An automobile is blown up as it crosses the Mexican border into the United States. Mike Vargas, a high ranking Mexican narcotics official on honeymoon with his bride Susie is drawn into the investigation because a Mexican national has been accused of the crime. The figurative and physical presence of Hank Quinlan as the 330 pound sheriff looms all over. Quinlan is a fanatic where “justice” is concerned, even if obtaining it involves planting evidence. Quinlan’s reputation for law and order enables him to bend the law without question until Vargas confronts him. From that point on, it’s a battle of wits between the two that, with an accelerating pace, rushes to a climax. —IMDb
The prodigy son of an inventor and a musician, Welles was well-versed in literature at an early age, particularly Shakespeare, and, through the unusual circumstances of his life (both of his parents died by the time he was 12, leaving him with an inheritance and not many family obligations), he found himself free to indulge his numerous interests, which included the theater. He was educated in private schools and traveled the world. He found it tougher to get onto the Broadway stage, and get a job with Katharine Cornell. He later became associated with John Houseman, and, together, the two of them set the New York theater afire during the 1930s with their work for the Federal Theatre Project, which led to the founding of the Mercury Theater. The Mercury Players later graduated to radio, and their 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast made history when thousands of listeners mistakenly believed aliens had landed on Earth. In 1940, Hollywood beckoned, and Welles and company went west to… read more
That opening shot is so audacious and monumental in of itself, in the hands of a lesser filmmaker the movie may have never been able to 'recover.' But from there, Orson Welles only tightens his grip and goes on to tell a twisty, morally complex tale. At first the casting of Charlton Heston as a Mexican narcotics officer seems like a major misfire, but eventually it becomes clear that a titanic ego and screen presence such as Heston's was necessary just to be able to share scenes with a completely-submerged-in-his-role Orson Welles. "Touch of Evil" presents a view of the world that is bathed in shadows and as expressionistic as a circus carnival. By the time the credits roll, you realize you've just been released from the grasp of Hollywood's greatest formalist.
Also: Reitman’s Young Adult. Masters of Cinema’s Touch of Evil Blu-ray. Teaser for Miike’s Ai To Makoto.
At the tail end of the cycle known as Film Noir, indeed sometimes used as the definitive end marker (as if that’s possible) Orson Welles’ 1958 release ‘Touch Of Evil’ is nevertheless a significant… read review
Meticulously beautiful visual composition, lighting, and camerawork. Completely conscious and controlled with no movement or shadow occurring by happenstance. Within this setting some fine actors deliver… read review
The gliding camera tracking gives a formidable pacing which keeps you glued, potent visuals and shabby sleazy back-streets reinforce why I love the cynical gritty films of the classical noir era, which… read review