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Touch of Evil

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Orson Welles

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About the Movie

Experience Orson Welles' timeless masterpiece, Touch of Evil, complete and uncut with restored footage for the first time ever! 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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 71
  • Fresh: 68
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Where Mr. Welles soundly succeeds is in generating enough sinister electricity for three such yarns and in generally staging it like a wild, murky nightmare. – Howard Thompson, New York Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Indeed, just to see and hear the extraordinary 3 minute and 20 second opening sequence -- a fluid tour de force tracking shot -- without impediment of opening credits and street-sound-masking movie score is accomplishment enough. – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, Mar 12, 2013

Fresh: Expressionistic in the extreme, filled with shadows, angles and cinematic flourishes, the film raises the usual brooding nightmare ambiance of film noir to a level few other pictures have attempted. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Mar 12, 2013

Fresh: Touch of Evil may be the sleaziest good movie ever made. – Charles Taylor,, Oct 18, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


i'm telling you dawg!! humanity at its finest moments. dirty, grimy, gritty, ugly, disgusting, and dark. orson welles is at his finest here and the cinematography is awesome. leaves you wondering how can people be so vile? yea you gotta watch this. good movie!!

First Class Thriller

Though this film is problematic (the first thing that comes to my mind when the film is mentioned is 'Charlton Heston playing a Mexican'), it excels on so many levels that it really is an all time great. The themes are dealt with in a stylish and technically brilliant manner--the widescreen black and white serves so evocatively. If for nothing else, watch this for the first three and a half minute crane shot. Glorious opener.

Versions Indeed

Not sure which one this is but it sez "restored" Then again there's this from a review over at Amazon: "There are three versions of the film floating around on video. The first was the theatrical release version that was edited without Welles' approval. It includes some sequences shot by other individuals at Universal to make the story easier to understand. This was the only version available up through the mid-80's. Around 1985, Universal attempted a restoration edit of the film that was closer to Welle's opinion. Released to art house theatres and on video, this is the commonly available version found on home video from Universal. The "restoration" did have its detractors -- the restoration, in addition to putting back more material intended for the film by Welles, also put in more of the material shot by the studio without Welle's permission. The third version, and probably the closest to Welles' intent, was released in 1999. In this case, original memos from Welles were used to re-edit the existing material and to eliminate the material not shot by Welles. The film also includes the fantastic opening sequence of the film without the opening titles superimposed -- the credits are seen at the end of the film. Also, the parallel stories in the film are more closely intertwined in the editing throughout the entire film. (In the original and first restoration, the plot lines are developed in a more conventional fashion.) This is the version due to be released on DVD."