Touch Of Evil, film review: Orson Welles' magnificent piece of work that has been remastered

Marlene Dietrich remastered the 1998 restoration for an updated version of iconic film

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The Independent Culture

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

Welles himself plays the overweight and crooked cop Hank Quinlan as a Falstaffian figure, wringing out the pathos from a character who is sleazy and corrupt, even if he does have an uncanny ability to sniff out the criminals.

Marlene Dietrich gives him one of the great send-offs in movie history. On a formal level, the film has its share of fireworks, too. Anyone who has ever done a film studies course is likely to have come across its celebrated opening scene – a mini-epic lasting several minutes without a cut in which a bomb is placed in the boot of a car we then see driving down noisy night-time streets.

This is a newly remastered version of the 1998 restoration of the film which, like many of Welles’ movies, had a very chequered post-production history. It was re-edited behind his back and only put back together in something like the form he intended several years after he died.

Orson Welles, 110 mins Starring: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles