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Watching “A Touch Of Evil” On TCM

March 21, 2016

It was great to watch the 1958 movie, “A Touch of Evil” directed by the great Orson Welles yesterday on Turner Classic Movies channel.

There were some fine performances all throughout this film about  murder, police corruption and overall shady activities in a Mexican border town.

Charlton Heston, a year away from his Academy Award winning performance in “Ben Hur,” but likely already working on it as that film also shown yesterday on TCM took two years to complete, stars as an official (Mike Vargas) investigating narcotics traffic.

Janet Leigh, two years away from a landmark role, hers in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is excellent as Heston’s wife (“Susan”) in the film. Welles is brilliant as police captain, “Hank Quinlan.”

I will not “spoil” the tremendous film, which was edited 40 years later to be more in tune with what Mr. Welles desired in the film but had trouble gaining, but as in “Psycho,” Ms. Leigh’s character is in trouble alone in an out of the way hotel.

Also look for Dennis Weaver in a nice supporting role as a hotel clerk. Others spotted in the cast include Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Ray Collins, the latter known to television audiences as Police Lieutenant Tragg on Perry Mason, but also with Welles in his masterpiece film, “Citizen Kane.”

 

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