3x3: favorite touches (non-sexual/violent)

We discuss our favorite examples of non-violent and non-sexual touching in movies at the 1:11 mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of Redline.

Tom Chick
3. Time Bandits
2. La La Land

  1. Raw

Kelly Wand
3. Living in Oblivion
2. Wholly Moses!

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
2. Aliens

  1. Moonlight

What are your favorite non-sexual/non-violent touches in movies? Listen to the show to hear us go on about ours and to hear Dingus read some listener picks.

Also to hear us make an announcement about the Make Us Watch Whatever You Want Fund Drive.

Send in your picks for the next topic to [email protected].

One of the reasons that I chose this one is that it was so unexpected when it happened in the movie.

The first one.

The second one.

I have a feeling that this is going to be just like Wrath of Khan for me.

The couple that came to mind:

In Lincoln, where Lincoln grabs a just awakened officer’s leg and gives it a fatherly squeeze/shake as he explains he plans to pardon a young slave who had been sentenced to hang.

Dead Zone: Almost any touching episode where Walken shakes someone’s hand and gets gripped by ominous portents.

Much like Tom, as Kelly described it, I also could not believe that I remembered watching the Dudley Moore pic w/ the scene of Lot’s wife turning to salt.

I haven’t thought about it extensively, but here are the three picks that come to mind immediately.

3. E.T.
2. City of Angels
1. Ghost

Please explain.


Sure. I’ll blur it up just in case.

[spoiler]Angels can touch things, but they are unable to feel them. Touch, for them, is nothing but a mechanical thing devoid of meaning or emotion or anything.

But when they fall, becoming just as humans, they become able to feel everything. They can finally see colors, and they feel warmth and texture, things that are otherwise alien to them. And in my memory, there are multiple times in the movie after one certain angel falls (the first of which is related to the pain of his injuries after he falls) in which he experiences actually touching things for the first time - and the final scene of the movie is centered on the way he’s touched by the warmth of the sunrise (or sunset) and the gentle embrace of the ocean around him. There’s this emphasis on the tactile there, and the emotions and reactions that sense evokes, which is the essence of what touch means.[/spoiler]

Edit: there’s also this scene.

3. Drive
2. All is Lost
1. X-Men

Edit: thanks for the formatting reminder @rhamorim!

Ah, Rogue! Excellent pick.

King Kong (1933):

The Wizard of Oz:

And from the same movie (if we consider this non-violent):

Missing one of the best of all time - when Dr. Lecter’s finger grazes Clarice Starling’s finger in The Silence of the Lambs

For the love of all that is good about cinema, please go watch Wings of Desire so that you can appreciate the abomination that City of Angels truly is.

…and ET is the touch that immediately came to my mind. “Be good.”

I have watched both Wings of Desire and Faraway, So Close! (and I have both in DVD), just so you know. It’s just that, for all its faults, City of Angels is much more focused on the sensory side of the “fallen angel” experience, when compared to the more existentialist tone of the Wim Wenders movies, and hence I felt it was the more appropriate pick for the “touch” theme.

The more I think about this pick, the more I like it. You kind of make me want to watch it again, although I don’t think my Cage tolerance level will handle it.

I was actually an apologist for it for some time. It was one of the first movies I watched on DVD, if memory serves, and I was shocked at how gorgeous it looked. The Cinematographer is John Seale, so no surprise there (I’m sure that’s how he got the job on Fury Road). And I really liked the music, and own the soundtrack. Gabriel Yared with a couple of really good songs by “various artists” that I like a great deal. The Jude song “I Know” breaks my heart whenever I listen to it. Years later I ended up substitute teaching in the classroom of one of the director’s kids.

I understand that it’s gauche to like it because of Wings of Desire, but I still kind of fell for it.

Going with your sensory theme, I’d probably include the shower scene.

Good pick.


Well, I appreciate the movie for what it is, and I also really liked the cinematography (there’s this scene where Meg Ryan is sitting at a bench at the hospital, and it looked so amazing that I never forgot it) and the soundtrack, just like you. And I like the sensory focus, even if the cast (and the script/director?) sometimes fails in exploring it to the fullest. As I implied, it’s a flawed movie, but not one devoid of good things.

I think the bass is taking away from the vocal on that version.

I prefer this one:


“I think we should repeat that again.”

What if only one of the people involved finds the touch sexual?


In Quick Change (thanks for reminding me how much I like this movie), after clown Bill Murray changes out of his suit and face paint to exit the bank as a “freed hostage”, Gina Davis notices a small dab of white paint behind his ear. She reaches over to console him in his hysteria and quickly wipes it away before the paramedics can notice. At the end of the film, he returns the favor, when, as she exits the airplane bathroom and begins to surrender, Bill, shocked by her appearance on the plane, says, “Phyllis! They just caught this guy!”

I had to look up the name Phyllis, because I sure as heck didn’t remember that being her name.

It’s obvious, but since it wasn’t mentioned, I’ll go ahead and choose E.T. and the whole “Ouch…” finger touching thing. While JAWS is Tom’s Star Wars, and Star Wars is my Star Wars, ET is my Goonies, or something. That is to say that it came out right when I was about 10 years old and was the perfect manifestation of kid Brian wish fulfillment. While The Goonies is a fantasy/adventure version of that, ET is the sci-fi/alien version that perfectly captured my 80s childhood, with DnD pizza parties, Speak-N-Spell, Atari, and Halloween costumes.

I wonder if ET holds up for us older and cynical folk. Spielberg definitely knew what he was doing back then.