IMDb > Touch of Evil (1958)
Touch of Evil
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Touch of Evil (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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Touch of Evil -- This exceptional film noir portrait of corruption and morally-compromised obsessions stars Welles as Hank Quinlan, a crooked police chief who frames a Mexican youth as part of an intricate criminal plot.
Touch of Evil -- Stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in Mexican border town.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   63,772 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Orson Welles (screenplay)
Whit Masterson (based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Touch of Evil on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 May 1958 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Overwhelming Drama of a Strange Vengeance See more »
Plot:
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
So many eyes, so little vision See more (259 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charlton Heston ... Mike Vargas

Janet Leigh ... Susan Vargas

Orson Welles ... Police Captain Hank Quinlan

Joseph Calleia ... Police Sergeant Pete Menzies

Akim Tamiroff ... 'Uncle' Joe Grandi

Joanna Moore ... Marcia Linnekar

Ray Collins ... District Attorney Adair

Dennis Weaver ... Mirador Motel Night Manager
Valentin de Vargas ... Pancho (as Valentin De Vargas)
Mort Mills ... Al Schwartz
Victor Millan ... Manelo Sanchez
Lalo Rios ... Risto
Michael Sargent ... Pretty Boy
Phil Harvey ... Blaine

Joi Lansing ... Zita
Harry Shannon ... Chief Gould

Marlene Dietrich ... Tana

Zsa Zsa Gabor ... Strip-Club Owner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joe Basulto ... Young Delinquent (uncredited)
Yolanda Bojorquez ... Bobbie (uncredited)

Joseph Cotten ... Coroner (uncredited)
Domenick Delgarde ... Lackey (uncredited)
Jennie Dias ... Jackie (uncredited)
John Dierkes ... Policeman (uncredited)
Eleanor Dorado ... Lia (uncredited)
Jeffrey Green ... Rudy Linnekar (uncredited)
Billy House ... Construction Site Foreman (uncredited)

Mercedes McCambridge ... Gang Leader (uncredited)
Arlene McQuade ... Ginnie (uncredited)
Ken Miller ... Gang Member (uncredited)
Ramón Rodríguez ... Gang Member (uncredited)
Gus Schilling ... Eddie Farnham (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Marcia Linnekar's Attorney (uncredited)
Wayne Taylor ... Gang Member (uncredited)
Rusty Wescoatt ... Detective Casey (uncredited)

Dan White ... Customs Officer (uncredited)

Keenan Wynn ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Orson Welles 
 
Writing credits
Orson Welles (screenplay)

Whit Masterson (based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by)

Franklin Coen  contributing writer: reshoots (uncredited)
Paul Monash  additional scenes (uncredited)

Produced by
Albert Zugsmith .... producer
 
Original Music by
Henry Mancini (music)
 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Walter Murch (1998 re-edit)
Aaron Stell (film editor)
Virgil W. Vogel (film editor) (as Virgil Vogel)
Edward Curtiss (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Robert Clatworthy 
Alexander Golitzen 
 
Set Decoration by
John P. Austin (set decorations)
Russell A. Gausman 
 
Costume Design by
Bill Thomas (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Bud Westmore .... makeup
Merle Reeves .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Vincent Romaine .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Maurice Seiderman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Monty Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Foster Thompson .... unit production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Phil Bowles .... assistant director
Harry Keller .... director: reshoots (uncredited)
Terence Nelson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Frank H. Wilkinson .... sound (as Frank Wilkinson)
Peter Berkos .... sound editor (uncredited)
Robert L. Bratton .... sound editor (uncredited)
Donald Cunliffe .... sound technician (uncredited)
Ed Hall .... sound technician (uncredited)
George Ohanian .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Walter White .... sound technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Kevin Braun .... lead digital compositor (1998 restoration)
Kevin Braun .... visual effects supervisor (1998 restoration)
Sandy DellaMarie .... digital production coordinator (1998 restoration)
Chris Flynn .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration)
Mark Freund .... visual effects supervisor (1998 restoration)
George Gervan .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration)
Richard Gervan .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration)
Maureen Healy .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration)
Lynn Tigar .... digital paint artist (1998 restoration)
 
Stunts
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sherman Clark .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ledge Haddow .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Vic Jones .... gaffer (uncredited)
James V. King .... camera operator: Venice canal locations (uncredited)
Philip H. Lathrop .... camera operator (uncredited)
John L. Russell .... camera operator (uncredited)
Clifford Stine .... camera operator: additional photography (uncredited)
Roy Vaughn .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Claire Cramer .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Adam Gottbetter .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Nevada Penn .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Eric Aijala .... negative restoration (1998 restoration)
Sean Cullen .... assistant editor (1998 restoration)
Bob O'Neil .... picture restoration (1998 restoration)
Ernest J. Nims .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervision by
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Armondo Linus Acosta .... consultant (uncredited)
Fred Banker .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Charles Baqueta .... coordinator (uncredited)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
Betty A. Griffin .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Robert Tafur .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Robert Tafur .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Thanks
James Naremore .... special thanks (1998 restoration) (as James Narmore)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content (re-rating) (1998 restoration)
Runtime:
95 min | Germany:111 min (1998 alternate version) | USA:108 min (1975 alternate version) | USA:112 min (director's cut) | Spain:106 min (DVD edition) | 111 min (restored version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Chile:14 | Finland:K-11 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-16 (original rating) | Finland:K-12 (restored version) | Germany:18 (restored version) | Germany:16 (restored version) (re-rating) (2005) | Netherlands:6 | Norway:15 (re-rating) (1999) | Norway:16 (1985) | South Korea:15 (2003) | Spain:13 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (restored version) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13 | USA:PG-13 (No. 36039) (re-rating) (1998 restoration) | USA:Approved (PCA #18506) (original rating) | USA:Unrated (restored version) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
There has been much debate over the aspect ratio of the 1998 re-release. Apparently Orson Welles wanted to shoot the movie in flat widescreen (1.85:1), but Universal ordered him to film it in Academy ratio (1.37:1). When the film was restored, the production team offered to do the restorations in full screen, but Universal had them release it in widescreen, which the DVD is. However, TV viewings in 4:3 help viewers see the full framing that Welles clearly intended for the picture.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At about the 50-minute mark, Vargas tells Quinlan that he knows the shoebox did not contain dynamite, and that ten minutes earlier he knocked it onto the bathroom floor and it was empty. But ten minutes earlier the audience saw Vargas knock the box into the bathtub, not onto the floor.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Border Cop:Uh, you folks American citizens?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in One on One with Robert Altman (1993) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Something For SusanSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Touch of Evil" based on a novel?
Any recommendations for movies similar to "Touch of Evil"?
See more »
173 out of 259 people found the following review useful.
So many eyes, so little vision, 6 December 1998
Author: Raoul Duke from Andorra

Seldom have I seen so many comments with so little understanding. The movie is not about Heston's "Mexican-ness" or lack of it. The movie is not about the 5 or 8 or 10 minute opening shot. The movie is not even, god help us, about Welles' descent from the heights into "slumming it" in a "Grade B" flick.

The movie is about two things : film-making, and character. Every shot worth remembering (and there are few that aren't) is an exercise in the possibilities of film, particularly black and white film. Woody Allen makes movies in black and white that are all conversation. Welles made movies in black and white because that's where the colors of the characters, the location and ultimately the meaning of the movie are possible. Black and white film is about the infinite possibilities of shadow. Touch of Evil is about the infinite possibilities of human nature.

Heston, for those of you who just can't see past a "bad" accent is about rigidity and short-sightedness. What kind of idiot would leave his wife in all those threatening situations? The kind of idiot who can't imagine that anyone would harm HIS wife, simply because she IS his wife! Akim Tamiroff's Grandi is about flexibility to the point of breakage. Always playing ALL ends against the middle he is the essence of "harmless" corruption, that ultimately harms everyone.

And Welles' Hank Quinlan ... I just don't have the time or space to explain that Quinlan is about the true cost of police work when the humanity has gone out of it. Ultimately Quinlan would kill his best and only friend, the only one, as Dietrich has it, who really loves him. At one time, perhaps, Quinlan WAS the image that Pete Menzies saw. But the man behind that image was eaten up long ago with alcohol and frustrated grief. It's all about winning and losing now, and things he would never do. Until he does them.

There are so many other moments and characters that I'm afraid you'll just have to watch the film with your eyes and your mind open instead of shut to "get it". Pay attention to what's on the screen instead of the smart, cynical, hip comments you can make about an actual work of heart.

Well, what the hell. Joan Didion said it best. Film criticism is petit point on kleenex.

Raoul Duke

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Motel location johnny_clay
Which version is the best? themysteryman97
So, did Quinlan strangle his own wife? j-e-miller
8/250 Silver Screen Fiend mattleighkelly
Opening scene timflower
My introduction to Orson Welles Erniesam
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