35 – Touch of Evil (1958)


Director: Orson Welles Starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich Running time: 95 mins

Subject: ToE done gawn wrote the book on film noir. Think shadowy exchanges, trilbied figures, sultry women, swarthy criminals, clunky technology, smooth lines and hard-bitten men trying to do right in a no good, lousy world. Half-bake then add a jaunty Mancini score and sprinkle with hysterically comic moments.

Is Orson Welles wearing a fat suit? No. His blancmange-like physicality is home-made. Yet mock ye not for every last pound helps create the walking tragedy that is Police Captain Hank Quinlan

Special mention goes to: Marlene Dietrich’s seen-it-all before madam, Tana, with fortune-teller make-up and the very best lines. Here she is delivering some bad news to Orson Welles.

Like: Whaddayoo mean “like”? Other films are like ToE  (not to be confused with “toe” – one of ten digits to be found in the general foot area).

Core truth: Janet Leigh needs to stop visiting eerie motels.


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