Touch of Evil

Book cover

Richard Deming, senior lecturer in English and director, Creative Writing Program


Orson Welles' classic 1958 noir movie, “Touch of Evil,” the story of a corrupt police chief in a small town on the Mexican-American border — starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Marlene Dietrich — is widely recognized as one of the greatest noir films of Classical Hollywood cinema. Deming's study of the film considers it as an outstanding example of the noir genre and explores its complex relationship to its source novel, “Badge of Evil” by Whit Masterson.

He traces the film's production history, and provides a close analysis of its key scenes, including its famed opening sequence, a single take in which the camera follows a booby-trapped car on its journey through city streets and across the border.

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