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A Touch of Evil


Everyone talks about Orson Welles' first film, "Citizen Kane" as if that were his great masterpiece. I'm not denying Citizen Kane is a good film - and no doubt it caused a stir at the time and has a place in film history for using novel techniques, etc. etc, but there is also no denying it is rather self-conscious and laboured.

"A Touch of Evil", on the other hand, just grabs you with the opening shot - and doesn't let go until the end. I had the sensation of not breathing until the end credits came. What I'm trying to say is that it is a complete whole - nothing extraneous, nothing missing. In other words, if this film is ever showing at a cinema near you, don't miss it. Go with friends, go on your own, phone in sick if it's a matinée - but see it.

Well actually there is something superfluous in "A Touch of Evil". The very last line should have been cut.

Copyright © 1999 Paul Mackilligin