(6.11) Who booked this honeymoon? Attention budding cineastes, do not arrive late for tonight’s installment of Movies on the Block, the 1958 Orson Welles thriller “Touch of Evil” with its famous 3.5 minute opening sequence, a much-discussed tracking shot in film geek circles. The NYT reviewer raved about every aspect of Welles’ film-making achievement.
Any other competent director might have culled a pretty good, well-acted melodrama from such material, with the suspense dwindling as justice begins to triumph (as happens here). Mr. Welles’ is an obvious but brilliant bag of tricks. Using a superlative camera (manned by Russell Metty) like a black-snake whip, he lashes the action right into the spectator’s eye. . . .
The entire unsavory supporting cast is excellent, including such people as Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff and Ray Collins. Marlene Dietrich, as an incidental “guest star,” wisely advises Mr. Welles to “lay off the candy bars.”
7:30pm, Thursday, June 11, Grant’s Block, Westminster Street at Union, (directions)