Iconic Opening Lines from TV and Film: Illustrated
First impressions are the most important and in the world of TV and film, that first line can make all the difference between hooking you in or turning you off. Some opening lines live on forever in the lore of cinema. There are famous quotes and opening lines that you probably know from films you’ve never seen before.
Department store Oldrids & Downtown decided to turn some of those lasting opening lines into pieces of art and we love what they came up with! If you’re a die-hard fan of any of these films, they would make a great poster or screensaver and we thought we’d share them with you here.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Cult classic Anchorman is one of the enduring comedies of our time. ‘Cult classic’ is generally the term afforded to films that don’t follow the strict standards of film purists. They’re always silly, irreverent and don’t take the medium of film as seriously as it takes itself. So, don’t be fooled by the misleading reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
This opening line encapsulates the lovable fool that is Ron Burgundy succinctly. A San Diego anchorman backed by a ragtag news team trying to make a name for himself in 1970s San Diego, Burgundy is not afraid to love himself. He is ‘kind of a big deal’, after all. Uproar ensues when he is usurped by his lover and female co-anchor Veronica Corningstone, and Burgundy faces up to his own fallibility with hilarious consequences.
If you’re after an intellectual film, you’re in entirely the wrong place. If you want a completely ridiculous couple of hours, then buckle up…
Lord of the Rings
The film series that needs no introduction, this example of the opening line of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring incorporates the visual themes and colour scheme of the film to create a fantastic poster/canvas any LOTR fan would love.
The opening line has been emblazoned onto this in the same style as the script on the One Ring to make it an entirely Tolkein-esque artwork.
Some facts about LOTR that you might not already know:
- The role of Aragorn was originally offered to Nicholas Cage.
- Samwise Gamgee’s pony Bill was, in fact, a ‘panto pony’. Otherwise known as ‘two people in a horse costume’.
- In The Two Towers, the booming battle cries of the Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep were actually recorded from over 25,000 New Zealand cricket fans in a stadium.
The opening line of Netflix smash-hit Stranger Things probably isn’t as alluring as the opening title sequence. The opening synth-heavy theme already had your hairs standing on end before the opening line sounded off an unsettling knell of what was to come.
If you haven’t already binge-watched both seasons, it’s the story of four young friends in Hawkins, Indiana and the entire thing is basically a time capsule of the eighties. Steeped in nostalgic feels, the series actually takes you on an inter-dimensional ride with strong characters, a fantastic storyline and excellent visuals.
If Anchorman is a film purist’s nightmare, The Godfather is the pinnacle. It has stood the test of time since its release in 1972 and even though it’s really, really, really long, you can only describe it as a genuine work of art.
The opening line of The Godfather isn’t spoken by a main character, but it may as well be. It’s indicative of the American Dream, the idea that America is whatever you make of it. It’s spoken by Bonasera, a man who has come to titular character Don Corleone for retribution for his daughter.
What follows is a 7-minute spiel about Corleone’s organisation, the moral code of the Mafia and one of the most famous opening sequences of all time. The Godfather series went on to see untold success (apart from the third one, we don’t speak of the third one). Stunning cinematography alongside an iconic soundtrack and legendary acting from legendary actors, its success was no accident.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones burst onto TV screens in 2011 and wasted no time to completely hook you. George R.R Martin’s fictional fantasy universe has incredible depth and a veritably insane amount of canon to go through. Drawing inspiration from classic tropes of fantasy and combining that with the real, crazy politics of medieval Britain and Europe, Game of Thrones layers challenging and unapologetically human stories over a fantasy background of wild imagination.
This has been expertly bought to life in the TV series, albeit quite watered-down and skimmed over. The novels tell the story of this universe in painstaking detail. The TV series, probably not quite aware of just how successful it would become has had to soften some of the gory details and speed things up for a mainstream audience.
This opening line refers to the perennial threat of the supernatural White Walkers. With the release of season 8 set to be the biggest TV event of the decade, there’s still time to bring yourself up to speed.
Whilst you may not be familiar with the Zulu language, you know full well what film this comes from. Translated to English, it reads “Here comes a lion, father oh yes it’s a lion!” and famously accompanies the opening scene of the 1994 Disney classic, a colourful, vibrant musical number celebrating the African savannah.
The Lion King is still in the top ten of Disney’s most successful films. An incredible achievement when you consider the other nine were all released from 2010 onwards. It’s also the ninth most successful animated film of all time and only one of three films to be in the top 50 from the 90s.
With the live action remake set for release in July 2019, we’re getting this printed on a t-shirt for the premiere!
Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a journey into the human psyche, taking us all on a psychological ride. Often stepping into the surreal and constantly keeping the viewer on their toes, this film is often regarded as a metaphor for the pursuit of artistic perfection and the challenges that presents.
The film was nominated for five Academy awards, and the opening line somehow sets the tone for the journey this lucid film will take you on. Whether you get on with it or not, there’s no denying the cinematography is something to behold. The editing and theatrics of the film almost make you feel like you’re descending into madness yourself. A cerebral joyride for the ages.