Day 255: Touch Of Evil (1958)

touch-of-evilIt has been 22 days since the last time we did a Sunday at the classics film and there is only 15 Sundays left in the whole month (Not including today). There is one man whose name is synonymous with classic Hollywood cinema and that is director Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and he returns to star and direct the film noir classic Touch Of Evil. A wealthy man is killed in an explosion in a border town between Mexico and the US. It sets off an investigation that brings in one Mexican Narcotics investigator named Vargas (Charlton Heston) and a veteran cop named Quinlan (Welles) whose willing to do whatever it takes to take down anyone. The two will soon embark on a battle between each other as Vargas is trying to nail Quinlan for being a dirty cop while Quinlan is trying to ruin Vargas reputation. The film also stars Janet Leigh (Psycho) as Susan Vargas, Joseph Calleia (The Treasure Of Pancho Villa) as Police SGT. Menzies, Akim Tamiroff (For Whom The Bell Tolls) as Uncle Joe, Marlene Dietrich (Judgement At Nuremberg) as Tana, Zsa Zsa Gabor (Moulin Rouge) as Strip Club Owner, Ray Collins (Perry Mason) as DA Adair, Valentin de Vargas (To Live In And Die In LA) as Pancho, and Joi Lansing (The Brave One) as Zita. 

touchThis was definitely an amazing movie to watch and I had a lot of fun checking this one out. I had one minor issue with the film, but it’s one of those I get why they did it kind of thing. My only issue with the film is that I had a hard time believing Charlton Heston as a Mexican because not even black and white makes me believe it. He looks like an American with a mustache and a tan. I get why they did it because Hollywood at the time would have never placed a real Mexican as the star of the film. You have to remember that at this time, white men were still playing Native Americans in films. What I did love about this film is the last half and hour of it. The last half hour was one of the most intense half hours of the whole movie with all the scandalous behavior. I didn’t know how I felt about Orson Welles before the film, but he was absolutely amazing in this film as the crooked Quinlan. There are always going to be flaws in every film, but this is definitely one of my favorites so far this month. The writing is great, the cinematography was great, and the acting was great too. A young and beautiful pre-Psycho Janet Leigh is in the film and she looks great. The film takes a bit to unfold, but when it does it’s absolutely amazing. If you want to know about the history of cinema then you need to check out these films because they laid the ground work for today. That is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

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