Touch of Evil

The reputation of Orson Welles' 1958 Touch of Evil gradually grew over the four decades following its release, and several different edits and restoration now exist. The movie, which began as a pulp fiction novel about corruption in a border town, was originally to feature Welles as a mere heavy-for-hire. The guy hadn't worked in the U.S. for a decade; and this, his low-budget return to Hollywood, would be his last American movie. Janet Leigh stars as the innocent American wife of a Mexican lawman (Charlton Heston). It was his idea, says Heston, to hire Welles as director. Welles rewrote the script on the fly, restaged scenes in the public restrooms of Venice, California (a decrepit Moorish-style resort town then undergoing an oil boom), and collapsed days of shooting into single, long-take sequences like the famous opening shot, set to cantina music and a ticking time bomb. With Marlene Dietrich. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Wed., Sept. 12, 9:30 p.m., 2012

 
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