Race and Appearance in Orson Welles’ ‘Touch of Evil’

September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

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Encased in pounds of excess fat and brandishing an uncharacteristically nasally voice, Welles is nearly unrecognizable here, especially in lieu of his strikingly prim self-reimagining in Mr. Arkadin just three years earlier. From this strange mask alone—or lack of one, since it’s really his lack of beard that completes the illusion—the audience can be altogether certain from the start that something is seriously wrong with Hank Quinlan. Why else would Welles take the effort of creating such a revolting visual monster?

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