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TOUCH OF EVIL (1998 Reconstruction)


Sunday & Monday, February 1 & 2

(1958, Orson Welles) When a car bomb vaporizes two border town nightclubbers, Mexican narc Charlton Heston, on his honeymoon with gringa bride Janet Leigh, finds himself pressed into service by memorably bloated police chief Welles. With a legendary opening crane shot that follows the actors for blocks; Marlene Dietrich’s deadpan, dark-wigged madam; and an elaborate chase through the canals of Venice… California. Reconstruction (by Rick Schmidlin, Walter Murch, Bob O’Neil, et al.)  of many of Welles’ sound and picture intentions, as detailed in a legendary 58-page memo to the studio. Approx. 111 min. DCP.

Orson Welles in TOUCH OF EVIL


“THE TALLEST TREE IN THE WILDERNESS OF WELLES’ POST-KANE CAREER! The dialogue is as intricately overlapped as the lighting is cross-hatched; the cameos are as vivid as possible in a black-and-white movie; the camera work and blocking have the coordination of an Olympic pole vaulter.”
– J. Hoberman

“Wizardly moving camera shots, nightmarish angles and incredibly florid, amusing performances pack the movie... a wondrous gift no movie lover should miss.”
– Michael Wilmington

“No amount of repeated viewings can dull the edge of its sinister ambience or soften the visual excitement Welles brought to this quintessentially cinematic film.”
– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Film Forum