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Touch of Evil (1958)

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping and police corruption in a Mexican border town.
(PG-13, 95 min.)


Thursday, June 8, 2023

7:00 PM

Experience Orson Welles' timeless masterpiece Touch of Evil on the big. 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. [Universal]

Starring: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
Director: Orson Welles
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Film Noir

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— Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Still seems close to the pinnacle of film noir."

— Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

"The great director's masterpiece of bad juju."

— Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

"A masterclass in tension, visual panache and B-movie excess."

— Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

"This nightmarish descent into dark entertainment has so much weirdness going on it's amazing."

— Staff, TV Guide Magazine

"Astonishing cinematography and brilliantly played, this certainly one of the most influential crime movies in history."

— Angie Errigo, Empire

"No amount of repeated viewings can dull the edge of its sinister ambience or soften the visual excitement Welles brought to this quintessentially cinematic film."

— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"An all-star A-movie with large themes, brilliant technique, and a dark and daring performance by its star-writer-director that remains one of his two or three best."

— John Hartl, The Seattle Times

"As masterful as Welles's filming is, what makes Touch of Evil a staggering masterpiece is the global quality of his style, which causes every image to echo almost every other in the film."

— Fred Camper, Chicago Reader

"Touch of Evil proceeds with one of the most celebrated long-takes in screen history. The sequence is a marvel of technical virtuosity and staged action. From the very start, Orson Welles’s grubby and sweaty noir classic has us in its grip with a gloriously devised piece of showmanship emblematic of the director’s audaciously talented spirit."

— Martyn Conterio, CineVue