28/05/2008 15:12

Touch of Evil – Pedja’s Film Collection

USA, 1958, 95 min
Direction: Orson Welles
Cast: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff
Awards: National Film Registry, National Film Preservation Board, USA, 1993, Special Award, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 1998, Historical Shot (Phillip H. Lathrop), Society of Camera Operators, 1999
Selection: Pedja’s Film Collection

Touch of Evil, a movie from 1958, a classic example of American noir, by a cult maker Orson Welles, is going to be shown in Pedja’s Film Collection Selection. A dark mystery, a criminal thriller and a cult classic are the basic descriptions of this movie. The movie is based on Whit Masterson’s novel. Unforgettable Orson Welles did the screenplay, direction, as well as an excellent acting performance.

Touch of Evil is a complicated, controversial story of the fifties, marked at the time as a bizarre and shocking movie story because it included such topics as racism, corruption, bribing the police, treason, sexual ambiguities, and the narcotic market. The movie shows what can happen in a small American town on the Mexican border, where Hank Quinlan, the unscrupulous sheriff keep “justice” in his own hands. In the intense plot, Quinlan’s counterbalance is a young detective Mike Vargas who tries to expose the leading drug-dealer, not noticing right away that his pretty bride Susie gets into danger because of that…

Famous director, screenplay writer, and producer, Orson Welles, was born in 1935. In the early thirties, during his stay in Dublin, he entered the world of drama art, first as an actor, then as a theatre director. In 1938 he finished spectacular radio-drama The War of the Worlds, developed from the adaptation of the novel with the same name about an invasion from Mars. Extraordinary convincing radio-drama caused a terrible panic and disturbance of the American nation. About the project, and the provoked disturbance, a movie called The Night That Panicked America was made. He died in 1985. He remained remembered by excellent roles, such as the one in The Third Man from 1949, but also by his original director work that he started with his first, cult movie, called Citizen Kane in 1941.