Touch of Evil
Welles’ stealth masterpiece, restored to its final glory in 1998 by star editor Walter Murch, offers some of film noir’s most unforgettable images, and is considered the final chapter in the original noir canon.
“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.” – Chicago Reader
Mexico’s chief narcotics officer, Mike Vargas, is in a border town on a quick honeymoon with his American wife. Soon he must testify against Grandi, a drug lord whose brother and sons are tracking him, hoping to scare his wife and back him off the case. When a car bomb kills a rich U.S. developer, Vargas embroils himself in the investigation, putting his wife in harm’s way. After Vargas catches local legendary U.S. cop, Hank Quinlan, planting evidence against a Mexican national suspected in the bombing, Quinlan joins forces with the Grandi family to impugn Vargas’s character. Local political lackeys, a hard-edged whore, pachucos, and a nervous motel clerk also figure in the plot.