Best movie opening lines

Photo of author
Written By Of Like Minds

15+ years of experience in online dating and coaching clients to get better partners!

When it comes to movies, first impressions matter. The opening lines of a film can set the tone for the entire story, and often give a glimpse into the characters and themes that will be explored. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the best movie opening lines of all time, from iconic classics to modern masterpieces. Whether you’re a film buff or just a casual moviegoer, these opening lines are sure to captivate and intrigue you, drawing you further into the world of cinema. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and prepare to be transported into the magical world of film.

The Power of a Great Opening Line in Movies

Movies are a unique form of storytelling that can captivate us, move us, and inspire us in a way that few other mediums can. And while every element of a movie is important, the opening line is often the one that sets the tone for the entire film.

A great opening line can grab our attention, establish the mood and atmosphere, and even hint at the themes and ideas that will be explored throughout the movie. It can be funny, poignant, dramatic, or even unsettling, but it always leaves an impact on the viewer.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best movie opening lines of all time, and analyze what makes them so effective.

“Rosebud…” – Citizen Kane (1941)

It’s hard to talk about great opening lines in movies without mentioning the iconic first words of Citizen Kane. The film, widely considered one of the greatest ever made, begins with the death of media mogul Charles Foster Kane, who whispers the word “Rosebud” before passing away.

The mystery of what “Rosebud” means drives the rest of the film’s plot, and the opening line immediately establishes the central theme of the movie: the power of memory and the things we hold dear.

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” – Goodfellas (1990)

Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas is a masterclass in filmmaking, and the opening line sets the stage for the wild ride that’s about to come. Henry Hill, the film’s protagonist and a former mobster, reminisces about his childhood dream of becoming a gangster, and how he achieved it.

The line is both humorous and ominous, as we know that Henry’s life of crime will ultimately lead to his downfall. It also establishes the film’s themes of ambition, loyalty, and the allure of the criminal underworld.

“The world is 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 (2001)

Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel begins with a powerful monologue from Galadriel, the elven queen. She speaks of the great changes taking place in the world, and the dark forces that threaten to destroy it.

The opening line immediately immerses us in the rich, fantastical world of Middle Earth, and sets the stage for the epic adventure that’s about to unfold. It also establishes the film’s themes of good vs. evil, the importance of friendship and loyalty, and the power of hope.

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” – Clerks (1994)

Kevin Smith’s debut film, Clerks, is a low-budget indie comedy that became a cult classic. The opening line, spoken by the film’s slacker protagonist Dante, sets the tone for the film’s irreverent humor and subversive attitude.

The line also establishes the film’s themes of aimlessness and frustration, as Dante is stuck working at a convenience store on his day off. It’s a relatable sentiment for anyone who’s ever felt stuck in a dead-end job, and it immediately endears us to the film’s hapless hero.

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” – Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard is a classic film noir that tells the story of an aging silent film star, Norma Desmond, who becomes obsessed with making a comeback in Hollywood. The film’s opening line is delivered by Norma herself, as she prepares for her final close-up.

The line is both dramatic and poignant, as we know that Norma’s desperation to return to the spotlight will ultimately lead to her downfall. It also establishes the film’s themes of faded glory, obsession, and the price of fame.


Great opening lines can set the tone for an entire movie, and leave a lasting impact on the viewer. Whether they’re funny, dramatic, or poignant, they establish the central themes and ideas that will be explored throughout the film.

The best movie opening lines are often those that are both memorable and meaningful, capturing the essence of the story in just a few words. And while there are countless great opening lines in movies, the ones we’ve explored here are some of the most iconic and effective in cinematic history.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most memorable opening lines in movies?

Some of the most memorable opening lines in movies include “Rosebud” from Citizen Kane, “I believe in America” from The Godfather, and “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster” from Goodfellas.

Why are opening lines in movies important?

Opening lines in movies are important because they set the tone for the entire film and can capture the audience’s attention. A powerful opening line can make a lasting impression and draw viewers into the story. It can also establish the theme of the movie and give the audience a glimpse into what they can expect from the film.

Leave a Comment