Touch of Evil (1958)

Director: Orson Welles Cinematographer: Russell Metty
 Touch of Evil (1958) on IMDb

With a screenplay loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson, writer/director Orson Welles’s only studio film of the 1950s follows Miguel Vargas (Charlton Heston), a drug enforcement official in the Mexican government. While on honeymoon on the US side of the border a Mexican car bomb explodes and he takes an interest in the investigation. However, he is soon at odds with American police captain Hank Quinlan (Welles) and his shady partner, Menzies (Joseph Calleia) who are attempting to frame an innocent man. Released with four different running times, the original version having been brutally cut by the studio, Welles’s brilliant noir masterpiece was restored to the filmmaker’s true vision in 1998 and its reputation has grown to be deemed not only one of the genre’s best but also one of the greatest films of the 1950s.

Buy or Rent (watch online)
Hollywood Legends Spotlight Collection [Harvey, Spartacus, Touch of Evil] (Universal’s 100th Anniversary) DVD
Film Noir 10-Movie Spotlight Collection (Double Indemnity / Touch of Evil / This Gun for Hire / The Glass Key / Phantom Lady / The Blue Dahlia / Black Angel / The Killers / The Big Clock / Criss Cross) DVD
50th Anniversary Edition (DVD)



  • Charlton Heston as Ramon Miguel Vargas
  • Janet Leigh as Susan Vargas
  • Orson Welles as Police Captain Hank Quinlan
  • Joseph Calleia as Pete Menzies
  • Akim Tamiroff as Uncle Joe Grandi
  • Joanna Cook Moore as Marcia Linnekar
  • Ray Collins as District Attorney Adair
  • Dennis Weaver as the Night Manager
  • Val de Vargas as Pancho
  • Mort Mills as Al Schwartz
  • Victor Millan as Manolo Sanchez
  • Lalo Rios as Risto
  • Phil Harvey as Blaine
  • Joi Lansing as Zita
  • Harry Shannon as Police Chief Pete Gould
  • Rusty Wescoatt as Casey
  • Wayne Taylor as a gang member
  • Ken Miller as a gang member
  • Raymond Rodriguez as a gang member
  • Arlene McQuade as Ginnie
  • Dan White as the Border Guard
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor as the Strip-club owner
  • Marlene Dietrich as Tana
  • Mercedes McCambridge as a hoodlum
  • William Tannen as Howard Frantz
  • Joseph Cotten (uncredited) as a coroner

Directed by Orson Welles
Produced by Albert Zugsmith
Screenplay by Orson Welles
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Virgil Vogel, Aaron Stell
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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