Created By: Waterlily on October 25, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on May 28, 2017

Violence vs. Non Violence Montage

A scene of a violent act is intercut with scenes of a non violent act

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Needs a Better Description, Needs a Better Title,

Sometimes, in order for a violent scene to look even more devastating, a filmmaker will choose to contrast it with a happy, peaceful and otherwise non violent scene in the form of a montage. These are scenes that typically celebrate life and can be a birth, a wedding or somebody singing among other things.

Compare Birth/Death Juxtaposition.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • One episode of Death Note has Misa singing a hymn intercut with montages of the people she's killing off as the second Kira to deflect suspicion from Light.

Film
  • The end of The Godfather has one of the most famous examples as scenes of Michael's enemies being killed is intercut with his nephew's baptism.
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, the title character goes on a rampage across London while his true love Mina gets married.
  • In The Lord of the Rings film, a battle between Orcs and the armies of Gondor is intercut with a scene of Denethor eating while Pippin sings him a song. Also involves Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • The sequel to The Blair Witch Project opens with scenes of the main characters setting out into the woods intercut with scenes of people being ritualistically murdered.
  • Elizabeth has a scene toward the end where as Elizabeth is becoming secure as Queen, looking elegant, etc, her Spymaster Walshingham and his men are killing her enemies one by one.
  • In The Fifth Element, the opera scene is intercut with Leeloo's fight.
  • In Quantum of Solace, Bond's fight scenes against the Quantum mooks are juxtaposed against a performance of Tosca.
  • There's one part in Schindler's List where Amon Goeth's violent beating of Helen Hirsch is interspersed with scenes from a party that Oskar Schindler is attending as well as a makeshift wedding in a concentration camp between two prisoners.
  • In Clear and Present Danger, Greer's military - style funeral is occuring at the same time that the operatives in Columbia are being ambushed and gunned down, and the film cuts back and forth between the scenes.
  • Played with in Deep Impact Both scenes are gentle, but one is Leo's wedding; the other is Jenny's Mother dolling herself up so she leaves a pretty corpse when she commits suicide.

Live-Action TV
  • The soap opera General Hospital has done a few of these:
    • A mother sings a lullaby to her baby daughter while mobsters go after various major characters.
    • A mob boss's pregnant wife is killed by a car bomb while the woman he truly loves marries another man.
  • In the Firefly episode "Safe", a shootout during a deal gone south is played alongside River dancing.
  • There's been a couple of instances in Boardwalk Empire where Nucky gives a nice speech that's intercut with scenes of his dirty work being carried out.
  • There's also a famous example in Babylon 5 that cuts between a multi-faith congregation singing a gospel song and dozens of Narns beating the life out of Lord Refa as the music continues in the background.

Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • October 25, 2011
    Ninjat126
  • October 25, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    • In the Firefly episode "Safe", a shootout during a deal gone south is played alongside River dancing.
  • October 25, 2011
    Bisected8
    • One episode of Death Note has Misa singing a hymn intercut with montages of the people she's killing off as the second Kira to deflect suspicion from Light.
    • The sequel to The Blair Witch Project opens with scenes of the main characters setting out into the woods intercut with scenes of people being ritualistically murdered.
  • October 25, 2011
    Waterlily
    This is disappointingly averted in Godfather Part III. As soon as Michael's son announced that he would be performing in an opera, I eagerly awaited a climax where the opera would be intercut with scenes of mob violence. Instead, the violent climax happened afterwards (I think, it wasn't very memorable).
  • October 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    re the Good Cop Bad Cop example: is the partner having sex with the policeman's sister or his own?
  • October 25, 2011
    Waterlily
    He's having sex with his partner's sister. I thought it would seem too wordy and unnecessary. I guess not. I'll change it.
  • October 25, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    Death Note is not live action. It's anime. Also, you forgot the link for Firefly.
  • October 25, 2011
    Jordan
    Elizabeth has a scene toward the end where as Elizabeth is becoming secure as Queen, looking elegant, etc, her Spymaster Walshingham and his men are killing her enemies one by one.

    There's been a couple of instances in Boardwalk Empire where Nucky gives a nice speech that's intercut with scenes of his dirty work being carried out.
  • October 26, 2011
    fulltimeD
    In "Kobol's Last Gleaming," the Season One finale of Battlestar Galactica, the show opens with a mostly wordless montage of various characters, prominently including Starbuck and Baltar having sex, intercut with Bill and Lee Adama sparring.

    There's also a famous example in Babylon Five that cuts between a multi-faith congregation singing a gospel song and dozens of Narns beating the life out of Lord Refa as the music continues in the background.
  • October 26, 2011
    Waterlily
    I've seen this referred to as a Godfather Montage and I was originally going to give it that name but then I saw that we aren't supposed to name tropes after examples. Does anybody have any ideas for a better title?
  • October 27, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^^^ there is a Live Action film of Death Note.
  • October 27, 2011
    Falco
    Film, two At The Opera Tonight examples:
  • October 27, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    ^^ A) It was listed under Live Action TV. B) I think everyone can agree that Death Note is, at its core, a manga. Regardless of adaptions.
  • October 28, 2011
    Fanra
    These are scenes that typically celebrate life and can be a birth, a wedding or a sexual act among other things.

    Seen It A Million Times with the sexual act. Frankly, I've wondered what kind of strange sexual problems so many directors/writers/people have that they have to so often inter-cut sex with violence.

    I think that deserves its own trope, it's so common.
  • October 28, 2011
    Waterlily
    I was thinking that too. Maybe it should be two seperate tropes: one for sexual acts and the other for everything else.
  • October 29, 2011
    fulltimeD
    If that becomes its own trope it needs to be called Sex And Violence.
  • October 29, 2011
    yrrw
    Could this be called 'To flee or not to flee?'
  • October 29, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Played with in Deep Impact Both scenes are gentle, but one is Leo's wedding; the other is Jenny's Mother dolling herself up so she leaves a pretty corpse when she commits suicide.
  • October 29, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    film:
    • In Clear And Present Danger, Greer's military - style funeral is occuring at the same time that the operatives in Columbia are being ambushed and gunned down, and the film cuts back and forth between the scenes.
  • October 29, 2011
    ThreeferFAQMinorityChick
    There's one part in Schindlers List where Amon Goeth's violent beating of Helen Hirsch is interspersed with scenes from a party that Oskar Schindler is attending as well as a makeshift wedding in a concentration camp between two prisoners.
  • November 18, 2012
    Waterlily
    I finally updated it like I planned. I also split the sex and violence montage into its own trope because I realized that they really do give different emotional reactions. However, it turned out that it has already been done.
  • November 18, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^ Actually it hasn't--Interplay Of Sex And Violence seems to give a lot of examples involving one scene where characters alternate between lovemaking and violence as part of the same act (or acts of violent lovemaking)--not a montage of separate scenes.
  • September 4, 2016
    DAN004
  • September 30, 2016
    MonaNaito
    We do have the sex-and-violence-specific montage, it's Coming And Going.
  • October 2, 2016
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Changed media section titles to All Caps.
      • Namespaced work names.
  • May 28, 2017
    Getta
    I recall this happening in some manga (especially shonen ones) but I can't recall further...
  • May 28, 2017
    NightShade96
    This involves Mood Whiplash.
  • May 28, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Violence/Non-Violence Juxtaposition
  • May 28, 2017
    TheFarmboy
    Video Games:

    • Team Fortress 2: The trailer "Meet the Pyro" has the Pyro go on a rampage by burning down a village and butchering the BLU team that was there. However it sometimes cuts into the Pyro's psyche as it shows him playing with babyfied versions of the BLU team while spreading joy.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=l132kli4nt5pte5qpxtxtqhr