DVD Touch of Evil [DVD] [Canadian; Univeral 100th Anniversary] (DVD 15850319),
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Touch of Evil [DVD] [Canadian; Univeral 100th Anniversary]

  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Orson Welles's TOUCH OF EVIL is nothing short of a masterpiece. Beginning with a three-minute-plus tracking crane shot, the film explodes onto the screen, literally--the marvelously expressive opening shot ends with a car blowing up, and that detonation sets into motion a classic noir tale of betrayal and murder. In a complex exploration of character and morality, Welles plays the racist Captain Hank Quinlan, a grotesque, troubled, and powerful figure who runs his small U.S. border town according to his own version of the law. Quinlan's brutishness and vulgarity contrast starkly with the idealism and playboy good looks of Charlton Heston as Mike Vargas, a Mexican detective trying to put away the leader of a dangerous family of drug dealers--the Grandis. In the U.S. with his new bride, Susie (Janet Leigh), Vargas becomes consumed with exposing Quinlan and his highly questionable methods--too busy to see that his own beautiful blonde bride is in serious danger from both Quinlan and the Grandis.

    In 1998, Welles's film was restored closer to its creator's original vision, and it is a joy to behold. Every shot is impeccably crafted, every word of dialogue concise and pointed. The camerawork (by Russell Metty and John Russell) is stunning, particularly in the opening scene and the long single take in which Vargas believes he has caught Quinlan planting evidence. The supporting cast, led by Marlene Dietrich, Dennis Weaver, Akim Tamiroff, and Joseph Calleia, gives exhilarating performances. TOUCH OF EVIL, Welles's last studio film, is a near-perfect examination of the dark underbelly of society and the tragic downfall of a once proud man.
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  • Credits
    Charlton Heston, Charles Carter, Charlton Easton, Janet Leigh, Jeanette Helen Morrison, Orson Welles, George Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Maria Magdalena von Losch, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ray Collins
  • Critic Reviews
    "...[A] splendid, definitive reedit of Orson Welles' noir great....Unspools with all the complex, unnerving menace its writer-director had in mind all along..." -- Rating: A
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...Classic noir's final shout pits Orson Welles and Charlton Heston as rival investigators..."
    Total Film

    "...A masterpiece..." -- 4 out of 4 stars
    USA Today

    "[A] masterful wallow in noir....[Welles] inhabits another outsize monster who somehow evokes the viewer's sympathy."
    Premiere

    "Orson Welles's 1958 TOUCH OF EVIL is a work of slippery precision, a picture whose seductiveness is only enhanced by its refusal to surrender fully to our grasp."
    New York Times

    "...Discover what the hullabaloo was about....Great Welles and a surprisingly good Heston..." -- 5 out of 5 stars - One for the Library
    Premiere

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