Irish Film Institute -TOUCH OF EVIL



110 minutes, U.S.A, 1958, Black and White, D-Cinema

This film was released on Friday 10th July 2015 and is no longer screening.


The much referenced opening tracking shot of Touch of Evil remains such an audacious piece of filmmaking, the perfect introduction to this masterful, dark noir, it is a wonder that it alone didn’t convince the film’s backers that its director knew what he was doing. Yet Orson Welles was sacked during post-production, and he would not direct another Hollywood film. Buried on its original release, Touch of Evil was restored in 1998 as per notes left by Welles, and it is this definitive version that the BFI are reissuing, the latest release to mark Welles’ centenary.

It’s a torrid, spellbinding tale of murder, kidnapping and police corruption in a Mexican border town, and there are memorable performances from Charlton Heston as upstanding Mexican lawman Mike Vargas, Marlene Dietrich as cynical hooker Tanya and from Welles himself, almost unrecognisable as the vile, crooked cop Hank Quinlan. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)

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