Some movie characters make a lasting impression the minute they appear on the screen. Over the years, there have been some positively iconic movie entrances which will never be forgotten!
Whether it’s a Western, a musical, or a film noir, there are some leading characters whose image will stay in your memory for the rest of your days. Read on to find out more about the greatest movie entrances of all time…
Once Upon a Time in the West
Director Sergio Leone’s epic spaghetti western, released in 1968, tells the tale of conflicts in the town of Flagstone in America’s Old West. The main plot surrounds a land battle around plans to build a new railroad.
The film’s opening sequence builds up the tension for more than three minutes, as a mysterious stranger arrives in town. Three outlaws wait for him to alight from a train, in almost complete silence.
It appears he hasn’t arrived, but as they turn to walk away, they are stopped in their tracks by the mournful sound of a harmonica breaking the silence. The stranger, played by the legendary Charles Bronson, is a gunfighter known as Harmonica. He polishes off the three bad guys in seconds with a rapid round of gunfire.
The violent western, made with a budget of $5 million and shot in the United States and Italy, was a commercial flop when it was released, barely breaking even at the box office. Yet around 40 years later, in 2009, its true brilliance was recognised when it was selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the US National Film Registry for its cultural and historical significance.
The 1946 film noir starred screen siren Rita Hayworth in the title role, playing the ultimate femme fatale. She was the love interest of small-time American gambler Johnny Farrell who arrived in Argentina to gamble and cheat his way into winning a lot of money.
The moment when Gilda makes her entrance is a truly iconic scene. A vamp who spells bad news for the men she meets, she first appears 20 minutes into the movie. Her husband brings Johnny, his young right-hand man, to their hotel room.
“Are you decent?” Gilda’s husband asks. Gilda suddenly appears on screen, with a smile on her lips and a flirtatious flick of her hair, replying, “Me? Sure, I’m decent,” in a way that implies she’s anything but decent. In an instant, she’s seen to be a sensual seductress, after making the ultimate femme fatale entrance.
The film received a positive response from the critics, who described Hayworth as “beguiling”. The two-piece outfit she wore in the nightclub scene sold at auction for $161,000 in 2014, at Bonham’s in New York.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This cult 1975 movie is a musical comedy horror film. A newly-engaged couple, Brad and Janet, have car troubles on a wet, cold November night and seek help at a mysterious castle-like mansion, where a group of strange-looking people are supposedly celebrating their annual Transylvanian Convention.
However, the lovebirds soon discover some rather weird goings-on, not least of which is the fact the revellers are really aliens from outer space, who are into building people out of human parts, Frankenstein-style.
Their leader, Dr Frank-N-Furter, makes his spectacular entrance, descending in an open lift clad in raunchy underwear, platform shoes and a face-full of garish make-up, to the sounds of Sweet Transvestite.
Brad and Janet are initially shocked, but soon find themselves swept up in the odd activities at the castle.
The Rocky Horror Show was a huge hit. It was made on a low budget of $1.4 million, but made $140.2 million at the box office. It’s one of the biggest cult movies of all time, with the live stage version traditionally attracting audience members in full costume, who enjoy singing along.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The first movie in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was released in 2003. The swashbuckling adventure introduced Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, an eccentric pirate.
He saved the life of Miss Elizabeth Swann, daughter of the Governor of Port Royal, Jamaica, after she fainted and fell into the sea, almost drowning. However, his heroic act brought him under the radar of the authorities, who were eager to put an end to his pirating activities.
The legendary first appearance of Captain Sparrow sees him standing majestically next to his ship’s mast, his long hair blowing in the wind, as he pulls into Port Royal. However, viewers soon realise he isn’t on a ship, but on a small sailing boat instead, adding a comedy element straight away.
He is a lovable rogue in the first film of the franchise, whose entrance makes a lasting impression.
The film was a massive hit, made on a budget of $140 million and reaping back $654.3 million at the box office. Spurred on by its massive success, a further four films were made.
The character became a comedy parody of himself, rather than the swashbuckling hero of the first film, but his stylish entrance will make sure his character goes down in movie history.
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