There are plenty of different kinds of montages in the language of film, and they can fill you in on everything from the emotional state of your characters to a wacky makeover. So while a good montage sequence will explain everything you need to know in the most economical way possible, one of my favorite kinds is the "Rise to Power" montage -- which brings me to Scarface. I love Brian De Palma's crime opus for so many reasons, but I think when it comes to the art of the montage, I have a soft spot for cheese -- and it doesn't get much more pungent than Giorgio Moroder, the patron saint of 80's movie music.
By the time the power chords of Moroder and Paul Engemann's Push it To The Limit kicks in, we've already been watching Tony Montana work his way up the criminal ladder and this segment occurs after he has killed Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) and taken over as the head cocaine trafficker in Miami. This montage has it all: bags of money, weddings -- hell, there's even a tiger.
Sure, this montage is a little over the top, and you can see Tony's downfall coming from a mile away. In just over two minutes there are enough ominous glances that you just know things are not going to end well for our cocaine dynasty. So even though this sequence has every crime cliché front and center, remember, it isn't a cliché it you were the one to do it first.
After the jump: the rise of Tony Montana, and another Moroder movie classic...