Newlywed Noir

In Touch of Evil’s stunning opening sequence, we watch as a car carrying a ticking bomb slowly, maddeningly makes its way through bustling bordertown streets.  The ensuing explosion interrupts the honeymoon of a Mexican narcotics officer (Charlton Heston) and Susan, his American bride (Janet Leigh).  While the lawman joins the investigation, Susan is stashed at a remote hotel, but her stay turns out to be an orchestrated nightmare of kidnapping and abuse.  Director Orson Welles, wearing literally pounds of make-up, stars as a corrupt police detective who spirals even lower into morally compromised obsession.  Though the studio originally took the film out of Welles’ hands, this release restores his original vision, and the effect is undeniable.