Alan Marcus1
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  • 1 University of Aberdeen
The Interracial Romance as Primal Drama
Touch of Evil and Diamond Head
in Film Studies
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Metaphorically set in a border town, the darkly lit, libidinous urban topography of Orson Welles’ classic late film noir, Touch of Evil (1958), harbours primal fears and partially clads criminal activities, underscoring the fact that in the 1950s miscegenation was still illegal in a number of US states. This article juxtaposes Charlton Heston‘s leading role in two interracial romances, Touch of Evil and Diamond Head (1963), which takes place in the new border state of Hawaii. The historical foregrounding of the Civil Rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and ‘60s with respect to the interracial romances growing popularity is discussed, and the relevance of recent genetic research into the appeal of difference and the way it functions within a ‘primal drama’.

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