Sunday, June 24, 2012

Film Noir - A Magpie Tale

Courtesy Tess Kincaid

Wiki says:
Touch of Evil is a 1958 American crime thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with Welles, the cast includes Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich. Touch of Evil is one of the last examples of film noir in the genre's classic era (from the early 1940s until the late 1950s).

The film opens with a three-minute, twenty-second tracking shot widely considered by critics as one of the greatest long takes in cinematic history. On the U.S.-Mexico border, a man plants a time bomb in a car. A man and woman enter the vehicle and make a slow journey through town to the U.S. border. Newlyweds Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston) and Susie (Janet Leigh) pass the car several times on foot. The car crosses the border, then explodes, killing the occupants.

Film Noir

What happened to the color?
Where's the real world?
And why the damned hats?
Life takes these turns like a dose
Of a Micky Finn
Slipped to me at some
Downtown bar I used to know,
Like the rear window
Of my cracked up life.
I wouldn't pull my hogleg
if you would back up
but you never will.

June 24, 2012 5:45 AM

Written for Magpie Tales. See The Mag 123 Stay a while. Write one yourself and join us.


  1. LOL - just great. So creatively spun, Christopher. And thanks for the summation of the film too.

  2. life turns like a mickey slipped in my drink the cracked rear window...very cool lines that man...i need to look up this film....

  3. okay, I give...what's a hogleg? great poem though!

  4. wowee- I think your Wiki intro helped make your piece even better!
    and what is a hogleg? A gun?

  5. Hogleg is idiom usually for a large bore handgun (best if long barreled) but is also used for a big fat marijuana cigarette and in some areas of the US also refers to male genitalia...

    I guess the first meaning makes the most sense but I am not totally against trying to make the other two fit if you've a mind to do that.

  6. Most of all in these times, we are so far removed from the 1940's, it is difficult to fathom the context of the era. Your opening questions consider that dissonance. Thank you for sharing this, Christopher. BTW-I am happy you included the synopsis.

  7. "Like a dose of Mickey Finn" - great line. Haven't heard of that for years!

  8. the rear window of my cracked up life wow

    done for

  9. Like the rear window
    Of my cracked up life.

    I like this a lot!!!

  10. And all the smoking! Nice take. My contribution this week is here.

  11. So well written it could have been lines in the screenplay .........

  12. I too, wish I knew where the real world is....or was...or can be found! Nicely written!

  13. Love the "dose of Mickey Flynn."



  14. Haven't heard of a Micky Finn for decades - took me back. Thanks.

  15. I guess it is Mickey Finn, named after a felon pickpocket turned saloon owner in Chicago who lost his bar in 1903 when the city took it from him after there were too many complaints that he slipped chloral hydrate into patron's drinks and fleeced them in a back room before throwing them into the alley behind the bar.

    Apparently the Mickey Finn name for this practice did not hit print until a dozen years later or so.

  16. I do not agree with the text. But everyone has an opinion. Tranquil, this is the internet and then every one has the fitting to inscribe whatever he thinks and wants. And in mixed this place is acutely good. I inclination penetrate here all the time.

    1. I have no idea what you are not agreeing with. The poem itself is thick with idiom and may not be that penetrable for people who live elsewhere than the USA. The rest of the post is simply informative. I suppose you could mean you think there are other "film noirs" and that the date range should be extended, with color film allowed perhaps.

      The only word anachronistic is the word "hogleg" which belongs a bit farther back than the forties as it is used. I covered that in the comments where I pointed to two other more current usages.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!