Based on a novel titled, ‘Badge of Evil’, the film is an intense story of police corruption on the border of Mexico and America. Narcotics officer Mike Vargas is drawn into the case of a car bombing that occurs on the border. Working with US police officer Hank Quinlan, Vargas begins to suspect the officer of planting fake evidence. Vargas follows this trail of corruption to the displeasure of Hank. During this time, a Mexican crime syndicate are planning an attack on Vargas’ new wife who he thinks is safely hidden away in a hotel on the US side of the border.
The film is visual and use of dramatic suspense creates an intense aura throughout. However, it seems Vargas’ wife Susan, is sometimes forgotten in the film. She is pushed into a hotel and terrorised by local gang members, yet much of this and its effect on her character is ignored.
‘A Touch of Evil’ was re-released in 1998 to reflect the director’s (Orson Welles) original version of the film. The initial 1958 release had been substantially edited by film studio Universal. The 1998 edition was re-edited based on notes written by Welles.The Movie Club will be screening ‘A Touch of Evil’ on Wednesday 9 August, 6pm sharp at Narellan Library. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided, BYO snacks are more than welcome. Stay after the screening for a short discussion about the film. See the discussion questions to get some ideas.