Greatest Movie Opening Sequence Ever?

Dan Kappes

First the film company logos, then a black screen, then you hear a drum beat. Then footage appears on screen in sepia: an ocean liner leaving a dock with passengers waving goodbye to people on shore. Then a view of the rolling waves of the ocean with the title words TITANIC. Then a black screen again with a blue light heading towards us which turns out to be two submersibles heading towards the bottom of the ocean. All this has haunting Celtic female vocal singing playing in the background, which is also later used in the film when Rose realizes that Jack has died.

This was a brilliant way to begin the movie in my opinion as it places the viewer immediately in the past and tugs at your heartstrings.

I'm glad James Cameron scrapped his previous idea showing the ship being built in Belfast and a workman painting the words TITANIC on the stern of the ship and the camera zooms out showing him dwarfed by the massive ship, and he makes the sign of the cross in foreboding dread when he completes his work.

According to Cameron's notes in his published screenplay of the film, he's glad he didn't include this scene because he later found out that the Titanic was mostly built by Irish Protestants, not Catholics.

Here is the film's teaser trailer showing concept artwork of the original shipyard opening:

And here is the final opening sequence used in the film: