Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
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
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)