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Interrogation Montage

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Sometimes, when the police are trying to solve a case and a large number of suspects and/or persons of interest are being interrogated (or perhaps simply interviewed), the questioner is shown getting an answer from one person, then asking a follow-up question that gets answered by an entirely different person (suggesting they are merely asking the same series of questions over and over again), which causes a seamless blending effect.

Compare Terrible Interviewees Montage, Two Scenes, One Dialogue.


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    Comic Books 

    Film — Animated 
  • Batman and Harley Quinn. Nightwing goes round showing a picture of Harley.
    Man: Haven't seen her.
    Bum: Would have liked to!
    Landlord: Dame owes me three weeks back rent! If you find her, you tell her she can eat my sh—
    Old man: Sheee had...the cutest smile.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Used as a Running Gag in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, when Simon uses Speak With Dead to magically question some barbarians' corpses about the battle in which they'd fallen. As the Macguffin the party seeks had changed hands repeatedly during the fight, he has to revive dozens of dead men before finally learning where it ended up.
  • In Hangmen Also Die!, this is used when the Gestapo interrogates the members of the Novotny family about the mysterious Mr. "Karel Vanek".
  • A Haunting in Venice. Poirot and Ariadne interrogate two sibling assistants of the murdered spiritualist separately, yet the interrogation is intercut between them. The brother is shown to believe in their former employer's powers while his sister dismisses her as a fraud and manipulator.
  • In Inside Man, the bank robbers hide themselves among their hostages, so the police have to interview all the hostages afterwards. The interviews are shown as a series of montages, sprinkled throughout the movie anachronically.
  • Major Grom: Plague Doctor has a montage of the Cowboy Cop roughing up various hoodlums for information, culminating in a guy in a Hazmat Suit who's on fire for unknown reasons. Our hero casually points out a nearby fire extinguisher to his rookie partner so he can put the fire out.
  • Muppets Most Wanted reaches the logical conclusion of an interrogation song, when the Muppets are framed for an art museum theft. Overlapping with Terrible Interviewees Montage, the Muppets prove their innocence by showing they wouldn't be capable of committing the crime with their chaotic shenanigans.
  • Used along with overlapping and split screen in Stargate: Continuum to show the three Stargate team members from our universe being relentlessly interrogated by military investigators from the other universe they've been diverted to (where Stargate Command and the Stargate program do not exist). That they stick to their stories despite how ludicrous they sound only makes their assertions seem that much weirder to the interrogators—and to us in the audience (and we're on their side).
  • The Usual Suspects: The interrogations of the team before the famous "line-up scene", where they successively blow off the cops.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter: In "SNAFU", three SSR agents interrogate Peggy Carter separately, each using a different approach — Sousa (betrayed colleague), Thompson (Fire-Forged Friend), Dooley (Worthy Opponent). Carter's answers are cut between the three of them, but form a single dialogue.
  • American Horror Story: Asylum inverts this in "The Coat Hanger". A small number of officials, plus the Monsignor and Dr. Arden, question Leigh about why Sister Jude would try to kill him. The truth is that she did it in self-defense, and it's all part of an ongoing ploy to keep Jude out of power in the asylum.
  • Arrow: A variation in "Damaged" when Oliver Queen is getting a polygraph test from Detective Lance over whether he is the Hood vigilante, intercut with a flashback of Oliver being interrogated and tortured on Lian Yu.
    Quentin: Are you the man in this picture? [shows Oliver a police sketch of the Hood]
    [Ironic Echo Cut to flashback of the island]
    Fyers: Where can I find the man in this picture? [shows photo of Yao Fei]
  • Bosch:
    • Season 4 episode 3 has one when Robertson and Pierce are respectively interviewing Pipes and Fix to get their whereabouts at the time of Howard Elias's death.
    • Season 5 episode 2 has one when Billets is getting Crate's and Barrel's stories about their vehicular collision with another patrol car while responding to a deadly pharmacy robbery. The scene starts with her interviewing Crate, and ends with her interview of Barrel.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Castle:
    • In "Deep in Death", Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito simultaneously interrogate three members of a drug gang about a murder.
    • In "A Rose for Everafter", a murder occurs at a wedding and there are several montages of the detectives interrogating the wedding guests.
  • Daredevil (2015). The jury selection montage for the Frank Castle trial, showing how the city is divided between those who think he's a heroic vigilante and those who regard him as a murderous nutter.
  • Dark Matter (2015): As the Android is a Living Lie Detector, the crew have her ask everyone a series of test questions to determine if one of them is only pretending to have had their memories wiped.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Unicorn and the Wasp", the Doctor asks a number of dinner guests about the death of Professor Peach, in a manner much like the novels of Agatha Christie (who is a major supporting character in this episode).
  • Occurs in the Dollhouse episode "A Spy In the House of Love" when Echo is interrogating the Dollhouse employees.
  • Firefly: In "Bushwhacked", seven of the Serenity crew are arrested, resulting in a truly hilarious game of this — especially given that half of them are reacting comically, and the other half are being excessively serious.
  • A variation in the Freaks and Geeks episode "The Diary" - Coach Fredericks has all the boys in gym class recite the prank call Bill made the previous day. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Downplayed in the 2020 miniseries The Head with a montage of the psychological evaluations of the winterers of an Antarctic research station. It serves as a Happy Flashback given that the audience has seen them all turning on each other in mutual suspicion after several murders take place.
  • JAG: The episode "JAG TV" has a scene like this, with Mac interviewing the husband and Harm with the wife suspected of killing her husband's lover.
  • Lucifer (2016). When an ex-lover of Lucifer's is murdered, Detective Chloe Decker decides to haul in everyone he's slept with recently for questioning (which is a lot of men and women). They all end up saying the same thing: the sex was amazing, various Noodle Implements were involved, and It Doesn't Mean Anything. Lucifer isn't as pleased as he ought to be.
  • Used in an episode of NCIS in which several members of an insurgent-fighting marine unit use suspiciously identical phrases to recount the events of the same skirmish.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: In "Free Ride", Callen does this to a sailor and a Marine in the brig for fighting in the mess, in hopes of finding clues about the murder of the carrier's resident NCIS Agent Afloat.
  • A comedic example of this occurs in The Office (US) where Dwight interrogates the employees of Dunder Mifflin over a joint found in the parking lot. Of course, it ends with Jim taking the piss.
  • Person of Interest:
    • "Prisoner's Dilemma" has one between Carter and four men (including Reese) who are suspected to be the Man In The Suit.
    • And again in "Proteus", involving a seismograph used as a lie detector.
    • "Terra Incognita" has a montage of the same suspect being interrogated by two different questioners, one in flashback and one in the present.
  • The Professionals. In "Private Madness Public Danger" between Cowley and Doyle interrogating a drug pusher at CI5 headquarters, and Bodie questioning one of his junkies at the hospital.
  • The TV movie Pueblo moves between the US Navy's court of inquiry into the capture of the Spy Ship USS Pueblo, and flashbacks of the crew's interrogation by their North Korean captors.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Coming of Age", this technique is used when Remmick aggressively interrogates various members of the Enterprise bridge crew, while attempting to uncover a mysterious conspiracy.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?", Dr Zimmerman wants to create a medical hologram based on Doctor Bashir, so he interviews Bashir's friends and workmates to get a handle on his personality.
  • Near the end of the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part Two", Captain Pike and his officers are debriefed after the Battle of Xahea. Their answers to the admiral's questions make it clear that they took the time to get their stories straight and hide the truth about what really happened to Discovery.
  • Supernatural. In "First Blood", the Winchester brothers have been arrested and since no-one would believe them anyway, they just maintain an absolute silence. The FBI agent's speech is rendered as a single dialogue, with him cutting between Sam and Dean whom he's interrogating in separate cells.
  • In an episode of Titus the gang got thrown off a plane when they were Mistaken for Terrorist. Most of the next episode was an Interrogation Montage of the True Companions, all speaking to a Fourth Wall Federal Marshall.
  • The X-Files: In one episode, Mudler and Scully are interrogating two girls in separate rooms about a suspicious death, but they both tell the same story. Exactly the same story.


Video Example(s):


Usual Suspects

The film, "The Usual Suspects" introduces its character through an interrogation montage narrated by one of the characters.

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Main / InterrogationMontage

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