You learn something new about your movie tastes when you're writing about them every single day. I'm realizing that most of my favorite montages don't come from the 1980s, but are historical recreations of one kind or another. (Even now, there's one hovering in my bookmarks because I can't decide whether it's a montage or a credits report. You'll see it eventually, I'm sure.) Today's montage is from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and has to be one of the most unusual because it's done entirely through still sepia photographs. It's a wonderful sequence, and the photos of Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katharine Ross would look at home in your western history museum. For a bunch of photos, it feels incredibly animated by the endless fun Butch and Sundance are having, clearly enjoying the fact that they're wanted men who can go unnoticed in a crowd as they party their way to Bolivia. Try looking at it through the lens of our celebrity drenched culture, because it really seems to hint at a future when Butch and Sundance would have been as obsessively photographed as Brangelina. The clothes might be outdated and the color might be sepia, but any one of these shots would look at home on Just Jared or Perez Hilton.
The best thing about this sequence is that it was created out of accident and necessity. Director George Roy Hill assumed that when it came time to film the New York sequences, he'd be able to use the sets from Hello, Dolly! as it was filming right next door. But 20th Century Fox denied them permission as they wanted to keep the sets a secret. So Hill just photographed the actors posing on set, and spliced them together with hundreds of historical photos. The result was much more interesting than just having them wander around a sound stage, don't you think?