• ScreeningNotes

    ★★★★★

    "Across the border again..."

    Everybody knows Touch of Evil for its three-and-a-half-minute opening long take, used to establish the film's location on the U.S.-Mexican border, but arguably the most important part of this shot is the way it ends. The first cut in the film brings together two images: the Mexican narcotics officer Miguel Vargas and his American wife Susie kissing, and the explosion of a car bomb planted at the beginning of the scene. This visual juxtaposition clearly illustrates…

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  • ScreeningNotes

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    That slow pull into Charlton Heston's face as he watches Joseph Calleia discover the evidence Orson Welles planted, the evidence they both know must have been planted, instead of focusing the camera on the evidence itself. This shot, and the way it silently depicts the crucial shift in Heston's character—a shift which is never again noted or commented on, but which forms the entirely of his motivation—merely by pointing the camera away from the action, this is pure cinema.

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