Lent: Part 22

Touch of Evil (1958, 1998 edit) – To clarify, what I watched was the 1998 edit based on Orson Welles’s lengthy memo to the studio detailing what they’d done wrong with his vision. More information on what was changed and why can be found here.

Knowing what the studio changed in their edit, I’m glad I watched the reconstruction. It was slow in places, and I know I would have very quickly lost interest with what the studio thought would be a good story line. At least the studio can’t undo the beautiful cinematography.

And of course we’re going to talk about Charleton Heston playing a Mexican. Being in black and white, we were at least spared the full horrors of one of Hollywood’s whitest men caked in bronzer. He had clearly been… darkened, but color would have made the effect worse. Still, if there’s someone who can get a decent performance out of Heston, I guess it’s Orson Welles.

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