35 comments

  • By Per
    May 10, 2013
    02:43 PM

    Not a Criterion release (I wish it was!), but I never tire of watching the sublime opening of Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdppAgbQbH4 And the beginning of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil. Wonderful: http://youtu.be/LGDu7YOlVuE
    Reply
    • By Grethiwha
      May 10, 2013
      03:48 PM

      Hias and the cows? Good stuff. Heart of Glass is my favourite movie. :) But I think Aguirre takes the crown for Herzog opening shots, if not for opening shots, period.
    • By Grethiwha
      May 10, 2013
      04:01 PM

      Can't edit my last comment, but want to add: Or maybe Aguirre doesn't count because there are a couple short shots before the main event shot I was thinking of...
  • By Drew G. Dellinger
    May 10, 2013
    02:55 PM

    Nice list, if I were to add my two cents I'd have to throw in The Naked Kiss.
    Reply
    • By rv branham
      May 10, 2013
      03:26 PM

      i second that.
  • By rv branham
    May 10, 2013
    03:26 PM

    these are great images, & would be hold their own in any coffee table film book. & i wish you had all of them on bluray. but i do have all of them in my collection. (thinks to yz guys.)
    Reply
  • By Quincy Battieste
    May 10, 2013
    04:08 PM

    A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Sorry.
    Reply
  • By SimonK-H
    May 10, 2013
    04:42 PM

    Aguirre, The Wrath of God The Godfather The Hidden Fortress Naked The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (if you're a Leone nerd)
    Reply
    • By szlauderbach
      May 11, 2013
      01:50 AM

      Dead on with THE GOOD, THE BAD...UGLY My head is flooding with memories of what a gut-punch of a shot that is. I was lucky enough to lose it with that one on a big screen, and I'll never forget that fake out -- a proto-IMAX vista suddenly interrupted by that giant, craggy head. Big one second, tiny the next, but equally (infinitely) detailed. Leone's entire aesthetic in 30 seconds. (And until reading your post, I didn't even realize I was a Leone nerd.)
  • By Adam M.
    May 10, 2013
    05:33 PM

    Another non-Criterion, but you gotta go with La dolce vita
    Reply
    • By Patrick
      May 13, 2013
      02:11 PM

      Soon to be a Criterion? (Let's hope!).
  • By Andre G
    May 10, 2013
    09:40 PM

    I go with Battle of Algiers
    Reply
  • By Sammy B
    May 10, 2013
    11:32 PM

    Silence of the Lambs all the way, crisp morning in the wild with the fragile upstart Clarice Starling braving a veritable obstacle course on her own
    Reply
  • By oz
    May 11, 2013
    12:59 AM

    It's not in the criterion catalog, but Touch of Evil. Its opening crane-tracking shot is tremendously effective and over half a century later remains a film-making marvel.
    Reply
  • By Batzomon
    May 11, 2013
    10:04 AM

    Maybe I'm just saying it because I just watched it again, but Brazil because of the clouds.
    Reply
  • By Cody_U
    May 11, 2013
    06:32 PM

    No Seventh Seal?
    Reply
  • By d
    May 11, 2013
    09:30 PM

    SOY CUBA.
    Reply
  • By Alex Stein
    May 12, 2013
    02:27 PM

    Not criterion, but a revealing&revelatory first shot: Chabrol's La Cérémonie.
    Reply
  • By oz-rob
    May 12, 2013
    09:18 PM

    Frankie Bono arriving in New York by train is a great opening scene, narrative and visual setting the mood from BLAST OF SILENCE,1961, spine #428..
    Reply
  • By Ris
    May 14, 2013
    06:28 PM

    Please, Criterion, revisit and recover Brando's legendary "One-Eyed Jacks." An uproarious opening (Brando or Kubrick?) as well as an unforgettable script and performances. :)
    Reply
  • By Sancar Seckiner
    May 15, 2013
    10:02 AM

    Interesting mix, excellent works, worth to re-check.
    Reply
  • By Forrest Ferguson
    May 15, 2013
    03:10 PM

    Soy Cuba, Touch of Evil, The Shining, No Country For Old Men (ok, i'll be part of this world)
    Reply
  • By Sidney
    May 15, 2013
    05:49 PM

    How about Shallow Grave, and Meek's Cutoff?
    Reply
  • By San
    May 29, 2013
    05:20 PM

    How about The Player and that long, long take by Altman? Classic opening shot if not one of the best single long takes in cinema.
    Reply
  • By C
    May 30, 2013
    05:18 PM

    Apocalypse Now, anyone?
    Reply
    • By D
      May 30, 2013
      06:12 PM

      No thanks, I'm busy now. What about Tuesday?