Friday, May 8, 2009

TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)

“Nobody gets justice. People get only good luck or bad luck.”
- Orson Wells

It’s undoubtedly one of the classic film-noir thriller made by Orson Wells. Everything about the film is topnotch- contriving plot, dark seedy setting, powerful and corrupt villain, brilliant black and white cinematography and catchy background score. Watch the captivating single shot take in the very beginning of the film which ends with bomb explosion or the last climax scene, you will realize the original craft of Wells in each frame of film making way ahead of its time.

Wells has done double masterwork in the film. As a Screenplay writer and Director who have left not a single technical aspect of the film shoddy or imperfect. And his one of the memorable villain act as fat corrupt cop named Quinlan. His portrayal of Quinlan is one of the darkest, lousy, corrupt; power struggling ugly fat cop still looks impressive after so many years. The film also has huge Hollywood veteran star of two timeless epics- Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Marlene Dietrich in guest appearance.

Make sure you get the original first cut version of the film edited by Orson Wells which Universal studio has re-edited later on. Orson Wells wrote 58 page memo to the studio with earnest plea to keep the film as director’s visual pattern since he had paid long hard days of work for its making. The film is restored in original Director’s uncut version.

It’s always hard luck to get popular success for the genius Directors and same can be applicable in the long creative career of Wells as most of his films never get box-office success but his contribution to the world of cinema will always remain at par with Hitchcock or any other master filmmaker.

Must watch for all Orson Wells fans and ‘film-noire’ lovers.

Ratings- 8/10

1 comment:

Vikram said...

This is my second most favorite Orson Welles movie along with The Magnificent Ambersons and after Citizen Kane of course. Orson Welles made Citizen Kane in 1941 and no other filmmaker including himself have been able to surpass it in terms of cinematic brilliance. But this movie was shot on a very very low budget but the output produced by Welles is superb. Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh are a revelation but Orson Welles as the ned neck corrupt cop steals the show. And do take a note of the three-and-half-minute-long opening shot.