Entrances of All-Time
|Movie Title/Year and Film Character with Scene Description|
Alex de Large
The opening memorable image was an intimate closeup (known as the Kubrick stare) of the blue staring eyes and smirking face of ebullient young punker Alex de Large (Malcolm McDowell), wearing a bowler hat and with one false eyelash (upper and lower) adorning his right eye.
As the camera zoom pulled back, accompanied by Walter Carlos' synthesized rendition of Purcell's Elegy on the Death of Queen Mary, the anti-hero character with the malevolent, cold stare was shown sitting amidst his kingly court of teenaged gang of "droogs."
Alex narrated in voice-over:
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Chocolate maker Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) made his entrance when he exited his gated factory, limping and heavily relying on his cane, as if he were a decrepit old man.
As he approached the outer gate, he stopped unsteadily, teetered and then suddenly collapsed, eliciting a gasp from the gathered crowd.
But then he performed a neat somersault with a spry flair - eliciting the crowd's applause -- foreshadowing his own mischievous, cunning and secretive nature.
The film opened on a twisted, mirrored surface as a drum-roll began. When the cymbals crashed, the Emcee (Joel Grey) popped into the frame from below -- a deathly-pale, pasty-white angular face, with ruby-red lipsticked lips, and a demonic, dangerously-mischievous grin formed on his face.
He greeted the patrons of the Kit Kat Club (and the movie audience) with the song Wilkommen - in German, English and French: "Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!"
The Emcee introduced himself as the host, and told them that while life was dreary and troublesome, there were no problems in the Cabaret as he revealed the all-girl band:
He then introduced the audience to the Cabaret Girls by name (one of whom was a man in drag), cracking a dirty joke:
He then warned that every hot night, they had to battle to keep the Girls from taking all of their clothes off, before gleefully confiding:
Mean Streets (1973)
The film opened with the memorable, sub-titled introduction of the film's main characters, including the one filmed in telephoto.
It showed Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro) blowing up a mailbox with a homemade bomb - and losing his porkpie hat as he shuffled away from the blast.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
In Tobe Hooper's classic slasher film set in Travis County Texas, there was the first and sudden appearance of chainsaw-wielding redneck killer Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) in his "House of Horror" inhabited by his family of cannibalistic psychopaths.
It was justifiably one of the scariest, most memorable appearances in film history.
When Kirk (William Vail) entered the unlocked front door of a deserted-looking clapboard house, he repeatedly called out: "Hello, hello...Anybody home?" He heard squealing noises and saw a open doorway in the hall beyond which was a red-colored wall covered with skulls and bones.
There, he was immediately and surprisingly attacked by a lunging, apron-wearing, skin-masked Leatherface who clobbered him in the head with a large mallet or sledgehammer - his legs kicked and twitched during a seizure as he was dragged into the killer's lair - and its steel-metal door was forcibly slammed shut.
The film's most memorable entrance scene, besides the first appearance of the shark, occurred in a meeting among the town's elders in a crowded Amity City schoolroom (dubbed the "council's chambers" by the mayor), during a discussion about closing the beaches of the picturesque resort town after a bloody shark attack.
The room had a long, semi-circular desk at the front of the room, and a blank blackboard stood behind rows of chairs at the back. Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) disagreed with the Mayor (Murray Hamilton), who only wanted the beaches closed for 24 hours.
Suddenly, master fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw), an eccentric, grizzled shark-hunter, made a dramatic entrance by silencing the commotion of the meeting. The colorful old sea salt with a brogue-accent scraped his fingernails - on a disembodied arm - irritatingly across the blackboard (with a drawn/doodled outline of a Great White Shark with a human being in its tooth-rimmed mouth) at the back of the audience to get everybody's attention.
As the camera slowly panned toward him while he munched on a salty cracker, the foul-mouthed charterboat captain proposed to rid the town of the menacing, deadly shark - for $10,000. He drawled:
Delaying a glimpse of the dangerous shark was employed in this film - a full view of the shark was not provided until over an hour into the film (although there were a few brief glimpses earlier).
Out on the open ocean, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) was given distasteful tasks, such as "chumming" (throwing spoiled, bloody meat - shark bait - over the side of the boat) to attract the shark. As the chief scooped out bucketfuls of bloody slop, humorously griping to his mates: "Come down and chum some of this s--t," a monstrous shark rose out of the water and nearly took his hand off.
This was the film's first full glimpse of the shark, an hour and twenty minutes into the film - a truly spine-tingling moment. Brody could not believe the size of the creature, and with a classic, practical understatement, told Quint (Robert Shaw) his assessment:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Dr. Frank N. Furter
An engaged young couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) mistakenly ended up in a large castle after getting a flat tire in the middle of a rainy night while returning from a friend's wedding.
There, after a group of conventioneers from the planet Transsexual finished a rendition of the Time Warp, a black-cloaked figure descended in an elevator behind them, tapping one sequin-encrusted high-heeled boot. When the elevator opened, the figure turned, causing Janet to scream and faint.
"How ya do-a" sang a mad transexual transvestite named Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) in greeting, who then strutted boldly forward. He dropped his black cloak to reveal his sexy, skimpy, cross-dressed outfit: a pearl necklace, a leather draw-string vest, black garters, leather bikini briefs, and high-heeled boots.
He then sang seductively: "I'm a sweet transvestite... from Transssssexual Transylvania-hah-hah!"
He invited the young couple to his lab for the unveiling of his creation - the perfect humanoid man named Rocky Horror.
(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