Touch of Evil

Tagline : The strangest vengeance ever planned!

Runtime : 111 mins

Genre : Crime Thriller

Vote Rating : 7.8/10

Budget : 829 thousand $ USD

Revenue : 2.2 million $ USD

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : When a car bomb explodes on the American side of the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel Vargas begins his investigation, along with American police captain Hank Quinlan. When Vargas begins to suspect that Quinlan and his shady partner, Menzies, are planting evidence to frame an innocent man, his investigations into their possible corruption quickly put himself and his new bride, Susie, in jeopardy.

Cast Members

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Welles/Heston B&W cult noir is great on a technical level, but meh as a viewing experience On the Texas border a Mexican detective (Charlton Heston) assists an American investigation into a shocking murder of an American official on the border, but he soon learns that the imposing & slovenly Sheriff (Orson Welles) is shady with a penchant for framing. Janet Leigh is on hand as the detective’s new bride, an American. “Touch of Evil” (1958) was written/directed by Welles (loosely based on a book) and has a huge reputation as a B&W noir-ish cult flick. There ARE interesting technical things going on as far as camera angles, lighting and impressive long takes (e.g. the opening sequence). It also has a notable classic cast with Leigh thoroughly stunning, not to mention Joanna Moore, Marlene Dietrich, Joi Lansing and a cameo by Zsa Zsa Gabor on the female front. Yet I otherwise found the picture talky, nigh surreal and noticeably hokey with an unengrossing story and dubious acting, e.g. the hooligan Mexicans and the eye-rolling Shakespearean lunatic “night man” (Dennis Weaver). Seriously, viewing this film is like entering Welles’ head on an acid trip. That said, the film offers quite a bit to digest and I could see it playing better on additional viewings, which explains its cult status, but I’m not interested. There are far more fascinating and compelling B&W dramas with noteworthy casts from that general era, like “The Misfits” (1963). I viewed the long reconstructed version, aka the “director’s cut,” which runs about 110 minutes while the original studio-butchered version runs 93 minutes. Interestingly, the film wasn’t shot anywhere near the border, let alone the Texas border, but in freakin’ Venice, Los Angeles. GRADE: C

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