BD 25 Touch of Evil

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swo17
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BD 25 Touch of Evil

#1 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:17 pm

Touch of Evil

Image Image

Touch of Evil begins with one of the most brilliant sequences in the history of cinema; and ends with one of the most brilliant final scenes ever committed to celluloid. In between unfurls a picture whose moral, sexual, racial, and aesthetic attitudes remain so radical as to cross borders established not only in 1958, but in the present age also. Yet, Touch of Evil has taken many forms. The film as released in 1958 was certainly compromised from Orson Welles’ vision, but a brilliant and lengthy memo written by Welles to studio heads in 1957 – taking issue with a studio rough-cut – had some influence on a subsequent preview version shown to test audiences (and rediscovered in the mid-1970s) as well as the 1958 theatrical version. Forty years later, in 1998, Universal produced a reconstructed version of the film that takes into meticulous account the totality of Welles’ memo, and ostensibly represents the version of the film that most closely adheres to his original wishes.

Charlton Heston portrays Mike Vargas, the Mexican chief of narcotics who sets out to uncover the facts surrounding a car bomb that has killed a wealthy American businessman on the US side of the border. As Vargas investigates, his newly-wed wife Susie (Janet Leigh, two years before Hitchcock’s Psycho) is kidnapped by a gang out to exact vengeance for the prosecution of the brother of their leader (Akim Tamiroff). Meanwhile, Vargas’ enquiries become progressively more obfuscated by the American cop Hank Quinlan (played by Welles himself, in one of the most imposing and unforgettable screen performances of his career), a besotted incarnation of corruption who alternately conspires with Susie’s captors and seeks solace in the brothel of the Gypsy madame (Marlene Dietrich) who comforted him in bygone times.

Welles’ final studio-system picture has at last become secure in its status as one of the greatest films ever made. It remains a testament to the genius of Welles –– a film of Shakespearean richness, inexhaustible. The Masters of Cinema Series attempts to honour Welles with this special two-disc, Blu-ray only edition of Touch of Evil, with the film presented in multiple versions and aspect ratios.

LIMITED EDITION 2 x BLU-RAY ONLY

• New high-definition masters of five variants of the film: the 1958 Theatrical Version in both 1.37:1 and 1.85:1, the 1958 Preview Version in 1.85:1, and the 1998 Reconstructed Version in 1.37:1 and 1.85:1
• 4 x audio commentaries, featuring: restoration producer Rick Schmidlin; actors Charlton Heston & Janet Leigh, with Schmidlin; critic F. X. Feeney; and Welles scholars James Naremore & Jonathan Rosenbaum
• The original theatrical trailer, which includes alternate footage
Bringing Evil to Life + Evil Lost and Found – two video pieces [21:00 + 18:00]
• Optional English SDH subtitles on all versions of the film
• A 56-page booklet featuring essays by Orson Welles, François Truffaut, André Bazin, and Terry Comito; interview excerpts with Welles; a timeline of the film’s history; and extensive notes on the film’s versions and ratios
Last edited by swo17 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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swo17
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#2 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:19 pm

MoC Twitter wrote:Our big Christmas MoC release, Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL on limited edition Blu-ray x 2. Six versions! Dreamy!

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domino harvey
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#3 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:20 pm

Well, let's just get it out of the way: Release of the Year

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J Wilson
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#4 Post by J Wilson » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:21 pm

Six versions?? So one disc widescreen and one Academy ratio then?

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#5 Post by jamie_atp » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:24 pm

OMG.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#6 Post by eerik » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:25 pm

LIMITED EDITION 2 X BLU-RAY ONLY

• Six versions of Welles’ film: the 1998 reconstruction; the 1958 preview version rediscovered in the mid-1970s; and the 1958 theatrical version — each presented in both 1.85:1 and 1.37:1 aspect ratios

• English SDH subtitles on all versions

• A host of extras presented for the first time in the UK

• A lavish 80-PAGE illustrated book containing the words of Orson Welles, and much more

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chizbooga
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#7 Post by chizbooga » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:28 pm

nice friggin' cover!

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J Wilson
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#8 Post by J Wilson » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:33 pm

Well, I can pitch my VHS copy of the Academy ratio reconstruction cut that I never bothered to transfer to DVD now. What an amazing release.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#9 Post by Jeff » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:40 pm

domino harvey wrote:Well, let's just get it out of the way: Release of the Millennium
Fixed.

:shock:

Looks like a port of the R1 set, but including all the things that set was missing: Blu-ray, 1.37 option, big ass book.

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domino harvey
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#10 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:43 pm

If MoC's Tashlin release wasn't enough to get everyone region-free, surely this is? I mean, lord

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AlexHansen
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#11 Post by AlexHansen » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:44 pm

Holy shit snacks.

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L.A.
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#12 Post by L.A. » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:46 pm

Gorgeous!

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Finch
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#13 Post by Finch » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:56 pm

What's up with the Limited Edition banner? Was this stipulated by Universal?

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#14 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:57 pm

Holy shit. This is why preorders were invented.

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willoneill
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#15 Post by willoneill » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:06 pm

Six versions of a film in one release is the new record, right? Beats Blade Runner's five.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#16 Post by cinemartin » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:36 pm

Time to try out my new catchphrase: HOLY FUCKING SHIT

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#17 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:02 pm

Naturally, people on Criterion's Facebook page are complaining that there are too many versions of the film being offered here. Like, why would I want to watch one film six times?

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Finch
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#18 Post by Finch » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:08 pm

So they're presumably squeezing all three cuts in the 2 ratios on one disc and saving the second disc for the extras?

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knives
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#19 Post by knives » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:11 pm

I think the six versions and book are the only extras.

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AlexHansen
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#20 Post by AlexHansen » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:14 pm

My guess would be one ratio per disc. Extras spread across the two.

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Finch
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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#21 Post by Finch » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:15 pm

knives wrote:I think the six versions and book are the only extras.
Note the specs say
• A host of extras presented for the first time in the UK
, separate from the 3 cuts in the 2 ratios and the booklet.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#22 Post by eerik » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:18 pm

AlexHansen wrote:My guess would be one ratio per disc. Extras spread across the two.
I guess the same. I have not seen the film and don't know the differences between the versions, but I'm sure that seamless branching will be used.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#23 Post by evillights » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:23 pm

eerik wrote:
AlexHansen wrote:My guess would be one ratio per disc. Extras spread across the two.
I guess the same. I have not seen the film and don't know the differences between the versions, but I'm sure that seamless branching will be used.
There's no seamless branching. (Which would be impossible anyway, given how each version of the film is edited; that is, there are overlaps of sound, etc., and you can't seamless-branch a dissolve, generally speaking.) Three versions fit, per Blu-ray disc.

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#24 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:02 pm

Finch wrote:
knives wrote:I think the six versions and book are the only extras.
Note the specs say
• A host of extras presented for the first time in the UK
, separate from the 3 cuts in the 2 ratios and the booklet.
As it specified "In the UK", I would assume they're porting the (excellent) commentaries from the US release

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Re: BD 25 Touch of Evil

#25 Post by tojoed » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:15 pm

I think a case of NV Krug for Mr Wrigley and colleagues is in order.

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