Electronic Media Collective

Your new home for entertainment podcasts

Touch of Evil (1958) The Film Noir classic directed by Orson Welles starring Charlton Heston & Janet Leigh

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: Touch of Evil
The 1956 novel Badge of Evil Vs. the 1958 Film Noir Classic

The Margos dive right back into one of our favorite genres–film noir! The 1958 Orson Welles’s directed film Touch of Evil is based on a 1956 novel by Whit Masteron titled Badge of Evil. The book sold reasonably well at the time, but at the time, the movie was given mixed reviews due to Welles not staying until the final edit process.

In 1998, a “re-cut” of the film was based on a 58-page memo Welles had sent to the studio 40 years previously is now considered a modern classic and one of the last true “film noirs” to be released.

Whit Masterson was the nom de plume of two writers–Wade Miller and Will Daemer who wrote more than 30 books together (including Kitten With a Whip in 1964!) Their original story is about a man, Rudy Linneker, killed by a dynamite blast at this home. His daughter Tara stands to make $2 million and is engaged to someone her father disapproved of before her death. There are other suspects, including Ernest Farnum, a disgruntled employee who improbably confesses.

Detectives Leron McCoy and Hank Quinlan are considered “legends” in Los Angeles for their excellent work, and Assistant District Attorney Mitch Holt is suspicious. The rest of the story is a mish-mash of double-crossing police and families in danger, with several lives and careers ruined while exposing hypocrisy and crime in the L.A. police.

Orson Welles was given this project as a B Movie and decided to take apart the story and rebrand it as his vision moving the book action from San Diego to the U.S. & Mexico border. Our protagonist (played by Charlton Heston) was renamed Miguel Vargas and played in “brown face” to serve Welles’s theme of racism and American relations with Mexico.

34-year-old pre-Psycho Janet Leigh rounds out the cast as Vargas’s new bride, Susan Vargas, pre-Duel Dennis Weaver as the Night Manager, and an array of top-notch character actors played by a multi-racial cast.

Stars like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Keenan Wynn, and Marlene Dietrich agreed to work for union pay to help keep on budget.

The Margos debate between the novel and the classic film–which did we like more?
In this ep the Margos discuss:

  • The backstory of the movie
  • The cast of the 1958 film: Charlton Heston (Ramon Miguel Vargas,) Janet Leigh (Susan Vargas,) Orson Welles (Police Captain Hank Quinlan,) Joseph Callaeia (Sgt. Pete Menzies,) Akin Tamiroff (Uncle Joe Grandi,) Joanna Cook Moore (Marcia Linnekar,) Ray Collins (District Attorney Addair,) Dennis Weaver (the Night Manager,) Zsa Zsa Gabor (Strip-club owner,) Marlene Dietrich (Tana,) Mercedes McCambridge (gang leader) and Joseph Cotton as a coroner.

Clips used:

Book Vs. Movie is part of the Frolic Podcast Network.

Find more podcasts you will love Frolic.Media/podcasts.
Join our Patreon page to help support the show! https://www.patreon.com/bookversusmovie

Book Vs. Movie podcast https://www.facebook.com/bookversusmovie/Twitter @bookversusmovie www.bookversusmovie.com

Email us at bookversusmoviepodcast@gmail.com
Margo D. @BrooklynMargo www.brooklynfitchick.com
brooklynfitchick@gmail.comMargo P. @ShesNachoMama https://coloniabook.weebly.com/

Our logo was designed by Madeleine Gainey/Studio 39 Marketing Follow on Instagram @Studio39Marketing & @musicalmadeleine

Podcast and post content is provided by Book Vs Movie Podcast. Any views, opinions, advertisements, affiliate links, or grammatical errors (😉) contained within feed-provided content is that of Book Vs Movie Podcast and NOT that of Electronic Media Collective.