Mexican Narcotics officer Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas has to interrupt his honeymoon on the Mexican-US border when an American building contractor is killed after someone places a bomb in his car. He's killed on the US side of the border but it's clear that the bomb was planted on the Mexican side. As a result, Vargas delays his return to Mexico City where he has been mounting a case against the Grandi family crime and narcotics syndicate. Police Captain Hank Quinlan is in charge on the US side and he soon has a suspect, a Mexican named Manolo Sanchez. Vargas is soon onto Quinlan and his Sergeant, Pete Menzies, when he catches them planting evidence to convict Sanchez. With his new American wife, Susie, safely tucked away in a hotel on the US side of the border - or so he thinks - he starts to review Quinlan's earlier cases. While concentrating on the corrupt policeman however, the Grandis have their own plans for Vargas and they start with his wife Susie. Written by
Most modern sources credit John L. Russell as the camera operator who assisted director of photography Russell Metty, but only Philip H. Lathrop is credited as the operator in contemporary sources. Edward Curtiss, who is credited on Hollywood Reporter production charts as the editor, was fired by Orson Welles when they did not agree on the cutting of the film, but Welles did work well with the next editor assigned to the picture, Virgil M. Vogel. See more »
When Menzies tells Vargas that his wife is charged with murder, Vargas says, "Murder?" His lips don't move. See more »
Uh, you folks American citizens?
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Opening statement (restored version): In 1957, Orson Welles completed principal photography on TOUCH OF EVIL and edited the first cut. Upon screening the film, the Studio felt it could be improved, shot additional scenes and re-edited it. Welles viewed this new version and within hours wrote a passionate 58-page memo requesting editorial changes. This version represents an attempt to honor those requests and make TOUCH OF EVIL the film Orson Welles envisioned it to be. "... I close this memo with a very earnest plea that you consent to this brief visual pattern to which I gave so many long hard days of work." -- Orson Welles See more »
I love noir. I love Wells. I love black and white. But this film is a terrible mess. 1. The plot is senseless and full of holes 2. There is no logic to any actions by the characters 3. The story is as flimsy as Wells is enormous
Wells forgot the first rule in any film, you've got to have a good story or the rest doesn't matter. All the odd angles, the interesting lighting and even the greatness of Wells himself cant save this pile of waste. Its like going to the best restaurant in town, expensive and elegant, and getting served a happy meal thats cold and stale. A complete waste of time. Unless of course you overlook the story, the acting, and all of the swiss cheese holes. Just miserable.
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