Greatest Movie
Entrances of All-Time


1920s-1935


The Greatest Movie Entrances of All-Time
Movie Title/Year and Film Character with Scene Description
Screenshots

Metropolis (1927)

Maria

The first view of Maria (Brigitte Helm) was ethereal. It was in the scene of Maria showing children of workers to the upper level of Metropolis, in an attempt to have them see the life of the rich. She told them: "Look. These are your brothers."

She inadvertently attracted wealthy Freder's (Gustav Frohlich) attention. Maria's words and beauty deeply touched him, and after Maria was escorted out of the gardens, Freder clutched his breast with adoration, and for the first time saw the frivolous wastefulness of life in the upper city and the pleasure garden.

Dracula (1931)

Dracula

The first glimpse of Transylvanian Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi), a 500 year old vampire, was shocking. He was standing upright next to his coffin, wrapped tightly in an all-enveloping black cape. His ashen face, with a piercing, unmoving, cold fixed gaze, was illuminated with an unholy glow from the twilight and his black hair was slickly combed straight back. Rats scurried about and wolves howled.

Dracula was then seen sitting atop a carriage dispatched from the castle. He was a tall, silent figure, wrapped in a black cape and staring hypnotically straight ahead.

In the dark cavernous entry-room of Dracula's castle, the dwarfed figure of passenger Renfield (Dwight Frye) stood at the bottom of the wide and long stone staircase of the castle. An ominous silence hung heavily in the air.

Dracula - elegantly dressed in a black tuxedo, slowly descended the massive staircase while holding a single candle. Rats and armadillos scurried across the dirt-covered stone floor. A giant spider web hung from the ceiling above the staircase. When Renfield turned, he was startled to find Dracula walking through the large spider web without disturbing it.

Dracula glided toward him and memorably introduced himself in an immaculately delivered line (uttered with a Hungarian accent):

"I am...Drac-u-la...I bid you welcome."







Frankenstein (1931)

The Monster

The giant monster (Boris Karloff), kept in total darkness for a few days, had developed enough strength to shuffle forward (like a teetering toddler) and enter into the mad scientist's laboratory from the dark corridor.

The first appearance and unveiling of the Monster - bringing him into the light of enlightenment - was truly memorable. The door slowly swung open, revealing a dark, lumpish silhouette in the doorway in a full figure shot. The bulky figure lurched clumsily into the room with halting steps, gradually revealing a bulky head and broad back - the Monster awkwardly moved into the room by backing in!

The hulking Monster then slowly turned around, and then provided a shadowy profile in the first chilling close-up look of his blankly expressionless, tabula rasa face - a jagged surgical scar around the jaw appeared. There was also a prominent spike that gleamed into view on the side of the figure's neck.

A series of camera jump cuts provided increasingly tighter close-ups of the hideous visage of the cadaverous creature. The Frankenstein Monster was a startling, grotesque, and gruesome figure, about seven feet tall with broad shoulders. The creation was more Monster than man. The monstrous face was placid, gaunt and elongated.

The creature had a square-shaped head with boxy forehead, hooded eyelids over deep-set sunken eyes, neck-spikes or bolts to serve as electrical connectors on his neck, jagged surgical scars, and a matted wig. The Monster wore a dark suit and thick, heavy boots, causing him to walk with an awkward, stiff-legged, crude gait. His long arms seemed enormous because the coat sleeves were shortened.



Night After Night (1932)

Maudie Triplett

This early 30s film was known for its debut of the inimitable, wise-cracking sex symbol Mae West in her first talking film (in a supporting role).

In her part as uncouth Maudie Triplett, West made a memorable first entrance on the screen, with what may be considered the single greatest opening bit in any film actress's career. Outside of a nightclub, she was surrounded by men, waiting to be let in as the doorman Patsy (Dink Templeton) looked through the peephole and asked: "Who is it?" She replied impatiently: "The fairy princess, ya mug!"

She then swaggered into the nightclub, well-dressed and covered with jewels, where the wide-eyed cloakroom hat-check girl, overwhelmed by her, admired her diamonds:

Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!

Maudie followed her remark with a suggestive response:

Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.

Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932)

Tarzan

In the first of many Tarzan films, the introduction of ape man Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller) with accompanied by his famous trademark jungle call:

Aaah-eee-aaah.

He swung on vines from tree to tree, followed by the first good look at the jungle man peering down at the group of white explorers from a tree perch.

Duck Soup (1933)

Rufus T. Firefly

The opening scene was the classic inaugural ceremony and lawn party for the conferring of the Presidency of the tin-pot republic of Freedonia to a newly-appointed leader, Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx), characterized by a supportive Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) as "a progressive, fearless fighter."

The assembled audience sang the national anthem "Hail, Hail Freedonia," but Firefly wasn't anywhere in sight. After a long pause and a trumpeters' fanfare, the anthem was sung a second time and all the guests looked toward the entrance, but Firefly still failed to enter.

Suddenly, in an upstairs bedroom, the ringing of a loud alarm clock was heard, and Firefly abruptly sat up in bed with a nightshirt, nightcap, and cigar - he quickly removed his nightshirt to reveal a suit, and slid down an unlikely fireman's pole into the spacious ballroom hall to take his place in the line-up with his own honor guard at the end of the ceremonial line.

He asked one of the guards: "You expecting somebody?" and then joined them to wait for his own arrival while holding out his cigar (rather than a sword).

When noticed, he insulted everyone in sight - especially his benefactress, and sang the song "Just Wait 'Til I Get Through With It" about how he intended to abuse his power.




King Kong (1933)

King Kong

The brutish Kong made an extremely memorable first appearance. The mighty ape was first heard as he came angrily thrashing and stomping through the jungle, bending nearby trees. Horrible roars, growls, and sounds were heard from an indistinct shape. When he came into view, he was tremendous - a thirty-foot tall giant ape, much bigger than a gorilla.

As she saw the demonic, strong Beast-lover approaching the altar, Ann Darrow (Fay Wray, the 'scream queen') struggled to free herself from chains holding her to posts. She let out shrill screams in absolute terror, just like in the practice session. Her eyes signified complete fear and helplessness.

With raw sexual impulses that had been incited and aroused by a rolling-eye view of the white girl, Kong flared his teeth and snarled, beat his chest and let go mighty roars. As he came closer to leer at her, he released her from the stakes, and she slumped into a faint.

Kong picked her up with his giant paw, as the natives cheered enthusiastically at Kong's acceptance of the valued sacrifice (worth six black native girls). She succumbed to the naked Beast's dark libido. Rather than devouring her, the hairy colossus carried her off into the jungle as she continued to scream.


Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Frankenstein Monster

The film followed the ending of the original film Frankenstein (1931), when the mill was burned to the ground as peasants from the village cheered the end of the Monster. To restore order, the village's burgomaster (E. E. Clive) declared the Monster dead and encouragingly sent the mob home.

Hans (Reginald Barlow) and his wife (Mary Gordon), the peasant parents of the little girl the monster had accidentally drowned lingered at the site. Unsatisfied and vengeful, Hans was determined to view the Monster's remains: "I want to see with my own eyes...If I can see his blackened bones, I can sleep at night." His wife pleaded with him that nothing could bring back their murdered daughter: "Oh Hans, he must be dead. And dead or alive, nothing can bring our little Maria back to us."

When Hans walked over the unstable beams from the wreckage of the fire, he fell through the collapsed floor and splashed into an underground millpond/cistern below. With emphasis from the musical score for a dramatic entrance, the creature's hand and arm first appeared from behind a wooden beam, and then the Monster stepped fully into view from the shadows.

In a close-up, there were grotesque electrodes at the neck and he had a flat, square head (and a face scarred by the fire). Hans was held under the waist-deep water and drowned by the Monster. A sleepy-looking owl witnessed the murder.


Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The Bride

The presentation of the birth of the Monster's Bride (Elsa Lanchester) was stunningly grotesque.

When mad scientist Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) removed the bandages from her eyes, two uncomprehending globes stared back, as the soundtrack emphasized the revelation. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) exclaimed typically: "She's alive! Alive!"

The two scientists tilted the table to an upright vertical position. The Bride stiffly raised her arms and then collapsed. After the bandage-covered Bride had her wrappings removed, indicated by a dissolve, she was viewed in full, chilling splendor.

The repellently-beautiful female wore a flowing white shroud (laboratory smock) and a wild, frizzled fright wig. Streaked with white from lightning charges, her hair stood straight out behind her, making her look dramatically like Queen Nefertiti.

Stitches were visible beneath her jaw. Her angular movements were bird-like - her sharp-boned and angular head jerked and darted from one position to another.

Appropriately, her white covering could be mistaken for a bridal gown - Pretorius announced: "The Bride of Frankenstein!"





Greatest Movie Entrances of All-Time
(chronological, by film title)
Introduction | 1920s-1935 | 1936-1939 | 1940-1945 | 1946-1949 | 1950-1955 | 1956-1959 | 1960-1965 | 1966-1969
1970-1975 | 1976-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1989 | 1990-1995 | 1996-1999 | 2000-2005 | 2006-Present


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