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Touch of Evil (Widescreen Edition) (1958)

Orson Welles , Charlton Heston , Orson Welles  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Directors: Orson Welles
  • Writers: Orson Welles
  • Producers: Albert Zugsmith
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305999872
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,690 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Touch of Evil (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Orson Welles' Memo
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Editorial Reviews

    Experience Orson Welles' timeless masterpiece, Touch of Evil, complete and uncut with restored footage for the first time ever! This exceptional film noir portrait of corruption and morally-compromised obsessions stars Welles as Hank Quinlan, a crooked police chief who frames a Mexican youth as part of an intricate criminal plot. Charlton Heston plays an honorable Mexican narcotics investigator who clashes with the bigoted Quinlan after probing into his dark past. A memorable supporting cast including Janet Leigh as Heston's inquisitive wife, Akim Tamiroff as a seedy underworld leader, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Marlene Dietrich as an enigmatic gypsy complete this fascinating drama engulfed in haunting cinematography and a magnificently eerie score by Henry Mancini.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    310 of 329 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
    Format:DVD
    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.
    Read more ›
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    83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "And this is where you're going to die..." July 22, 2003
    Format:DVD
    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.
    Read more ›
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    44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars He Was Some Kind Of A Man August 21, 2000
    Format:DVD
    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?
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Not enjoyable
    Not what I was told it would be. Might be okay for some folks but I just didn't have the patience to sit through what was so predictable.
    Published 19 hours ago by woolbull
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and not to be missed
    This film gets better over the years. It's a perfectly done haunting work.
    Published 3 days ago by Charles S.
    5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Classic
    So you've heard Orson Welles described as a boy genius when "Citizen Kane" was made or, earlier, when he scared the hell out of Americans by broadcasting a so-called... Read more
    Published 8 days ago by Michael E. Nader
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
    One of my favorite Orson Welles movies. Watch opening scenes. One incredible shot. Great movie.
    Published 9 days ago by M. Johnson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Welles is compelling as a law officer too impressed with ...
    Welles is compelling as a law officer too impressed with his power and his rightness. Charlton Heston, oddly cast as a Mexican drug agent, is surprisingly effective.
    Published 11 days ago by Dan Lindsay
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Awesome!
    Published 1 month ago by W. A. Consolo Jr.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent
    Published 2 months ago by Raul S.
    5.0 out of 5 stars A noticeable issue in the transfer but nobodys perfect
    I don't know if its just my copy or not but on the reconstruction version of the movie when Janet Leigh is being taken to the hotel where her character is eventually raped there... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Justin Hill
    2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
    Not great
    Published 2 months ago by Rydal book reader
    5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch classic for any film enthusiast
    One of my favorite films. Pay close attention to Orson Wells opening shot. It is the longest single camera pan shot ever. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Mack Ogilvie
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    Topic From this Discussion
    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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