Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Touch of Evil

I watched Touch of Evil tonight, while I was making jewelry and trying to figure out the whole Twitter thing. I'd forgotten how sinister and gritty and scary it is. Yes, it has Charlton Heston as a Hispanic, and that is scary enough. It has car bombs, narcotics, police corruption and perversity. It has Marlene Dietrich as an aging gypsy, Orson Welles as a portly police man and even Zsa Zsa Gabor as a show girl. It has this great quote: "Your future is all used up." Janet Leigh is kidnapped by a gang. Heck, it even has Dennis Weaver for comic effect as the night man at the seedy motel. It has the most gorgeous camera work, including that incredibly long opening tracking shot that just goes on and on and on for about four minutes.

I think it's Orson Welles' masterpiece. He wrote, directed, and co-starred in the movie. I can't imagine what audiences thought when they saw it in 1958, although I think the version seen then was a bit different, and a little tamer, than this restored version on DVD. Apparently, Universal edited and reshot parts of it without Welles' permission. His actual cut of the movie no longer exists, and you have to wonder what got tossed into the trash bin. . .

It's one of those movies that doesn't seem all that dated today. Wow. You know, the man only ever finished about a dozen movies. This is one of the best of all time. Now, THAT'S noir! If you like this sort of thing, and you haven't seen it, give it a go. Very good stuff.


  1. I've never heard of this movie.I'll try and get a hold of it.Charlton Heston as a Hispanic oh weird !!

  2. I promise you, if you like this kind of movie, it will surprise and delight you. Let me know if you like it.

  3. I just followed you on twitter! I find it a bit strange too to be honest... I much prefer blogs!!