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Touch of Evil

Touch of Evil

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American film noir written and directed by Orson Welles, who also stars in the film. The screenplay was loosely based on the contemporary Whit Masterson novel Badge of Evil (1956). The cast included Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich.

Plot

In Los Robles, a Mexican town along the U.S.–Mexico border, a time bomb is planted in a car. Rudy Linnekar (Jeffrey Green) and Zita (Joi Lansing) enter the vehicle and make a slow journey through town to the U.S. border, during which Zita insists that she can hear something ticking. Newlyweds Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston), a drug enforcement official in the Mexican government and his wife Susie (Janet Leigh) pass the car several times on foot. The car crosses the border, then explodes. Realizing the implications of a Mexican bomb exploding on American soil, Vargas takes an interest in the investigation. Police Chief Pete Gould (Harry Shannon) and District Attorney Adair (Ray Collins) arrive on the scene, followed by the game-legged police captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) and Quinlan's longtime partner, Pete Menzies (Joseph Calleia)—who clearly worships Quinlan. The obese and disheveled Captain nostalgically visits a brothel run by Tanya (Marlene Dietrich), who barely recognizes him because he's gained so much weight.

Awards