A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Orson Welles (screenplay), Whit Masterson (based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by)
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Lalo Rios ... Risto
Michael Sargent Michael Sargent ... Pretty Boy
Phil Harvey ... Blaine
Joi Lansing ... Zita
Edit

Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE STORY OF A PRIVATE HAT THAT EXPLODED INTO AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT! (original print ads-all caps) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first half of the film when Quinlan visits Tanya's, there is a trophied bull's head on the wall with banderillas (the barbed, pointed sticks used by the matador) hanging next to it, pointing toward the bull. On his visit to Tanya's in the second half, Quinlan sees Vargas's reflection next to framed portraits of matadors, equating Vargas with the matadors. Quinlan then stands up with the bull's head behind him, and the angle of the shot makes the banderillas appear to be stuck in the bull's neck. See more »

Goofs

Whenever the player piano is operating, the action of piano keys does not match the music that is heard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Customs Officer: Uh, you folks American citizens?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the 111-minute restored version, there are no credits at all until the end of the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 95 minutes, the 1975 alternate version ran 108 minutes and included additional footage shot by Welles in 1957, and deleted most of the footage shot by Harry Keller in 1957. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Background To Murder
Written by Henry Mancini
Performed by United International Orchestra
See more »

User Reviews

The Best of the best
13 September 2000 | by anicham21See all my reviews

Touch of Evil has, perhaps, the BEST cinematography and lighting in ANY film ever made. Not just in the film noir genre, but in all categories. Orson Welles tended to use wide shots for all of his films, and Touch of Evil's use of wide shots took filmmaking to another level, especially with the amazing opening shot. The camera techniques and lighting are too spectacular to fathom, it is the grandmaster of all movies. Brilliant is an understatement. See this film, if not for the excellent acting and sheer brilliance in terms of the camera (this film had a GREAT D.P.!!), but for entertainment value. But if you are a film student or just want to see great camera work, Touch of Evil will astonish you.


106 of 172 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 333 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 May 1958 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Badge of Evil See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$829,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,725, 13 September 1998

Gross USA:

$2,247,465

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,286,947
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1998 alternate) | (1975 alternate) | (director's cut) | (DVD) | (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed