Touch of Evil

D: Orson Welles
Universal (Albert Zugsmith)
US 1958
95 mins


W: Orson Welles [based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by Whit Masterson]
DP: Russell Metty
Ed: Virgil Vogel & Aaron Stell
Mus: Henry Mancini

Charlton Heston (Ramon Miguel Vargas), Orson Welles (Hank Quinlan), Janet Leigh (Susan Vargas), Joseph Calleia (Pete Menzies), Akim Tamiroff (Uncle Joe Grandi)

The plot for Orson Welles' 1958 thriller takes some following, but the atmospheric photography makes it a little easier, starting with a famous one-shot opening sequence which introduces Mexican narcotics detective Ramon "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston), who clashes with a local police chief in a border town over a murder.
Though the pacing is very heavy, the pieces of the puzzle all slot into place come the finale. 
Orson Welles' menacing performance is excellent, but Charlton Heston is less convincing as a Mexican cop.
Studio interference re-cut the film in 1958, but it is now available in its original cut and has since gone on to become a cult classic.

Orson Welles in Touch of Evil
Orson Welles in Touch of Evil