Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston (RIP) on "Touch of Evil"

In an interview nearly fifteen years ago (yikes!), Charlton Heston reflected back on his career, on playing such epic figures as Moses , Michelangelo, John the Baptist and Buffalo Bill. But Heston - who passed away Saturday, April 6, at the age of 84 -- said during the 1993 phone chat that, "my most important contribution to motion pictures" was off-camera. That is, persuading Universal Pictures to let Orson Welles direct a little noir thriller called Touch of Evil.
The 1958 classic, which stars Welles (as a corrupt U.S. cop), Heston (as a dogged Mexican G-man) and Janet Leigh (as his American bride), was without a director when Universal gave the picture the green light. It was Heston who mentioned that Welles, who hadn't helmed a successful picture in years, be given the job. The producers' initial reaction was one of gaping silence, "as though I had suggested that my mother direct the film," Heston recalled.
Touch of Evil, which also boasts a cameo by Marlene Dietrich , is "an extraordinarily interesting film," said Heston. "I think Cahiers du Cinema had the right take on it. They wrote - oh my gosh, 20 years ago - that Touch of Evil is not a great film, but it's the best B-movie ever made. And that's about right.
"I'm very proud to have been in it, and I'm very proud to have played a significant part - well, the crucial part - in having Orson direct it."


Anonymous Steve Thompson said...

Hello Steven:

On Monday, Academy Award Winner Cliff Robertson commented on the passing of Charlton Heston.

Info at:

Best Regards,
Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications

11:07 AM  

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