Movie Analysis: Touch of Evil

Topics: Film noir, Orson Welles, Touch of Evil Pages: 4 (1299 words) Published: May 10, 2005
Touch of Evil

Director: Orson Welles
Producers: Rick Schmidlin, Albert Zugsmith
Director of Photography: Russel Metty
Writer: Orson Welles
Editor : Aaron Stell, Walter Murch
Poduction Designer/ Art Director: Robert Clatworkth
Alexander Golitzen

AVF 10 –

In Orson Welles' classic film noir production Touch of Evil, a Mexican police officer named Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston), becomes the target of an American police officer named Hank Quinlin (Orson Welles), when Vargas attempts to expose Quinlin framing a murder suspect. Quinlin, a celebrity among police officers has become corrupt in his practices and is willing to go any lengths including committing murder to uphold his reputation. Vargas is an honest man who faces Quinlin's corruption to protect the rights of the accused. In doing so, he puts his wife in danger, who ends up the victim of a plot against Vargas. Although Vargas appears to be the hero, the viewer experiences frustration with his character due to his negligence concerning his wife. Caught between the accuser and the accused, American deputy Pete Menzies (Joseph Calleia) is loyal to Quinlin but later helps Vargas when the truth is revealed.

The tension between Mike Vargas and Hank Quinlin begins very early in the film. The scene in which the two meet for the first time, at the scene of the explosion, establishes Quinlin as a well-respected man whose appearance is larger than life. Quinlin's arrival to the scene is much awaited based on the conversation between the other officers. When Quinlin finally does arrive the camera immediately jumps from one mans line which is shot at eye level, to a shot of Quinlin exiting his car from very low to the ground, accentuating his size. Quinlin is shot from below in this way for the majority of the film.

The scene edits back and forth from the scene of the explosion to Vargas' wife who has been led into danger following her dismissal to the hotel. The fact that...
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