Greatest Movie
Entrances of All-Time


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

Carrie (1976)

Chris Hargensen

Carrie White

Brian DePalma's horror film was based upon a Stephen King novel (it was the first of King's published works to be adapted into a feature film). The opening credits featured an outdoors girls physical education class, engaged in a game of volleyball. Various critical comments from the girls were directed against one uncoordinated and shy teen named Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), implying that the game could be won or lost if the ball was hit her way ("Hit it to Carrie, she'll blow it" and "Don't blow it Carrie, hit it" and "We can't win a game with her on the team").

At the end of class, many of the disgusted girls mocked Carrie. One of the popular 'bad' girls named Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen, future wife of director DePalma) also personally repudiated her to her face with the words: "You eat shit."

In the chaos of a steamy high school girls' locker room after PE class, Chris was again introduced as she strode completely naked from the shower, and flicked her towel at friends.

Alone in the shower in a slow-motion sequence, Carrie was soaping her glistening wet body when she discovered blood running down her leg. Unaware of the reason for the blood (she was beginning to menstruate at the start of her first period, at the advanced age of 17 years), she went running into the locker area with blood on her hands, imploring help from the other girls ("Please help me!") to stop the bleeding.

Chris led or initiated the taunting and ridiculing of a humiliated Carrie, starting by dangling a tampon at her ("Have a Tampax, Carrie!"). A large sanitary pad dispenser was opened, and the girls threw tampons and pads at Carrie as she backed up into the shower area. They chanted at her: "Plug it up!" Suddenly, there was the first instance of Carrie's telekinetic power - one of the light bulbs in the ceiling burst. Carrie was protected and comforted by the PE instructor Miss Collins (Betty Buckley).

Later, some of the girls was blamed and punished for the nasty and cruel bullying incident, called "a really shitty thing" by Miss Collins: "Now, my idea for this little trick you pulled was three days' suspension and refusal of your prom tickets...That'd get you where you live, wouldn't it? And you deserve it. I don't think any of you have any idea of just how nasty what you did really was. But the office has decided you're to have one week's detention. Still, there's one little catch. It's to be my detention. That's 50 minutes every day starting today on the athletic field. Get the picture?"

When Chris left the first exercise detention on the athletic field before it was over, thus forfeiting her ticket to the prom, she defiantly told Miss Collins before stomping off: "THIS ISN'T OVER, THIS ISN'T OVER BY A LONG SHOT!"

Chris (and some of her friends) spent the rest of the film setting in motion the plot to get revenge - to again humiliate Carrie at the HS prom, by dumping pig's blood on her.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Alien Mother Ship

The extended finale of Steven Spielberg's memorable sci-fi film was filmed with breathtaking special effects and a sense of suspense, awe and wonder. At the landing site, at Devils Tower National Monument (in Wyoming), where a UFO was about to touch down, scientists and newsmen were about to witness the first maximum-publicity meeting and physical contact between alien visitors and earthlings. A pattern of musical sound waves in five tones signaled communication. Three tiny, neon-lit scout ships appeared with a tiny red orb following in their wake - they hovered over the end of the runway.

A magnificent cloud formation erupted all around the Tower in the moonlight, creating a radiant halo. More colored flashing lights in the cloud cover signaled the arrival of many more spacecraft. A squadron of neon shapes and lights encircled the entire area and buzzed the runway, causing panic and fear among the humans.

One of the brilliant and bedazzling ships, looking like a galactic version of the Goodyear blimp, made a slow, close pass over the base, drifting by and shining its underside of luminescent, sparkling colors. Everything was very quiet until a deep rumbling, low-pitched vibration began to build and increase in volume and intensity, suggesting the appearance of something awesome, incredulous, and frightening.

The three craft were followed by an immense alien mother ship, a circular object double the size of Devils Tower itself, with hundreds of glittering, illuminated windows. Everyone shared the mass communal experience - they gazed with mouths agape up into the sky as the enormous vessel dwarfed the Tower and revolved and slowly descended toward them.

It was staggeringly beautiful as it drew near for a landing. The light from the ship was so bright that dark glasses had to be worn. The great space vessel touched down at the end of the runway.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Tony Monero

Under the opening credits appeared the iconic image of Brooklyn disco king, 19 year-old Tony Monero (John Travolta). At first, he was seen as an unknown figure (carrying and swinging a can of semi-gloss paint in his right hand), that stopped at a store-front window and compared his brownish-red shoe to a black one for sale in the display.

Only his strutting feet could be seen as he cockily, cooly and confidently cruised down the sidewalk on Brooklyn's 86th Street. As the camera panned up his figure, he was revealed as a young stud dressed for the evening with a leather jacket, wide collared bright red shirt and gold chain around his neck.

Now revealed and seen from mid-range, the words of the Bee Gee's Staying Alive song helped to describe his character:

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man, no time to talk...

Star Wars (1977)

The Rebel Starship Cruiser and the Imperial Star Destroyer Cruiser

The memorable, adventure film saga began with an opening title card, setting the film's time frame in the distant past: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." An inventive scrolling of text crawled (or "rolled up") into the black background of space to describe the war, in a "far away" galaxy, between good and evil archetypal forces:

Episode IV, A NEW HOPE It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy....

In the impressive opening view following the crawling text, the very small Rebel ship belonging to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), who possessed secret plans to the Empire's new battle space-station, the Death Star, was being chased across the screen by the large, wedge-shaped Imperial Star Destroyer cruiser of the evil Galactic Empire.

During the pursuit, turbo-lasers from the Star Destroyer struck the Rebel ship's shields and caused its passengers to be buffeted around in a corridor, including two robot droids.

Star Wars (1977)

Darth Vader

A fierce laser-gun battle was fought in the hallway of a crippled Rebel ship with fleeing Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) inside. The skirmish was quickly lost by the Rebel defenders as more and more white, ceramic-like, space-armored stormtroopers of the Emperor's advance guard charged into the smoking corridor.

When control was secured, the leader of the cruel and villainous forces strode in - black-garbed with a cape swirling around him, and helmeted.

He was the towering, faceless Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader (David Prowse, with a deep, breathy voice supplied by James Earl Jones) - a vision of evil, signaled by the soundtrack.

(National Lampoon's) Animal House (1978)

John "Bluto" Blutarsky

Director John Landis' classic, gross-out fraternity comedy was about a group of misfit brothers in the unruly, raunchy "Animal House" - the Delta Tau Chi house at the fictional Faber College. Delta had a reputation as "the worst house on campus."

Two innocent freshman pledges who were best friends: shy Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger (Tom Hulce) and fat Kent "Flounder" Dorfman (Stephen Furst), had just been given the brush-off at the snotty Omega Theta Pi. So they decided to visit the Delta House closeby. Half of a mannequin crashed through a window and landed at their feet as they arrived. Out on the front lawn, they came up to the degenerate, slovenly John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi), who was visibly drunk (with a large glass vial of beer in his hand) and urinating.

When they asked him: "Excuse me, sir, is this the Delta House?" he turned mid-stream toward them to answer, and proceeded to pee on both of them: "Sure, come on in." As they followed him up the frat's front porch steps, they each shook out their pants' legs with urine on them.

With a slight grin and upturned arched eyebrows, he opened up the front door to the raucous party inside. He urged them: "Have a brew. Don't cost nothin'."

Alien (1979)

The Chestbursting Alien

Nostromo crew member Kane (John Hurt) sat eating at the mess table with his crew mates, contemplating his return home, when he suddenly experienced a seizure - coughing and choking on green, spaghetti-like strands of food.

As he rose and struggled, Kane was turned around and laid on the table. Held down by the crew, they forced a spoon into his mouth to prevent him from choking on his tongue. And then, in a terrifying moment, blood graphically exploded out of the front of his white T-shirt.

As he moaned, jerked violently, quivered, and ultimately died, an Alien burst from the bloody spot on his chest. The hissing, razor sharp-toothed monster/lizard was literally "born" from the guts of the first infected crewman.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Colonel Walter E. Kurtz

Francis Ford Coppola's masterful, thought-provoking, pretentious war film, with beautifully-chaotic visuals, told about the nightmarish, moral madness of the Vietnam War - inspired by the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

It told about Army Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) who was sent into the Cambodian jungle aboard a patrol boat carrying a young, spaced-out crew. Their mission, both a mental and physical journey, was to assassinate ("terminate") a Buddha-like Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). He had become a dangerously-lawless warlord after going AWOL - an insane, self-appointed demi-god who ruled a band of native warriors in his own jungle fiefdom.

After reaching Kurtz' jungle encampment or compound, Willard was seized and dragged in the mud and taken to Kurtz to meet his prey: "It smelled like slow death in there, malaria, and nightmares. This was the end of the river, all right." Willard knelt in the golden-hued, dark chamber where Kurtz was resting.

He was granted an audience with dark-clothed Kurtz, seen in dramatic dark shadows in his inner sanctum, and lying on his back - his first appearance in the film. He questioned Willard about his past, and his Ohio (Toledo) background. Kurtz was reminded of a childhood experience of traveling down the Ohio River and coming upon a gardenia or flower plantation where "you'd think that heaven just fell on the earth in the form of gardenias." Kurtz had lifted himself half-way up, while resting on his elbows, with his face still shadowed.

More was revealed about the baffling, bald-shaved Kurtz - he seemed insane, slightly deranged, unbalanced, overweight, and decaying. As he spoke slowly and sat up, he leaned over and dipped his hands in a bowl of water to cool his head. Kurtz knew Willard's mission was to kill him ("Did they say why, Willard? Why they want to terminate my command?"). Willard was forced to confess his mission and knowledge of Kurtz's brutality and insanity. In full view, Kurtz reacted disdainfully to Willard's mission, viewing him as neither an assassin or soldier: "You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks to collect the bill."

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Lieutenant Ilia

Sexy Deltan and USS Enterprise navigator Lieut. Ilia (Persis Khambatta) made her entrance in this first film in the series (with the original crew). Her initial appearance was very memorable.

The bridge door to the newly-redesigned USS Enterprise opened and there stood the bald-headed, unsmiling crew member, who walked a few steps, and then announced to Admiral James Kirk (William Shatner): "Lieutenant Ilia, reporting for duty, sir."

She was immediately recognized and greeted by former love interest Commander Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), bringing a smile to her face. She dutifully reported to Kirk that she had maintained her "oath of celibacy."

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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