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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:00 am 
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Prince Judah
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Yeah, I agree with this-- Welles' character can be called both victim and villain. The final scene of confrontation between Chuck and Welles, where Welles is desperate to shoot him, really and ironically shows him as victimised, whereas Chuck stands upright at the revolver-point.

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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:45 pm 
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itsjudah24 wrote:
Yeah, I agree with this-- Welles' character can be called both victim and villain. The final scene of confrontation between Chuck and Welles, where Welles is desperate to shoot him, really and ironically shows him as victimised, whereas Chuck stands upright at the revolver-point.

Ironic indeed.

I'd be interested in hearing what Thorn and some of our fellow users think of my "Welles as villain & victim" theory.


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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Of course Thorn's opinion is much-valuable, and others' take on it , too. But as I recently re-watched, I can't conquer the temptation of adding another point which has occurred to me. The entire black-and-white picturisation can be very symbolic in such a movie about evil, mystery and corruption, and I feel that Welles has used that very intelligently. No character is absolutely 'white' throughout the movie. Only at the end, when Chuck, in order to pursue the victim-*** villain and record his every word, gets into the water, he is shown throwing off his black coat. And at the moment of the final confrontation, when Welles is going to shoot him, his unbuttoned white shirt becomes a symbol of humanity honest at least for one moment, stripped off its 'buttoned' or nicely covered hypocrisy. However, this is only my personal opinion.

Hope you, Thorn and others will not be offended at my over-enthusiasm.

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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:10 pm 
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[quote="itsjudah24"]Of course Thorn's opinion is much-valuable, and others' take on it , too. But as I recently re-watched, I can't conquer the temptation of adding another point which has occurred to me. The entire black-and-white picturisation can be very symbolic in such a movie about evil, mystery and corruption, and I feel that Welles has used that very intelligently. No character is absolutely 'white' throughout the movie. Only at the end, when Chuck, in order to pursue the victim-*** villain and record his every word, gets into the water, he is shown throwing off his black coat. And at the moment of the final confrontation, when Welles is going to shoot him, his unbuttoned white shirt becomes a symbol of humanity honest at least for one moment, stripped off its 'buttoned' or nicely covered hypocrisy. However, this is only my personal opinion.

Hope you, Thorn and others will not be offended at my over-enthusiasm.

Nah, that's an interesting insight I hadn't thought of before. And Welles was known to prefer black & white over color, since he felt it let audiences focus more on the emotions of the cast as opposed to get bogged down in taking in all that color - even though the world itself is literally not black and white. Filmmaker quirk? But in his case, and the film's case, it worked. Of course, some filmmakers were against the inclusion of sound because they thought artistically they thought it spoiled film as a purely visual medium - that and figuring out how to make sound work effectively was just so dang hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:48 am 
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Prince Judah
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Yeah, I watched most of this again during a Heston marathon (except for a 20-minute break in the middle) on TCM and this time I really tried to watch the actors closely - this was early in the morning for me just before dawn and seemed an ideal time to watch - and I picked up all these nuances in the performances; I gotta think that the b&w cinematography had much to do with it. There are all these moments when Heston's Vargas is going 'huh..?' or 'wha..?' in response to something Welles is mumbling; Welles' Quinlan, of course, does all this purposely to throw people off or just annoy them, and he seems to be pretty self-absorbed, in his own world, for the most part. Would I pick up all these things if it was in color..? I dunno. But, I think this is one of these films you have to watch closely or you just don't get too much out of it. As has been said, they just don't make'em like that anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:01 am 
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Prince Judah
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Heston briefly speaks about CITIZEN KANE -- the guy who made KANE later did TOUCH OF EVIL...

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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:31 pm 
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itsjudah24 wrote:
Yeah, I agree with this-- Welles' character can be called both victim and villain. The final scene of confrontation between Chuck and Welles, where Welles is desperate to shoot him, really and ironically shows him as victimised, whereas Chuck stands upright at the revolver-point.


There's another point about good and evil in this film that I gleaned in a review somewhere.

Quinlan was once a respected cop. After his wife's murder, he would do whatever it took to put the bad guys away; even if it meant planting evidence. So, now he is a corrupt cop.

Vargas is a pretty clean cut honest cop. When his wife is kidnapped, he goes on a rampage in a bar, kicking butts, shouting "I'm a husband now, not a cop!".

So we see that both men have been driven close to the edge because of harm to their wives. However, Vargas nabs Quinlan in a completely legal way. Why did Vargas keep everything legal while Quinlan went over the edge? Because Quinlan possessed something Vargas lacked: a Touch of Evil.


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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:29 am 
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Chuck says some interesting things about the making of the movie and about Orson Welles, I am quoting the relevant portions here. View the rest, if you please, from this link-- http://www.tipjar.com/dan/heston.htm

"Forty years later, Academy Award-winning editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient) has re-cut the movie to the director's specifications. Heston says the new version offers improvements. "We've been re-dubbed, so the sound is much better than when the film was made. In terms of the cutting, I think the most significant change is that glorious boom (or crane) shot that starts the picture. When Universal gave the picture its first release, which was pretty meager anyway, they put the opening credits over that boom shot. You could see the shot, and you could hear the dialogue, but it was very distracting. They eliminated (the credits). That boom shot is a classic. There's no shot like it in the movies," he states.

The 3-minute and 20-second shot, which glides up and down buildings as it follows an assassination attempt, is a legendary technical achievement. Many movies, such as The Player, Boogie Nights and Snake Eyes, have imitated it. While the scene is amazing to watch, Heston recalls it was Herculean to achieve. "Night shooting is like shooting on the water. You figure the most time, money and preparation it can possibly require; and double it. We all understood it was going to be squeaky to finish the whole scene in one night. We started rehearsing while the sun was still up. Laying out the shot and timing the moves was desperately complicated," he says.

"The shot that's printed is the last take. You can see the sky lightening in the background of the shot. By that time (the technicians) had it down slick, and my scene with Janet (Leigh) was quite simple. But the customs officer, who was a bit player, of course, had two lines. He consistently flubbed them, which is understandable because the shot started at least a long block away. And finally, the last time Orson said to him, 'Let's do one more take, and this time don't worry about the lines. Just move your lips. But for God's sake don't say, 'I'm sorry Mr. Welles,'" he says.

If the movie's bizarre visuals may have endangered Welles' control of the picture, Heston says that Welles himself may have been partly to blame for the unwanted revisions. He recalls, "All that preparation was something he loved doing and was very good at it. It is also, I fear, true that after he had finished shooting and editing his first director's cut, his mind worked so quickly that I think he tended to lose interest. The late stages of post-production on a film indeed gets quite boring. It's highly technical work. I've directed a few pictures myself, and it's all you can do to keep from falling asleep. I think it's what got Orson into his confrontation with the studio."

Welles went to Mexico to work on Don Quixote (which he never completed), unaware the studio bosses found his director's cut confusing. "I was on another picture at the time. I got a call from the studio, and they said, 'Do you know how to get in touch with Orson?' You cannot just walk off a picture. That was a big mistake. I think there are those who say Orson was fired. That's not true. If they had fired him, they wouldn't have called me."

If the arguments with the studio may have marred the experience, Heston says that Welles still taught him valuable lessons. Heston's deep, resonant voice can be heard in everything from beer commercials to the opening frames of this summer's Armageddon. Working with Welles helped him develop that voice. Heston remembers, "He said, 'Chuck, you know those of us with these deep, booming bass voices, we tend to wallow around the bass range. You should develop your tenor range. You don't need to worry about the bass; it makes its point.' That was a very valuable piece of advice."

"It is easy to affirm that Heston still admires his one-time director. Speaking with the man who once brought Moses to life can be intimidating. When nervously addressed as "Mr. Welles" at the end of this interview, he chuckled and graciously replied, "I'm flattered."

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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:02 am 
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Prince Judah
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Heston speaks about Orson Welles and TOUCH OF EVIL, from 1983:


There's a website address there at the end where you can listen to the full interview, among others.


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 Post subject: Re: Touch of Evil
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:58 am 
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Prince Judah
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In this clip from 1982, which is mostly Orson Welles speaking, Heston shows up briefly to speak positively about Welles (based on his work on TOUCH OF EVIL) in comparison to the over-spending done by filmmakers like Spielberg! I found this to be amusing - Heston, as usual, is blunt and tells it like it is:
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