First impressions mean everything in film. Whether they’re kicking a saloon door open or emerging from the sea looking suspiciously well groomed, our initial image of a cinematic character tends to stay with us.
It shapes what we think of them and burns into the collective consciousness. In short, tumbling into the room and labouring to close an umbrella won’t cut it. Here’s our run down of the greatest big screen entrances ever.
One of the greatest things about Johnny Depp’s dandified pirate – before his impact was dulled by those bum-numbingly long sequels – was that he arrived so fully formed. This vision of Captain Jack jauntily hopping from a sinking ship is pretty much perfect.
The Joker (The Dark Knight)
A tricksy opening scene that toys with our jittery desperation for a first glimpse of the all-new Joker with expert skill. Christopher Nolan’s brutal Heat-style heist sets us up for the brooding slice of complex superhero action to come and introduces us to the unpredictable danger of Heath Ledger’s grinning maniac. Here’s the moment he finally whips off the mask.
Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Greatest opening scene ever? Possibly. It may have just turned 30 years old but Lucas and Spielberg’s shot of their bullwhipping, fedora-wearing hero stepping out of the shadows (not to mention the resultant crypt-raiding) is about as good as it gets.
Alex DeLarge (A Clockwork Orange)
No flashy pyrotechnics, no big stunts and no grand pronouncements. All Stanley Kubrick needed was a slow zoom out and Malcolm McDowell’s malevolent stare to introduce us to Alex. It’s a look that says it all. Specifically, “Dare you to make fun of my ridiculous get up.”
Honey Ryder (Dr No)
Referenced at least twice in Modern 007 films and spoofed more times than we’d like to count this is the ultimate Bond girl entrance. Ursula Andress carved out an entire career and did wonders for the white bikini industry with this iconic emergence from the sea.
Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever)
Unintentionally reworked in bloated blockbuster
Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
It’s the moment that launched a thousand wholly inappropriate crushes. As with other great entrances, this scene makes a virtue of the anticipation behind that first reveal. But, to paraphrase Jessica herself, don’t blame her for the slobbering glances. She was just drawn that way.
Darth Vader (Star Wars: A New Hope)
The first strains of The Imperial March, a puff of smoke, a billowing black cape and there he is. The intergalactic overlord formerly known as Anakin Skywalker enters the fray in the coolest fashion imaginable. Honestly, rewatching this is so much fun we’re liable to forgive George Lucas every Jar Jar-sized discrepancy.
Tina Carlyle (The Mask)
If you were of sound mind in 1994, you can't have failed to remember this scene as an important milestone in your progression as a human being. Cameron Diaz's jaw-dropping entrance remains one of the sexiest scenes ever to have existed in a kids film. We stand by that one.
(Image: All Star)