First impressions count for a lot in cinema. Characters only get to make one, and how it’s handled can be the difference between the audience rooting for them and not giving a damn whether they make it to the end credits in one piece.

There’s so much for filmmakers to consider when introducing their hero or villain, as appearances alone are worth a thousand words. That guy in the pristine tux is obviously a secret agent, and the bloke wearing a ski mask is probably up to no good. These, of course, are tired old movie cliches, but the point is that costumes and makeup have a major role to play here, as does setting and the first line of dialogue we hear said characters speak.

With so many factors to balance, major character reveals are a fine art, and it should go without saying that many of the greatest movie protagonists and antagonists of all time were created by, and played by, masters of that art.

Here are the characters that got off on the right foot with audiences and only earned further plaudits from there.

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