Big screen classics

Touch of Evil

Welles’ brilliant, baroque noir mystery about a murder investigation in a nightmarish border town.

Image from Touch of Evil

USA 1958
Dir Orson Welles
With Welles, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Akim Tamiroff
Certificate 12A

Welles pushes the noir policier to baroque and ironic extremes, using expressionist compositions, serpentine travelling shots and heightened make-up and performances to turn a Mexican-American border town – site of a murder investigation that uncovers all kinds of corruption – into the stuff of nightmare. Russell Metty was the cinematographer who brought the writer-director’s ambitious and supremely imaginative ideas to fruition.