Showing posts with the label Touch of Evil

Return to Hollywood: Touch of Evil (1958)

Marking Welles’s return to the U.S. as a director after a few movies produced in Europe, Touch of Evil was originally entitled Badge of Evil after the Whit Masterson novel from which it was adapted. Welles played the supporting role of Police Captain Hank Quinlan, while Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh starred as Mike and Susan Vargas. Along for the ride were Joseph Calleia and Akim Tamiroff. Welles wanted to shoot a large segment of Touch of Evil in Tijuana, but thinking of the debacle in Rio de Janeiro stemming from the shooting of the never-released It’s All True, Universal forbade it. As for the script, Charlton Heston says that Welles “took what was a very routine police story, the kind they do on television, on Hill Street Blues or something, and gave it what distinction it had. That was entirely his.” Welles had learned from shooting Citizen Kane that studios sometimes planted a spy or two among ostensible crew members, so he endeavored, in returning to stateside directi

Orson Welles Film Noir

Film noir is usually thought of as a style marked by a thematic focus on gritty crime, with crooked detectives and colorful criminals, and black and white compositions with harsh shadows and streetlights falling across the characters at sharp angles. Welles’ film noir moments came in a few of his projects, particularly those early and midway through his career. One familiar with Citizen Kane can see that the classic does embody some of the stylistic traits noted above, and because of this, it can be said to have influenced the genre. Lady From Shanghai would mark Welles’ directorial foray into elements of noir. One noir trait it embodies is the fall guy and femme fatale paradigm, with Michael O’Hara (Welles) as the former and Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) as the latter. The film also has an air of hopelessness, of the main characters stepping into webs from which they won’t be able to escape, that is a trait of the noir. However, what links Welles most to film noir here