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.