Touch of Evil
Touch of Evil (1958)

This baroque nightmare of a south-of-the-border mystery is considered to be one of the great movies of Orson Welles, who both directed and starred in it. On honeymoon with his new bride, Susan (Janet Leigh), Mexican-born policeman Mike… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: October 31, 2000
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
96%
Flixster
User Score
93%

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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Artistically innovative and emotionally gripping, Orson Welles' classic noir is a visual treat, as well as a dark, sinister thriller.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

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.

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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly

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.

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Geoffrey Macnab
Independent

It is typical of Orson Welles that he takes a B-movie thriller set on the Mexican border and gives it a Shakespearian grandeur.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

Having the Touch of Evil envisioned by our most creative filmmaker, is a wondrous gift no movie lover should miss.

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David Edelstein
Slate

I first saw it when I was 14 and thought it was one of the worst pictures ever -- garish, oppressive, and appallingly overacted. Grown up, I'd go with those same adjectives, except now I think it's one of the best.

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David Jenkins
Little White Lies

Like the bomb that's lobbed in the boot of the soft-top car in its opening scene, Touch Of Evil is a film where we can hear the faint sound of ticking in our heads, but don't realise what the problem is before it's far too late.

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Anthony Lane
New Yorker

[Welles'] scenes with brothel-keeper Marlene Dietrich have nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with the rotting heart of this amazing fable: the apotheosis of pulp.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

A sweaty thriller conundrum on character and corruption, justice and the law, worship and betrayal, it plays havoc with moral ambiguities.

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Sarah Cronin
Electric Sheep

Touch of Evil deserves to be watched multiple times, not for the story, but to absorb its brilliance and audacity.

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More reviews for Touch of Evil

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
It is great to be able to see this film now as Welles first intended it to be, a very complex character study (and also visually dazzling, opening with a… More
Graham Jones
Artistic and dark, this, in my opinion, is Welles at his best.
Spencer S.
An iconic, misanthropic, film noir, "Touch of Evil" is one of Orson Welles' last Hollywood ventures and one of his best and critically received… More
Tsubaki Sanjuro
It's a shame the script doesn't match the quality of the direction, and the performances. Between Leigh's super naive wife, a retarded hotel… More
Tim Salmons
Now I wouldn't say that Touch of Evil is the best noir film ever made, but it certainly ranks up there. Having never seen the original theatrical version… More
Aj V
Welles is well known for his directorial genius and you can see his cool techniques in this movie too, but I found the story pretty boring for the most part.… More