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 -- Stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in Mexican border town.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   60,209 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:
The movie that makes substance out of style See more (253 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)
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


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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:
Orson Welles originally wanted Lloyd Bridges in the role of "Menzies". The studio refused, and instead cast veteran actor Joseph Calleia. Welles was pleased with this new choice, because he had seen Calleia on stage as a child and thought he was very talented.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Crew and equipment reflected in the side of Vargas's car as he prepares to take his wife to the american motel.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Border Cop:Uh, you folks American citizens?
See more »
Movie Connections:
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 »
34 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
The movie that makes substance out of style, 14 October 2007
Author: stalker vogler from Xanadu

The genius of Orson Welles (and I am only convinced of his genius and that of Eisenstein and Griffith, though I have seen thousands of movies) was so amazing that one could easily see in the reviews on the IMDb that mostly everybody got the right idea about Touch of Evil. It is almost impossible not to SEE what Welles intended to be seen in this picture, the differences of opinion come afterwards and have nothing do do with the movie itself but with the way we interpret it. We have to keep in mind that Heston himself, who was the damn actor playing the leading role had no idea what he was actually doing in here, just as Anthony Perkins will be clueless to the meaning of his role in The Trial four years later. It is obvious for everybody that the movie has style, but few understand the meaning of that style. It is not only the noirish cinematography (partially invented by Welles-Tolland in Citizen Kane) and the overall movement of the camera and the brilliant lighting and everything that means cinema that gives this picture style, but the fact that it is aware of its being the last of the mohicans, the last of the noir genre. This awareness gives a new depth to the movie that other B-flicks never had. The customary recipe with a noir movie was a gullible guy, falls for pretty, dangerous woman with a dangerous husband or boyfriend, a crime is committed and the gullible guy gets the fall. This is a story about the appearance of things not being their essence, and every noir movie shared something from this. Touch of Evil is all about this: yes, for all you frustrated Heston-haters, he was suppose to be a parody of a Mexican, just as Welles was supposed to be both a parody of his Harry Lime character and a parody of himself. And Marlene is a German actress speaking English, playing a Mexican gypsy saying "Adios" at the end. Akim Tamiroff is a Georgian playing a Mexican etc. etc. There are also the apparently transsexual...fellows at the motel. Everything is fakery in this picture and I think that this should be looked upon in the same analytic vein as we look at movies such as Alphaville or A bout de soufle. Nobody thinks Godard intended a sci-fi or a noir with those movies, then why should we think that Welles intended a noir with this one? Is it simply because the story seems to unravel in the usual noir way? I agree that the story is not so convincing if you look at it only at the surface. Any story from any noir movie more or less is filled with holes and loose ends. The main intent of those movies was never to create a perfect, novel-like story, but a cinematic account of what a story could be. Touch of Evil is one of the most cinematic movie you will ever see. Every shot is composed with a perfect understanding of what the medium can do, and in this category I think it is only matched by Welles' own Othello in the use of architecture in order to achieve a sense of space within the frame. Look at the way the shadows are projected on the walls and at the relative proportions of the characters. It is clear to the fullest that the movie develops in space and time, a conscience alone for which this movie deserves praise .

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So, did Quinlan strangle his own wife? j-e-miller
Opening scene timflower
Which version is the best? themysteryman97
Motel location johnny_clay
My introduction to Orson Welles Erniesam
For the first time viewer, which version of the film danickster
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