Sunday, June 28, 2009

Orson Welles, Big Shot: "Touch of Evil"

“Touch of Evil” opens with something you don’t see every day – especially from directors who’ve been weaned on TV commercials and music videos – a 3-1/2 minute opening shot. And it’s not just the length of the shot that makes it unusual. It’s that the camera moves continuously during those 3-1/2 minutes. It starts with a close-up, pulls out for a wide shot, dollies down the street, cranes over the buildings, floats back down, moves along with the traffic and pedestrians. The action and camera work are so perfectly choreographed that this scene alone is worth the price of admission. And it’s a great opening for this Orson Welles noir about corruption on the U.S./Mexican border. My Twitter review was more about the odd casting of Charlton Heston a Mexican. Here’s what I wrote: Crooked cop Orson Welles tangles with Mexican prosecutor Charlton Heston. His casting is among its many mysteries. 8 (out of 10)

The opening scene:

The trailer:

"Touch of Evil"

Released: 1958

Rating: NR

Length: 111 minutes

Cast: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia

Director: Orson Welles

Genre(s): Adaptation, Thriller

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