Touch of Evil

Synopsis: Mexican Narcotics officer Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas has to interrupt his honeymoon on the Mexican-US border when an American building contractor is killed after someone places a bomb in his car. He's killed on the US side of the border but it's clear that the bomb was planted on the Mexican side. As a result, Vargas delays his return to Mexico City where he has been mounting a case against the Grandi family crime and narcotics syndicate. Police Captain Hank Quinlan is in charge on the US side and he soon has a suspect, a Mexican named Manolo Sanchez. Vargas is soon onto Quinlan and his Sergeant, Pete Menzies, when he catches them planting evidence to convict Sanchez. With his new American wife, Susie, safely tucked away in a hotel on the US side of the border - or so he thinks - he starts to review Quinlan's earlier cases. While concentrating on the corrupt policeman however, the Grandis have their own plans for Vargas and they start with his wife Susie.
Director(s): Orson Welles
Production: October Films
  6 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

You folks are American citizens?

I am, yes.

- Where were you born, Miss? - Mrs!

What? - Philadelphia.

- The name is Vargas.

Hey, Jim! See who's here?

Sure, Mr Vargas!

Hot on the trail of another dope ring?

Hot on the trail of a chocolate soda

for my wife. - Your wife?

Barely a bride, officer.

Can I get through?

So you cracked that Grandi business.

- We hear you caught the big boss!

Only one of them.

The Grandis are a big family.

No purchases, Mr Linnekar?

- Hey, I got this...

American citizen, Miss?

- I got this ticking noise...

No, really.

This ticking noise in my head!

Mike, this is the very first time

we've been together in my country!

And I haven't kissed you

in over an hour.

Mike, what happened?

- That car that passed us exploded!

How could it do that?

- I'll have to try to find out.

Better not come any closer.

We'll have to postpone that soda.

Mike, couldn't I...

- Susie, please be careful!

This could be very bad for us.

- For us?

For Mexico. Anyway, there's nothing

I can do over here. - So?

So I'll try not to be too long.

Go on, darling.

Wait at the hotel.

Blaine! I thought you were

in Washington. - I leave tomorrow.

You know Schwartz,

of the local O.A.'s office.

Who's in charge here?

- I can't even tell you what happened.

Why aren't you in Mexico City

for that dope trial?

Grandi? I hoped to go

on the morning plane, but now...

This business?

- Afraid so.

That bomb came from the Mexican side

of the border. - The car did.

He says

you don't understand what he wants.

I understand very well.

- He saved your life, lady.

Tell him I'm a married woman,

and that my husband

is a government official,

ready and willing

to knock out all his front teeth.

That's it, your husband.

- That's what he wants to talk about.

"Follow this boy at once. We have

something important for Mr Vargas."

Well, what have I got to lose?

Don't answer that?

Lead on, Poncho!

Across the border again?

Hey Doc, here comes the O.A.!

Where's Captain Quinlan?

- He's on his way.

Old Hank must be the only one

who didn't hear the explosion.

Terrible thing.

Has the daughter been told?

They're bringing her over now,

to identify her father's body.

An hour ago, Rudy Linnekar

had this town in his pocket.

Now you could

strain him through a sieve.

I guess that's my father.

Now Miss Linnekar,

can you identify the woman?

I'm not acquainted with my father's

girlfriends. - OK, Miss Linnekar.

Here comes Hank at last!

You've heard of Hank Quinlan, police

celebrity? - I'd like to meet him.

That's what you think!

Did they toss it in,

or was it planted ahead of time?


- Whoever did it, you jackass!

Hey lady, look at the pretty baby!

My nephew says

you called him "Poncho". Why?

Why you call him "Poncho"?

- Just for laughs.

This note says

you have something for my husband.

Seor Vargas, eh?

You know who I am?

Want me to guess?

- My name is Grandi.

You've heard the name before?

Aside from my husband's case,

isn't there a nightclub by that name?

Yeah. "Grandi's Rancho Grande".

My gun.

Kind of a joke.

Get it? - I can't say

it's the funniest thing I ever heard.

The name ain't Mexican.

I got a permit for this thing.

The Grandis been in Los Robles a long

time. Some in Mexico, some here.

Must be convenient for business.

- Yeah?

What business?

- Grandi business.


- Yeah!

You know what's wrong with you?

You've seen too many gangster movies.

Mike may spoil some of your fun.

- Mike? - My husband, yeah!

If you're trying to get me to call

him off, let me tell you something.

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Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (; May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film. He is remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; in radio, the legendary 1938 broadcast "The War of the Worlds"; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made. In his 20s, Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast, and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds performed for his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was actually occurring. Although some contemporary sources say these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety. His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. He struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios and later in life with a variety of independent financiers, and his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur".Welles followed up Citizen Kane with 12 other feature films, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Touch of Evil (1958), and Chimes at Midnight (1966). Other works of his, such as The Lady from Shanghai (1947) and F for Fake (1973), are also well-regarded. In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. Known for his baritone voice, Welles was an actor in radio and film, a Shakespearean stage actor, and a magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Touch of Evil" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 May 2021. <>.

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