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Touch of Evil (1958) Movie Information

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Touch of Evil (1958)
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Mystery, Thriller





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Orson Welles


Orson Welles
Charlton Heston
Janet Leigh
Joseph Calleia
Akim Tamiroff
Joanna Cook Moore





Plot Outline:

Set in a border town of Mexico, a battle between good cop and bad cop, in which corruption is the main plot point.

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Quick Movie Reviews

Indyfreak 11/18/2014 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Orson Welles' film noir classic about police corruption taking place south-of-the-border sports as much stylistic flair as you'd expect from Welles' direction and a plot so energetically paced despite its occasional detours with a strong cast and so many celebrity appearances (from the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Dennis Weaver) that you'll enjoy every minute of it.

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mitchellyoung 09/12/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Although Citizen Kane is considered Welles' masterpiece, this film is, to me, his most involving. Welles creates a swarmy and sinister landscape, populated with noir caricatures. "Touch of Evil" is tense and suspenseful throughout and features some impressive cinematography (amazing use of shadows and an extremely long tracking shot.)

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sapien 08/04/2009 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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A myspace friend recommended this movie to me. And, I have to say, she was right. This is a very good movie. Did you know that the first scene in this movie was shot in just one take? I think that's pretty awesome considering how long the scene is.

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Chris Kavan 04/02/2009 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Excellent film noir from Welles. The story can be a slow, but the payoff at the end is worth it. Make sure you see the restored version, not the studio's butchered cut. The camera captures the mood perfectly.

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Full Movie Reviews

  Daniel Corleone
Daniel Corleone
Movie God

11/03/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

Touch of Evil (restored orig. version) review

The opening sequence alone will keep you glued all throughout while admiring the technical skills of Welles. One of the pioneer thrillers/film noir may come off slow in the beginning and shows some elements that are dated, its influence and impact however is legendary. Newlyweds Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston) and Susie (Janet Leigh), together with Police Chief Pete Gould (Harry Shannon), District Attorney Adair (Ray Collins), police Captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) and Quinlan's longtime partner, Pete Menzies (Joseph Calleia) become involved with a car explosion from a planted bomb.

One of the best soundtracks of its genre with a solid cast, and from the director's efforts. Direction, cinematography and pace were fabulous as always, makes you feel part of the movie. Pe...

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03/26/2008 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"What does it matter what you say about people?"

Considering that it had to be pieced together based upon a Welles memo after Universal chopped it up--and that it contains the seemingly laughable sight of Charlton Heston portraying a Mexican--it's astonishing that this film is even watchable. But it's much more than that. The opening is justly revered, with it's long dolly shot from a henchman's bomb planting through the nightlife of a border town to an exploding car. The performances are marvelous (including Welles, not always the most reliable of actors; Heston, whose bombast works in his favor as the righteous police officer; Leigh, as Heston's frightened but strong wife; and Marlene Dietrich as an enigmatic madam). As usual, Welles' camerawork is wonderful: great canted angles (especially the low angles of his monstrous Quinlan)...

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