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London Olympics: Movie moments in the opening ceremonies

July 27, 2012|By Rebecca Keegan
  • A giant puppet of Lord Voldemort appeared at the London Olympics opening ceremony.
A giant puppet of Lord Voldemort appeared at the London Olympics opening… (Robert Gauthier )

Here's a sport that Olympics viewers can play from their couches at home -- counting the movie references director Danny Boyle packed into the sprawling opening ceremonies he staged Friday night at London's Olympics Stadium.

For those keeping score at home, here are a few of the spectacle's cinematic highlights:

-- The queen became a Bond girl: In a pretaped action segment that will undoubtedly be the most widely seen promotion for this fall's James Bond sequel "Skyfall," current Bond Daniel Craig transported Queen Elizabeth II to Olympic Stadium via parachute. Apparently the queen was a tough lady to please, however; when the camera cut to her live in the stadium, the 76-year-old monarch looked more shaken than stirred.

-- Mr. Bean won the 1924 Olympics: Rowan Atkinson, as his buffonish alter ego Mr. Bean, began dreaming of himself as a character in the British running drama "Chariots of Fire." Naturally, he found a way to win the race, with a little help from his Mini.

--Kenneth Branagh did not play Abraham Lincoln: The Shakespearean actor and director of"Thor" appeared as a stovepipe-hatted character whom many Americans will confuse with their 16th president. (Branagh was actually playing 19th century British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.)

-- Mary Poppins saved the world from Lord Voldemort: In an epic battle between childhood versions of good and evil, a fleet of umbrella wielding, flying Mary Poppinses fended off the Harry Potter villain, who appeared as a giant puppet.

-- "The Exorcist" served as a healthcare soundtrack: "Tubular Bells," the orchestral arrangement used for horrific effect in "The Exorcist," was the musical accompaniment for a tribute to Britain's National Health Service.

-- Wayne and Garth partied on to Queen: During a musical montage that  included their favorite band playing "Bohemian Rhapsody," a jumbo screen flashed on the guys from "Wayne's World."

-- The movies got a giant wet kiss: A montage of cinema's best smooching scenes included "Planet of the Apes," "Titanic," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Wall-e," "Shrek" and others.

ALSO

James Bond 'Skyfall trailer released [video]

Guide to the London Olympics: Can't-Miss Moments

PHOTOS, VIDEO AND MORE:

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes and the Emmys Round Table

PHOTOS: Celebrity photos by the Times

VIDEO: Watch the latest fall TV trailers here

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