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How To Make A Movie Entrance
10 ways to an unforgettable intro

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From the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach to Harry Lime in The Third Man, cinema’s greatest characters rarely content themselves with an ordinary entrance. Not for these ladies and gentlemen the humble shuffle in from stage left or a demure wave from an overcrowded train platform. Unlike us, you’ll rarely meet them tripping over a dog or trying to remember where they left their house keys – not when there’s dry ice, a shimmering horizon or some shadows to emerge from. Here’s some top tips for making your intro count, big screen-style.

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1. The Jessica Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Named for Roger Rabbit’s bunny fatale but pioneered long ago in the days of black-and-white thrillers, this is all about Working It. The key, to borrow from ZZ Top, is (a) having legs, and (b) knowing how to use them. Someone who fits the bill perfectly is Lana Turner in 1946’s The Postman Always Knocks Twice. She makes John Garfield’s eyes do that Tex Avery thing when she introduces herself with a rolling lipstick and a particularly lucky doorway. It’s an effect matched when Barbara Stanwyck appears at the top of the stairs clad only in a small towel in Double Indemnity, Cyd Charisse returns Gene Kelly’s hat with her stockinged leg in Singin' In The Rain and Rita Hayworth breathes ‘Sure, I’m decent’ to Glenn Ford in Gilda. The Grace Kelly approach, looming like an angel over Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, is also glorious.

Skip past Lolita underage come-hithering and Angela Hayes’ cheerleading in American Beauty – nothing to see here! – in Kubrick’s melodrama and learn from Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, Marilyn Monroe’s jazzy dazzler in Some Like It Hot. She announces herself with a masterclass of showboating on a station platform and enough tush-wiggling to make a train whistle ("It's just like jello - on springs; it must have some built-in motor or something"). It’s an effect matched by Cameron Diaz in The Mask and Ursula Andress in Dr. No (two intros for both character and movie star). Slow motion is your friend here and even if you’re not a lady, you can still flaunt your gifts. At least, you can if you’re Jesus in The Big Lebowski or Ted’s blonde bombshell, Sam Jones.

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Your Comments

1 Sharif Ali
Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia More

Posted by TheFlyingDeLorean on Saturday March 23, 2013, 09:52

2 Entrance of the King!
Aragorn's introduction in the Fellowship of the ring is my all time favourite. Bathed in shadows and smoke, his eyes lighting up under the pipe embers, amazing and very very cool. More

Posted by spaniel on Friday March 22, 2013, 16:03

3 Horatio shade moment!!
Mel Gibson a la Mad Max, you get to see his gloves and shades racing in his car until the big reveal as he jumps out of the car and pulls of his shades.Also got to mention Mick Dundee tearing into the bar wrestling a stuffed croc...Amazing entrance More

Posted by namelessdemon on Thursday March 21, 2013, 17:24

4 Fight Club
Airplane diagrams. That is all. More

Posted by Evolved As One on Wednesday March 20, 2013, 19:45

5 Apocalypse Now
I think Brando's Kurtz should get a mention in the "Harry's Way" section More

Posted by Dr Science on Tuesday March 19, 2013, 18:00

6 Raising Arizona
Hi dreams of the arrival of Leonard Smalls. A big wall of flames. A bunny dies. More

Posted by Dr Science on Tuesday March 19, 2013, 17:56

7 Dolph Lungdren in The Expendables
"WARNING SHOT!" Technically not a movie entrance, but an excellent entrance to the villains nonetheless. More

Posted by Evolved As One on Monday March 18, 2013, 15:20

8 Marla Singer. Fight Club.
"This is cancer, right?" Clasic. More

Posted by Jasper_29 on Monday March 18, 2013, 12:21

9 Who can top...?
....swooping in at the last second and catching the love your life as she falls from a skyscraper and then catching a falling helicopter in your other hand, aka: the Superman. More

Posted by damooc on Monday March 18, 2013, 03:23

10 Harry Lime
The Third Man all the way! My all-time favourite movie moment. More

Posted by Mr Gittes on Sunday March 17, 2013, 20:06

11 Rhett!
Surely the King of Hollywood's grand-camera-swoop-down-the-stairs entrance in Gone with the Wind deserves a mention? More

Posted by Ijustknow on Saturday March 16, 2013, 20:08

12 More recent...
Just a suggestion, how about Captain Jack Sparrow's entrance in Curse of the Black Pearl? Sinking ship (which you are not aware of to start with) and a great music score...brilliant. PS Also a fan of Blades entrance at the nightclub, hacking up vampires to Confusion by New Order! More

Posted by simonjrking on Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:24

There's the Dynamic Entry: when the characters come down from the sky More

Posted by bubblybubbles on Saturday March 16, 2013, 06:39

14 How about....
The chair swivel? (a la Bond villain) Can't think of loads of instances, but it seems a classic to have someone reveal by spinning 180 in their leather swivel chair! Duh, DUH, DUHHHH! More

Posted by TheColumnist on Friday March 15, 2013, 16:26

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