Orson Welles är fantastisk som korrupt polis!
Wow. Orson Welles and Orson Welles remain the best actor-director pair of all time.
Orson Welles' abilities with the camera convey so much to the drama in each scene. Without any dialogue, the audience can determine who has the power and who "won" each interaction simply through camera movement, character movement, camera angle and camera placement.
Hank is constantly shot with a low angle to demonstrate how imposing and powerful he is. Then, during the dramatic scenes between Hank and Vargas, they are shot together and at an equal height to show equality, anger, suspense and unpredictability.
Eternal damnation to the wretch at Universal who printed the opening titles over the most brilliant establishing shot in film history—a shot that establishes not only place and main characters in its continuous movement over several city blocks, but also the film's theme (crossing boundaries), spatial metaphors, and peculiar bolero rhythm. Made in 1958, it was Orson Welles's last Hollywood film, and in it he makes transcendent use of the American technology his genius throve on; never again would his…
I love that having an incomprehensible plot has sort of become an honorary trope of noir. The Big Sleep, Chinatown, The Long Goodbye and Touch of Evil leap most readily to mind. The style is so pronounced and the characters so interesting/odd that you're able to still have an enjoyable experience despite being lost narratively. I guess it also says something about the moral ambiguity of the genre. The audience is even more lost in this mystery than the protagonist. Kinda hard to do the right thing when you don't know who is good and who is bad.
Sight & Sound challenge 23/250
This one's just okay for me. The plot is all over the place, Charleton Heston is the worst possible choice to play a Mexican (indeed, a few of the "Mexicans" are so clearly NOT), and I found myself giggling at, not with, this film more than a few times. What it really has going for it is the photography and the score. It's absolutely stunning to look at, all those shadows, and I love the use of pianola. Not perfect but not completely terrible.
Mean enough to steal from the blind.
Los Angeles Police Department: Coroner's Division
Victim's Name (Last, First): Noir, Film
Date of Birth: Unknown
Approximate Time Of Death: May 21, 1958
Description Of Corpse: The cadaver appears to have been styled to perfection. It has the physical characteristics of a butchered masterpiece, the kind of which has never been seen before. The victim appears to be made of an otherworldly visual pattern. There is a rhythm here, one that even a broken meter cannot entirely suppress. It is…
Horrible acting where every movement and inflection is exaggerated. It honestly makes it hard to follow what people are saying, you're so focused on how unnaturally they're saying it. But the hilariously misguided character attributes were fun, e.g., the fat cop (Welles) who talks like his face is half paralyzed, the perpetually nervous guy whose wide eyed expression and constant stuttering/fumbling subtly tip off that he has an anxious personality, and the blind girl with a conspicuous case of the stink eye. ACT BLINDER
Nota = 8
Masterful. Gets better with every rewatch
Janet Leigh looking great.
Orson Welles looking corpulent and rheumy (two adjectives I don't get to use too often).
And Charlton Heston looking, um, well-tanned.
An extended opening shot that goes on for three minutes. If Touch of Evil was a 300-page book that would be like the first sentence going on for 8 pages. It gets your attention.
Welles loved to shoot people from below here, which is interesting as it makes him look extra awful. The man may…
[Talking about the 1958 edited version]
An unexpectedly funny, sometimes even grotesque, film noir. Carried by a strong Charlton Heston who fills the screen with a single glare and lights up the atmosphere with his famous grin. And a puffy, Churchill-like Welles.
One of the most famous opening sequences of all time, and maybe the most talked about/studied sequence-shot of the history of cinema does not disappoint. Following the tic-tac-ing car on a big screen, between dolly and crane, is…