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Breaking Down The Godfather’s Opening Scene

Sometimes you don't know you're watching a great opening scene until after the credits roll and you're left thinking about what you just witnessed. Other times, you're watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the ride attendant is securing the seat belt on your movie theater seat. Opening scenes must set the tone and engage. In this video, we break down the opening scene of "The Godfather."


Here are some more awesome openings:

The Social Network

If you’re going to open with two people sitting and talking, your dialogue better sing. In one five-minute conversation, Aaron Sorkin manages to introduce every part of this movie – Mark’s intellect, his insecurities, his relationship with Erica and the motivations for starting Facebook.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Yes – that Seiko is printing out a label. Yes – that ski-pole is a gun. Yes – this dude has time for a back flip while being chased down a mountain and no – that jump wasn’t CGI and neither was the Union Jack flapping above him. It’s Bond, you know what you’re getting into.


The opening to “Trainspotting” literally hits the ground running, forcing us to ask some pretty obvious questions, and when given a second viewing after finishing the movie, makes us feel really bad for the baby in the doorway.

Children of Men

Dystopian future sci-fi is difficult to establish. You walk a fine line between giving too much information and not giving enough. “Children of Men” delivers, giving us the big picture problem in this world through the death of the youngest human being on the planet…and then the coffee shop blows up. How’s that for an inciting incident?

What are some of your favorite openers?
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