In any story, the opening line is perhaps the most important. When used correctly, it can hook the audience, raise an intriguing question or issue, hint at what is to come, set the tone and introduce us to the world contained within the film. Sometimes this line is delivered by an omnipotent narrator, whilst often it is delivered by the film’s protagonist. There have been many iconic opening lines in cinematic history, and some of these have introduced us to the greatest stories ever told. Today, we are taking a look at the 10 greatest lines in film history.
**Warning: Some of these scenes have NSFW language or imagery**
10. The Prestige
“Are you watching closely?”
Often overlooked, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige is a compelling story where nothing is quite as it seems. In the opening of the film, this intriguing line is delivered by Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) before John Cutter (Michael Caine) explains how there are three parts to every magic trick. This question is not directed at the other characters, but instead it is directed at us, the audience. This is typically a question that a magician asks before performing a trick, and it is no different here, but there is something chilling about the way it is delivered. The story is all about deception and this keeps you on your toes throughout the film, which follows two rival magicians in London at the end of the 19th century who are tying to outdo each other. Much like a magic trick, it demands repeat viewings.