Foreshadowing is an indispensable dramatic device which can also spoil a story for anyone in the audience who is playing close attention. Usually, foreshadowing is peppered lightly throughout, like little puzzle pieces for you to find. But sometimes, a movie or a TV show will throw every piece of foreshadowing it has into the very first scene -- or even before -- knowing that you won't pick up on it until you catch it again on Netflix years later.
5 The Opening Credits of Skyfall Tell You M Is Going To Die
Skyfall gave us the most incredible plot twist of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, in that everyone wasn't fired after Quantum Of Solace. But it also gave us the second-most-incredible twist: the death of Judi Dench's M. In a movie series with more betrayals than The Real Housewives, it can be difficult to come up with truly surprising twists. It can be especially difficult when your opening titles give the twists away.
The climax of the movie is a battle at Skyfall, Bond's childhood home. During this sequence, three basic things happen: Bond and M make a last stand, Skyfall is destroyed, and M dies. For those paying very close attention, none of these things should come as a surprise.
One of the first things that happens in the titles is that we are whisked through a graveyard. While a graveyard is a very, very subtle metaphor for death, it could symbolize any character's death. How do we know it's going to be M, rather than "Nameless Woman Bond Screws Around With And Then Leaves"? The camera is moving fast, so it can be hard to spot, but for those who catch it, it's clear as day: The words "and Judi Dench as M" appear right in the middle of the screen as the camera pushes in on a gravestone. For a moment, it clearly looks like an epitaph (albeit a very reductive one for Judi Dench).
Heaven is not having to be in Spectre.
We then swoop to a CGI Skyfall as Adele's prophetic crooning lays out the plot like she's recording the Skyfall audio book:
Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
Skyfall is where we start ...
So there we have a complete list of the events of the climax, in reverse order: M's name on a tombstone, Skyfall will crumble, we'll make our stand there, and Skyfall is the start (we learn at the end of the film that it was in fact setting up Bond as we know him in the older movies). Fun Fact: The original title of the song was "You Can Leave After The Opening Credits," but they thought that was too on the nose.
4 The Opening Of Saving Private Ryan Reveals Which Character Lives
Saving Private Ryan is a movie like no other. We follow a Band of Brothers detached from their Platoon to save one soldier from the Fury of World War II. We get close to the flawed but lovable squad, only to see them picked off one by one, putting us into panic sweats over who will survive. Unless we paid attention to the beginning, that is.
The film opens in the present (1998 will always be "the present" to us), with an unnamed old man going to visit his fallen friends at the Normandy American Cemetery. Having watched more than zero war movies before, our minds immediately start to race: "Who is this old man who survived? He's at a cemetery, so I'm guessing not a lot of people made it. Is he Tom Hanks? Please let him be Tom Hanks."
We then cut to Normandy, 1944, and a boat full of soldiers. The camera hovers over the face of each man in the calm before the storm of bullets -- including Tom Hanks -- enticing us to ask "Which one of these men could be the one we just saw at the cemetery? Please don't let it be Tom Sizemore."
But to your grandfather and your friend who's obsessed with military paraphernalia, it was clear from the opening scene. The old man wasn't Tom Hanks or any of his crew that we follow in the movie. You see, he's wearing the pin of the 101st Airborne Division.
The original reveal at the end was him looking at the camera and asking the audience, "How you like dem apples?"
Tom Hanks and his men are all Army Rangers. So if you're paying close attention, the film's prologue lets you know that Private Ryan (a member of the 101st Airborne) lives, and -- unless you think he's crying because he misses all the swell times he had with his war buddies -- the main characters very much don't. Except Edward Burns. He totally lives.