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Touch of Evil (1958)

Charlton Heston , Orson Welles , Orson Welles  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)

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Region 2 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff
  • Directors: Orson Welles
  • Writers: Orson Welles, Franklin Coen, Paul Monash, Whit Masterson
  • Producers: Albert Zugsmith
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000UM0O4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Touch of Evil" on IMDb

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
308 of 326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this, even if you've already seen this film 20 times! November 20, 2000
Generally considered as the ultimate Film Noir (and the last film of the genre), TOUCH OF EVIL is certainly one of the most macabre, bizarre poignant films ever produced in Hollywood. The director Orson Welles is of course the man who made CITIZEN CANE, but many Welles affectionados such as Peter Bogdanovich actually consider TOUCH OF EVIL better than KANE; as a matter of fact the best film Welles has ever directed.
Welles' bravula mise en scene, with the help of Russel Metty's startling black-and-white lighting and stunning camera movement, transform Venice, California into a chaotic frontier town between the US and Mexico. Charlton Heston, often refereed to as the most wooden actor in American cinema, gives a performance of his life as a Mexican cop. His casting may sound funny, but please forget that it's the same guy who played BEN HUR and Moses in the TEN COMMANDMENTS watching this movie then his highly energetic, rather over-the-top performance is actually convincing, especially as opposed to Welles' deliciously vicious portrayal of a corrupted American cop. It was actually Heston who suggested Universal that Welles would not only act in this film but also direct it, so you should give him some credit. Janet Leigh plays Heston's all-American wife "from Philadelphia", and is also quite marvelous in the way she turns out to be something else that we first think she is. With Hitchcock's PSYCHO and Anthony Mann's THE NAKED SPUR, this is probably her best performance. Metty's contrasty black-and-white photography also makes her very beautiful. She looks always better in blacho and white than in color, don't you think so?
This unorthodox casting works, because the film is a bigger than life caricature.
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And this is where you're going to die..." July 22, 2003
The story is pretty much known by many that after the heated battle with "Citizen Kane," Orson Welles was never given complete control over his films again. This would lead to the studio editing his movies and changing things he didn't want changed. This was the case with "Touch of Evil," and of course this really upset Welles. Now circumstances are different, as the DVD "Touch of Evil" offers you the restored and uncut version that is as close to Orson Welles' vision as you can get. And the results are pretty amazing, I must admit. "Touch of Evil" is an outstanding film noir that is unlike any you have ever seen.
It all starts with a car explosion that kills two. A Mexican narcotics investigator and a very obsessive and cold police chief are thrown into the investigation. That's only half the story, as the investigator's wife is confronted by a known criminal and his gang of hoodlums that threaten to cause trouble for them. And what's worse is that the police chief doesn't appear to be the most honorable man in the world, and perhaps is even crooked. This all leads to an explosive plot with an unbelievable finale that is both unpredictable and satisfying. It is very clear why "Touch of Evil" is hailed as a classic by many.
It's great to see that the movie has been restored to Welles' original vision. I've never seen the studio version of the film, and I never want to. I'm sure they did a fine job butchering it. Welles has done for "Touch of Evil" what Hitchcock has done for "Psycho." The outcome is an authentic and exhilarating film noir that is very different from any other film noir that is out there.
Charlton Heston is great in his role. He proves to be a pretty convincing Mexican narcotics investigator. Very hard to imagine, but it works on the screen.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He Was Some Kind Of A Man August 21, 2000
Touch Of Evil has been my all-time favourite film eversince I first viewed it with eyes fixed & mouth agape at the stunning opening sequence. The cinematography is amazing (apart from Robert Foster's corny inserts). Heston agreed to do the movie because he heard Welles was signed on. He would have done anything Welles told him to do, and it shows. Orson gives one of his best cinema appearances as the bent cop, Hank Quinlan. He uses great make-up & costume for the role which still fools viewers till this day. I'd like a dollar for every idiot who comments, "He's not looking too good in this film". Janet Leigh gives nice performance with broken arm & Akim Tamirof nearly steals all the thunder from the others with great character as head Grande. Dennis Weaver is perfect as goofball nightman & Deitrich is unforgetable. This is the greatest film noir ever made. With Welles behind & in front of the camera, it is a feast for all film lovers. After seeing the standard UCLA art house print & the restored print from recent years, I was so glad that someone decided to re-edit the film according to Welles' 58 page memo to MGM. The result is impressive to say the least. Not only do we get to see that famous opening crane shot without obtrusive opening credits, but the entire movie flows a hell of alot smoother & is easier to follow than the earlier theatre cut. Soon we'll all be able to see this masterpiece on DVD, re-edited & including Welle's 58 page memo. Who could ask for more?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing. The scenes with Janet Leigh were difficult ...
Very disappointing. The scenes with Janet Leigh were difficult to sit through. No fault of hers, the script was just poorly written. Read more
Published 2 days ago by True Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for documentation of an area gone away
My wife spent much time painting in the area (Playa del Rey & Venice, CA) Best B movie ever made.
Published 5 days ago by Ken
5.0 out of 5 stars and one of the best things Welles ever did
It's a comedy, and one of the best things Welles ever did.
Published 10 days ago by Jan Deputy
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly I love both versions
Picked this one up because i had heard so much about it being cut to pieces. Surprisingly I love both versions. Hopefully Orson won rise from the grave. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Signifying Monkey
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Hard To Watch; It's Too Much Like Reality IN THE USA
This review is of the 1998 "restoration" DVD version.

I am in no position to say how close to Welles' original vision this actually came (Though a bio of Welles I'm... Read more
Published 20 days ago by G. Ratcheson
5.0 out of 5 stars Touch of greatness!
Cinematic giant (literal and figurative) Orson Welles produced, directed and starred in this late 50's film noir classic of corruption, murder, debauchery, betrayal, drugs, and... Read more
Published 23 days ago by William Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Best
This is still one of the best movies ever made, and too bad it was only recognized for it after he died
Published 25 days ago by Jay M. Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performances, Great cast, best Score in the world by Henry...
Its all good....nuff of the best films made...EVER. Charlton Heston as a Latino???Drug addicts in the am spent...
Published 29 days ago by Anthony Teti
5.0 out of 5 stars See the revised version
After Citizen Kane, no studio gave Orson Welles that kind of freedom to create great movies again. In this case, he had a clear vision of the film that the studio ignored. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Detroit Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars evaluation of touch of evil
This movie is one of the best I have seen. I found the performance of Wells and Heston to be out standing. The black and white visual effect added to the mystery.
Published 1 month ago by Carl M. Schmidli
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Still the wrong aspect ratio
Yes, I ordered this new 3-version edition hoping that at least the old studio version (which I loved and grew up watching on VHS) would be presented in the correct aspect ratio for DVD. It's ironic that this new package with all it's bells and whistles refused to present it back in the correct... Read More
Oct 11, 2008 by mashtato |  See all 2 posts
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