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Touch of Evil [DVD] [1958] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001CC7PQ2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,481 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

From Amazon.co.uk

Considered by many to be the greatest B movie ever made, the original-release version of Orson Welles' film noir masterpiece Touch of Evil was, ironically, never intended as a B movie at all--it merely suffered that fate after it was taken away from writer-director Welles, then reedited and released in 1958 as the second half of a double feature. Time and critical acclaim would eventually elevate the film to classic status (and Welles' original vision was meticulously followed for the film's 1998 restoration), but for four decades this original version stood as a testament to Welles' directorial genius. From its astonishing, miraculously choreographed opening shot (lasting over three minutes) to Marlene Dietrich's classic final line of dialogue, this sordid tale of murder and police corruption is like a valentine for the cinematic medium, with Welles as its love-struck suitor. As the corpulent cop who may be involved in a border-town murder, Welles faces opposition from a narcotics officer (Charlton Heston) whose wife (Janet Leigh) is abducted and held as the pawn in a struggle between Heston's quest for truth and Welles' control of carefully hidden secrets. The twisting plot is wildly entertaining (even though it's harder to follow in this original version), but even greater pleasure is found in the pulpy dialogue and the sheer exuberance of the dazzling directorial style. --Jeff Shannon

Synopsis

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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