip-clopping of coconut shells before and after]
"Whoa, there!"

Play clip (excerpt): Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Murder By Death (1976)

- "Do you think they'll come, sir?"
- "Oh, they'll come. They'll come, all right. Here, stamp those and mail them."

Play clip (excerpt): Murder By Death (1976)

Annie Hall (1977)

"There's an old joke: Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountain resort. And one of 'em says: 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.' The other one says: 'Yeah, I know. And such small portions.' Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly."
Play clip (excerpt): Annie Hall (1977)

Demon Seed (1977)

(partly voice-over) "It is, after all, only eight years since we began. Not a long time. But the secrecy, the shroud of paranoid security to which we've had to adjust, have made it seem longer. This morning, at exactly 5:18 am, here at ICON's Institute for Data Analysis, we installed the final module on the artificial intelligence system which we call Proteus Four. Today a new dimension has been added to the concept of the computer. Today Proteus Four will begin to think. And it will think with a power and a precision that will make obsolete many of the functions of the human brain. Okay, Peggy. End of notes for the next meeting of the ICON executive committee."
Play clip (excerpt): The Demon Seed (1977)

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

(ordering pizza) - "Hi ya, Tony. Two or three?"
- "Two. Two. Give me two. That's good."
(in clothing store) - "Hey, you guys do layaway?"
- "As long as it don't turn into a 20-year mortgage."
- "All right, look, put me down for $5 dollars for that blue shirt in the window. Hold it for me."
- "Hey, wait for your receipt."
- "I trust you."
- "Please don't. Don't trust me."
Play clip (excerpt): Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Star Wars (1977)

(scrolling text) "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode IV, A NEW HOPE It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy...."
"Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness! We're doomed! There'll be no escape for the Princess this time. What's that?"

Play clip (excerpt): Star Wars (1977)

Grease (1978)

- "I'm going back to Australia. I might never see you again."
- "Don't, don't talk that way, Sandy."
- "But it's true! I've just had the best summer of my life, and now I have to go away. It isn't fair. (he kisses her) Danny, don't spoil it!"
- "It's not spoiling it, Sandy. It's only making it better."
- "Danny. Is this the end?"
- "Of course not. It's only the beginning."
(voice-over) "This is the main brain, Vince Fontaine, beginning your day with the only way. Music, music, music. Get out of bed, it's the first day of school. Don't be a slob, don't get a job. Go back to class, you can pass. And to start the day off nice and fine, I'm gonna play a new old favorite of mine."
[Song: "Grease"]
Play clip (excerpt): Grease (1978)

Superman: The Movie (1978)

(voice-over) "In the decade of the 1930s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of the world-wide depression. In the times of fear and confusion, the job of informing the public was the responsibility of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper, whose reputation for clarity and truth had become a symbol of hope for the city of Metropolis."
Play clip (excerpt): Superman: The Movie (1978)

Watership Down (1978)

(narrated prologue) "Long ago, the great Frith made the world. He made all the stars, and the world lived among the stars. Frith made all the animals and the birds, and at first, made them all the same. Now, among the animals was El-Ahrairah, the Prince of rabbits. He had many friends, and they all ate grass together. But after a time, the rabbits wandered everywhere, multiplying and eating as they went. Then Frith said to El-Ahrairah, 'Prince Rabbit, if you cannot control your people, I shall find ways to control them.' But El-Ahrairah would not listen and said to Frith, 'My people are the strongest in the world.' This angered Frith, so he determined to get the better of El-Ahrairah. He gave a present to every animal and bird, making each one different from the rest. When the fox came and others, like the dog and the cat, hawk and weasel, to each of them, Frith gave a fierce desire to hunt and slay the children of El-Ahrairah. Then, El-Ahrairah knew that Frith was too clever for him, and he was frightened. He had never before seen the Black Rabbit of Death. 'My friend,' said Frith, 'Have you seen El-ahrairah? For I wish to give him a gift.' 'No, I have not seen him.' So, Frith said, 'Come out, and I will bless you instead.' 'No, I cannot. I am busy. The fox and weasel are coming. If you want to bless me, you will have to bless my bottom.' 'Very well. Be it so.' And El-Ahrairah's tail grew shining white, and it flashed like a star. And his back legs grew long and powerful. And he tore across the hill faster than any creature in the world. 'All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you...digger, listener, runner. Prince with the swift warren. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people will never be destroyed.'"
Play clip (excerpt): Watership Down (1978)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

(voice-over) "Saigon. S--t! I'm still only in Saigon. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said 'yes' to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now. I'm waiting for a mission - getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter."
Play clip (excerpt): Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Jerk (1979)

"I am not a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends and... uh... my thermos. Huh? My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi."
Play clip (excerpt): The Jerk (1979)

Manhattan (1979)

"'Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion.' Uh, no, make that: 'He-he...romanticized it all out of proportion.' Yeah. 'To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.' Uh, no, let me start this over.

'Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. He thrived on the hustle bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To him, New York meant beautiful women and street smart guys who seemed to know all the angles.' Ah, corny, too corny for, you know, my taste. Let me, let me try and make it more profound...

'Chapter One: He adored New York City. To him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in..' No, it's gonna be too preachy, I mean, you know, let's face it, I wanna sell some books here.

'Chapter One: He adored New York City. Although to him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it was to exist in a society desensitized by drugs, loud music, television, crime, garbage...' Too angry. I don't wanna be angry.

'Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.' Oh, I love this! 'New York was his town, and it always would be.'"

Play clip (excerpt):
Manhattan (1979)

The Muppet Movie (1979)

- "I'm Statler."
- "I'm Waldorf. We're here to heckle The Muppet Movie."
- "Gentlemen. That's straight ahead, private screening room D."
- "Private screening?"
- "Yeah, they're afraid to show it in public!" (laughter)
- "Oh, look at this place. What a dump!"
- "A bunch of weirdos around here. Look at 'em."
Play clip (excerpt):
The Muppet Movie  (1979)

The Warriors (1979)
(Director's Cut)

(voice-over narration) "Over two millenniums ago, an army of Greek soldiers found themselves isolated in the middle of the Persian Empire. One thousand miles from safety. One thousand miles from the sea. One thousand miles with enemies on all sides. Theirs was a story of a desperate forced march. Theirs was a story of courage. This too is a story of courage."
Play clip (excerpt): The Warriors

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