Touch of Evil

Film, Thrillers
5 out of 5 stars
Touch of Evil

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Orson Welles's final Hollywood production is a masterclass in tension, visual panache and B-movie excess

Why does Orson Welles’s 1958 B-movie masterpiece continue to get better with age? As Welles fans know, the film begins with a legendary three-minute tracking shot, and the question of whether to run credits over the top launched a war between Welles and his studio. Like almost every Welles project, the film was taken from him and re-edited, only regaining its initial form following a 1998 restoration (this is that version).

‘Touch of Evil’ might be trashy – Charlton Heston plays a Mexican, after all – but it’s made with consummate craft. An early title for the film was ‘Borderline’, and it would’ve been appropriate: its garbage-strewn noirscape straddles Mexico and the US, while its antagonists, Heston’s crusading do-gooder Mike Vargas and Welles’s corrupt cop Hank Quinlan, are moralists from opposite ends. In the deep shadows are ghosts of the past, such as Marlene Dietrich’s Tana. A rich, haunting film.

By: Joshua Rothkopf



Release details

Release date:
Friday July 10 2015
108 mins

Cast and crew

Orson Welles
Orson Welles
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Dennis Weaver
Marlene Dietrich
Ray Collins
Charlton Heston
Janet Leigh
Joseph Calleia
Akim Tamiroff
Lalo Rios
Orson Welles
Mercedes McCambridge
Joseph Cotten
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