Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Feature
Great Cannes Openers
The finest films to open the Cannes Film Festival

submit to reddit

Short of skipping off with Cannes' biggest gong, the Palme d'Or, there are few greater honours for a filmmaker than being asked to open the festival. Cinema's greats from Kurosawa and Fellini to Scorsese and the Coen brothers have all had movies kick off the film-lover's festival of choice. Some have been great (Amarcord), some good (Witness) and some... well, some have been Basic Instinct. We've sorted the wheat from the chaff to look back at a few of the greatest opening nights of Cannes gone by.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  1 of 9 Next
Great Cannes Openers | The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

The first Cannes Film Festival wasn't just a celebration of cinema, it was also a cheeky Gallic two fingers to the parade of fascist propaganda that had been the previous year's Venice festival. Fittingly, the inaugural Cannes was rung in with peeling bells - in this case pulled by a hunchbacked Charles Laughton in the 1939 black-and-white adaptation of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. As moving as William Dieterle's take on Victor Hugo's romantic classic was, Quasimodo and Esmerelda's impossible love was more than a little overshadowed by the outbreak of World War Two. It would be the first and last screening that year: the entire festival was called of a day later. And not even The Da Vinci Code managed that.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 
1 of 9
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Black Mass Trailer Breakdown With Director Scott Cooper
Find out what's what with Johnny Depp's take on Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)