Sound In George Orson Welles 'Touch Of Evil'

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Imagine Jaws without the intense score music that appears throughout the movie when the shark is present in the scene. Imagine a horror movie that does not have those loud sound effects that have you leaping out of your seat. The use of sound can change the whole perception of the movie. Whether it is the volume (loud or soft), the pitch, the music, or how sound is used to create space or help suggest a passage of time. All these play a significant role on how the audience captures a film. Orson Welles’s 1958 film Touch of Evil is a great example of how the difference of sound changes the perception of the movie. You can see and hear the difference between the studio’s version verses the ideas that Orson Welles had envisioned for his film. Even with exact shots used in both versions of the film, the difference in sound changes the feeling the audience intakes.

One of the first differences you can see from the beginning between the 1958 studio version and the 1998 Walter Murch version is in the beginning of the studio version ran credits all throughout the opening scene. This I felt like was a major distraction to the what seems to be a crucial scene in the movie. However, in Murch’s revised version, all the credits were cut out of the scene. This in return I felt like
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Despite the loud score music used in the universal version, the pitches used within the character dialogue was still similar. I didn’t find either one of them to be louder or softer than the other. When Mr. Vargus for instance was talking to one of the police officers, whether the score music was playing in the background or not still kept the character dialects at the same volume. There was not one louder than the other. The 1958 studio version managed to fade out some of the diegetic sounds while still playing the score music in order to still hear the characters as they were in