in about 100 words or less
US 112m (restored cut), B&W
Director: Orson Welles; Cast: Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich
The 1998 restored cut of Touch of Evil is a fine example of film noir which is also widely notable for its beautiful three-minute plus tracking shot which opens the story and which ends with a bang. Despite the odd choice to cast Heston as a Mexican drug enforcement official named Ramon Miguel Vargas, Touch of Evil is an engaging crime drama in which two separate plot lines involving organized crime, drugs, crooked cops and racism become tightly interwoven into one. Perhaps most notable is Welles’s performance as Quinlan, the hard-nosed corrupt sheriff whose character spirals out of control when his reputation is challenged (Klaus Ming February 2012).