Orson Welles’ other masterpiece

TouchOfEvil1Movies like Touch of Evil (1958) make me feel sad for all those people who say they don’t watch classic movies. I always say to those heathens ‘you’re gonna regret it on your deathbed’. It’s right up there with not making peace with your sister and not having travelled more. This particular one, I genuinely think it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. And the opening scene, which is very, very famous and endlessly talked-about, deserves all the praise it gets. One single take, shot on a warm night in Venice, California, that ends with an explosion. It’s genius. But before you head to YouTube to watch it, DON’T. The movie is NOT on YouTube and you can’t watch the opening scene without watching the whole movie. So hang in there and get the DVD. Granted, most of you probably already have it. This movie is hugely popular and understandably so. It’s also one of the best-directed I’ve ever seen. They say you can tell when a movie is well-directed when you don’t even notice the direction, but, in this case, you can’t help but admire it. Every angle, every shadow and every little detail is on point. The plot is (purposely) almost as confusing as The Big Sleep (1946), but not quite. Charlton Heston plays a Mexican cop and Orson Welles plays an American cop. They’re both called to investigate a murder that took place in the Mexican-American border. Everyone tries to frame everyone else and Janet Leigh is caught in the middle of it. And everything falls into place in the end. It’s exquisite. Oh, and a very famous actress makes a cameo appearance. See if you can spot her.

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13 thoughts on “Orson Welles’ other masterpiece

  1. Belies the myth that Welles always went over budget and wasted time. Didn’t prevent the studio from making a mess during editing, but the good news is it was “restored” to Welles’ vision decades later, which is the version you should watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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