An explosion of fireworks against the London skyline wrapped up the three-hour opening Olympics ceremony masterminded by one of Britain's most successful filmmakers.
Danny Boyle, the director of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting", had a ball with his favoured medium, mixing filmed passages with live action in the stadium to hypnotic effect, with 15,000 volunteers taking part in the show.
Boyle's show took the expected global television audience of 1 (b) billion on a rich and textured journey through British history.
His challenge was daunting: To be as memorable as Beijing's incredible, money-no-object opening ceremony of 2008, the costliest in Olympic history.
Boyle drew from Shakespeare, British pop culture, literature and music, and other sources of inspiration that will speak to - and perhaps at times baffle - not just Anglophiles but people across the globe.
But the highlight of the Oscar-winning director's 42 (m) million US Dollar show was pure movie magic, using trickery to make it seem that Britain's beloved 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II had parachuted from a helicopter into the stadium with film's most famous spy.
A helicopter was also used as Team GB entered the stadium, releasing 7 billion pieces of paper - representing every man, woman and child on earth - over the stadium.