Monday, 14 May 2018

A perfect pairing of sound & vision. The bridge ambush from The Untouchables.

What do you get if you cross Brian De Palma's directorial brilliance with Ennio Morricone's musical genius?

You get this scene below.

Eliot Ness and his gang of "untouchable" treasury agents are out to get Al Capone by chipping away at his bootleg alcohol business until they realise they can just arrest him for income tax evasion instead. In this scene they find themselves at the U.S/Canada border to intercept an illegal shipment of Canadian whiskey on it's way into the hands of the Chicago Mob. They are also out to capture Capone's book-keeper recording the transaction.  Working in hand with the Canadian mounted police they are waiting for the exact right time to ambush. Those pesky Mounties have other ideas though.

Morricone's low-key score is just great, letting the tension and suspense slowly build until inevitably things go arseways. Then it becomes GLORIOUS. The moment a gangster film becomes a western for a few minutes. East meets West and the maestro's score evoking dozens of moments of western heroism from past films. Just minutes before this we've seen Capone murder an underling with a baseball bat and moments after this we see an already dead man mutilated with a gun in an effort to coerce a confession. This though is a moment of pure escapism in a film full of darkness. Wish fulfillment at it's finest. It's a scene that brings back the memories of the westerns you used to watch with your parents and grandparents. It's fist in the air stuff. And it's a perfect pairing of sound and music.

Go on. Dig out the film and watch it again. It's still magnificent.

Previous pairings

Dazed And Confused  
Grosse Point Blank
Mean Streets
Watership Down
Jackie Brown
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
The Omen
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Mission

Before Sunset
Carlito's Way
A Knight's Tale
Before Sunrise
An American Werewolf In London
Dazed And Confused
Boogie Nights
Raging Bull
Almost Famous
Once Upon A Time In The West

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