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aka: Montage

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"Show lot of things happenin' at once
Remind everyone of what's goin' on.
And with every shot show a little improvement
To show it all would take too long.
That's called a montage!
Ooh, we wanna montage!"

A montage (literally "putting together") is a form consisting of a series of short shots which are edited into a coherent sequence. Or at least coherence was intended.

Note that it takes more than a lack of dialogue and some overlaid music to be a montage. Montage is generally considered to be the opposite of continuity editing, so discontinuity is key. If the shots are short, but one flows into the next in real time, it's not a montage, it's just a tense scene.

Not to be confused with a Motif, although a motif may crop up here if a certain type of image is repeated. See also Scenes.



  • Experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner's films, such as A Movie and Report, are full of Montages (as are Arthur Lipsett and others).
  • Award-winning short film Precious Images is one long montage from beginning to end, being a compilation of all of cinema history as presented in a collage of film clips.
  • Frank Film, the Oscar winning animated short from Frank Mouris using cut-outs from old magazines.
  • American surrealist master Joseph Cornell's Rose Horbart, The Aviary and By Night with Torch and Spear.
  • Koyaanisqatsi, or Life Out of Balance all in one Montage.
  • Sergei Eisenstein, if he didn't invent the montage at least perfected it.
    • One particular sequence, in October (also known as Ten Days the Shook the World), 1928, there is a sequence where single frames of the muzzle of a machine gun and of the gunner are alternated. There is also a sequence which violates part of the given definition, where shots of three stone lions in different positions appear as a single statue spring to its feet.
    • Also check out The Battleship Potemkin (its infamous Odessa Steps sequence listed above).
    • Strike ends with shots of the striking workers being massacred intercut with a graphic film clip of a cow being slaughtered.
  • An example that doesn't really fit in any of the sub categories (though its close to Slapstick) is a Seinfeld episode where George is believed to be handicapped at his new job, and goes through a montage while "My Baby Takes The Morning Train" plays, showing him accidentally tripping a coworker with his cane, being carried by another, and then goofing off sword-fighting with his cane until caught-he throws the cane down and acts like he's injured.
  • Special mention: Homestar Runner spoofed these in the Strong Bad Email "montage". After a fan asked him if he could "creat a montage" (sic), Strong Bad did four montages, all involving a "wagon fulla pancakes". One had Strong Bad and the wagon just hanging out, another had Strong Bad falling in love with the Wagon Fulla Pancakes, the third had The Cheat and the Wagon Fulla Pancakes as "down-on-their-luck door-to-door salesmen", and the last one was a Training Montage with the Wagon Fulla Pancakes "training for the champeenship" and besting Homestar. And to top it all off, he did an end credits Photo Montage, complete with captions out of a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
    Strong Bad: Those were some good montages, eh Watered Down? That was like, a montage of montages.
  • The biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers is rife with these: a Time-Compression Montage charting his rise to U.K. film stardom, a Falling-in-Love Montage for his courtship of Britt Ekland, a Madness Montage when she leaves him that becomes a Time-Compression Montage (the film moves from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s), a Happier Home Movie sequence, and finally an Anger Montage (burning his old film memorabilia) intercut with a version of Writer's Block Montage (trying to find the character of Chance the Gardener). Whew!
  • The films of Fernando Meirelles feature many montage sequences.
  • Robot Chicken manages to create the Anthropomorphic Personification of the montage as... the superhero, Montage!
  • This Cracked article contains the outline for a quite a few.
  • Both The Simpsons and Futurama use musical montages all the time, usually with licensed songs.
  • The Sound of Music has two montages involving Maria and the children: one following "My Favorite Things," and another that makes the endless repeats of "Do-Re-Mi" considerably less boring.
  • Arrested Development episode "Making a Stand" has two sequences which parody musical montages. In the first, the narrator complains that even with music over the top, the sequence of images wasn't funny; he says it would have been better with "Yellow Submarine", but they couldn't afford that. The second montage has similar complaints from the narrator and a cheaper song about a yellow boat.
  • The literal Montage number from A Chorus Line stitches together 4 songs to tell 17 dancers' adolescences.
  • Ultra Fast Pony frequently uses and spoofs montages.
    • The episode "Winning" has the caption: "Montages... for when I'm too lazy to write anything."
    • Then "Saying Words" has this one:
    Rarity: Oh, Opalescence, today has not been my day. Why, not even a montage would cheer me up.
    [The first notes of "Becoming Popular" play.]
    Rarity: Whoa whoa whoa whoa, hey, hey stop the music! What are you doing? I told you a montage wouldn't work!
  • For Lupin III: Dead or Alive, we are treated to an information gathering montage as Olèander tries to find out if Pannish is really alive or not. The audience hears a nice walking song, while Olèander spends all day searching the city. She starts from the market, but by the end of the day, she's walking around in the shady parts of the city.
  • In Irrelevator there is a poop/fart montage.
  • In Fiorello!, a newsreel summarizes Fiorello's exploits as a pilot in World War I
  • Chuck Workman won an Oscar for Precious Images[1], a Film Montage Of Awesome.
  • Guy Ritchie's anachronistic take on the legend of King Arthur has plenty of montages, including Training Montage, Hard-Work Montage, Travel Montage, Unfolding Plan Montage, and Time-Compression Montage.
  • Main Street Meats: Late in the movie, we're shown a montage of Neddy killing people, and their bodies being fed through a meat grinder.
  • Playing With Dolls: After settling into the house, Cindy decides to try out the various outfits she finds in the closet (which she was told belonged to the houses previous caretaker).
  • Christmas Blood: There's a montage in the movie that cuts between the main group having fun at Julie's house, and Detective Terje investigating the Santa killer.
  • Ghost Lab (2021): At one point, we see a montage of Dr. Gla interviewing people about their encounters with ghosts, and going to supposedly haunted places looking for ghosts.


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Alternative Title(s): Montage


Previously on Farscape

The season four finale begins with a montage spanning the entire show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / PreviouslyOn

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