YMMV / Touch of Evil

  • Adaptation Displacement: The film was based on an obscure pulp thriller called Badge of Evil. Orson Welles took great liberties with the plot, including relocating it to the Mexican border, making this film so much his own (and supposedly improving the story greatly in the process) that the original novel is even more obscure today.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film was a box-office failure in the U.S., but was well received in Europe.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Quinlan reaches his when he arranges for Suzie Vargas to be pumped full of drugs and then framed for the murder of Grandi whom he personally strangled just to discredit her husband.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Charlton Heston playing a Mexican. Though it must be noted that this attitude is highly anachronistic. At the time, Touch of Evil was intended as a B-Movie cookie-cutter film and not a serious docudrama about American-Mexican relations and furthermore, the notion of actors affecting accents for their roles was rare and not at all expected by audiences of the 50s, especially the genre movie audiences for whom the film was targeted.
    • Also, Heston's character was originally supposed to be white, but Welles changed his nationality to Mexican. So Heston wasn't cast to play a Mexican, but the changes to the screenplay required a race change.
  • Vindicated by History: The studio released it as a B-movie and gave it little promotion in the United States, but it became a huge hit in Europe. It's now regarded as "the best B-Movie ever made" or to those of a less snobbish disposition, one of the greatest films ever made and one of Orson Welles' best films.