Touch of Evil written and directed by Orson Welles, based on the novel by Whit Masterson
9 out of 10
Notes and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Touch of Evil is one of the best films you can see, coming from the phenomenal writer, director and star who gave the world
- Citizen Kane, probably the best film ever
Touch of Evil has been acclaimed by the critics and it is included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list:
But as the IMDB chart of Top 250 Rated Movies proofs, this is also a film popular with audiences, decades after being produced:
And the moving picture starts with a loud bang, as a rich construction man is blown up with a dancer, near the Mexican border.
Charlton Heston has the leading role of Mike Vargas and he used to be a complicated actor, at least for this viewer.
On the one hand he had some memorable roles, but on the other, his involvement and prominent role in the NRA did not endear him to me.
Mike Vargas is a Mexican Narcotics officer- and to look Latino he had to wear heavy dark make –up-just married.
The fact that he has to interrupt his honeymoon, on account of the bomb that blew off very near him and he wants to look into the case that may have connections with his investigation of the Grandi family upsets his wife.
Susan Vargas loves her husband and even wants to help him in his job, when an opportunity is given, but she will grow ever more frustrated.
A young man comes to Susan Vargas with a message saying that she needs to follow him in order to get material that would be useful for her spouse.
It is actually a trap in which she is photographed and then later on pushed even further, in an attempt to compromise the husband.
But the members of the Grandi family are not the only villains involved in organized crime that appear in this movie.
Orson Welles plays the police captain Hank Quinlan, who in the first place appears to be on the right side of the law.
He is a tired man and I was wondering about the health of the titan of cinema when filming this moving picture.
Hank Quinlan has a reputation for flair and intuition, because “his leg” keeps telling him who the guilty party is.
The problem is that when he suspects someone, the only aspect left is to provide evidence, by hook or by crook.
In this case, given that he has found an employ of the murdered rich man, Manolo Sanchez, who has had an affair with the daughter of the victim becomes not just the prime suspect, but the killer in the version of captain Quinlan.
Mike Vargas or Miguel is present in the room, when the American policeman pretends he has found dynamite in Monolo’s bathroom.
Knowing this is false, for he had searched in the bathroom and found nothing incriminating, Miguel Vargas begins to have doubts about Hank Quinlan.
The latter is now ready to work with the criminal world and makes a pact with Joe Grandi with the scope of compromising Vargas through his wife.
Susan Vargas is detained, and then abused in a motel owned by the Grandi family, which wants to present evidence against the innocent woman.
In the meantime, Miguel Vargas is looking into the records of the public archives that show evidence of wrongdoing in the cases that Hank Quinlan had brought to court.
The atmosphere of the film is gloomy, dark, even depressing, but this is working to the advantage of the drama, presenting the events unfolding in their proper, dark mood, until a climax is reached and some of the criminals are- maybe- identified.