The Opening Sequence In Orson Welles Film Touch Of Evil

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Orson Welles’ 1948 film “Touch of Evil” is well known for its famous opening sequence. The audience is held in suspense while we move along with a car that holds a ticking time bomb in the trunk. The opening scene of the film begins with a close up. In this close up we see a man’s hands setting a timed device. Off-screen we hear a woman laugh. The man turns to discover a man and woman walking together and quickly becomes a shadowy figure as he runs to put the bomb in the trunk of their Cadillac. Next we see the couple come around the corner and step into the car. Unaware of the bomb, they drive off into the dark streets heading towards the border. As the car continues to slowly move through traffic we are seeing street venders, hotels, alleys, posters on walls, etc. A traffic officer stops them to let a couple cross the street but they are soon after passed by the convertible and vice versa. The walking couple comes to a stop when they’ve reached the border and are questioned. They are quickly let through as the couple in the Cadillac wait. When asked if she is an American citizen the woman replies she has a ticking noise inside her head. The officer shrugs her off and lets them pass through. The walking couple has stopped to kiss and just as they do we hear the explosion off-screen and they turn to look, in a panic everyone runs over.…show more content…
Everything done was necessary in my opinion because if this had been shot in bits and pieces it would have ruined the feeling of intensity and suspense. The whole point of this continuous scene is to slowly build suspense and lead us up to the bomb exploding, but we don’t know when. For instance in the beginning it worked perfectly that we see the timer being set and right after we see the shadow figure running to put the bomb in the car, followed by the couple getting in and driving

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