The upcoming Chris Welles Feder hosted screening of Touch of Evil at the Staten Island Film Festival on June 5th, reminds us that this year marks the 50th Anniversary since Touch of Evil premiered in New York (on May 21, 1958).
Since it appears that Universal Home video will not be re-visiting their bare-bones DVD release of Touch of Evil to commemorate it's 50th Anniversary (although there are still 8 months left to hope), here are some comments from the films leading players, who sadly are no longer with us to celebrate the film's brilliance.
The story of how Orson Welles came to direct Touch of Evil varies greatly, depending on who you listen to. Just as in Citizen Kane, each of the key witnesses has his own unique version of how the events unfolded:
Albert Zugsmith - Producer
(From King of the B's by Todd McCarthy & Charles Flynn).
In 1957, prior to directing Touch of Evil, Welles played a corrupt rancher in Jack Arnold’s Man in the Shadow, Produced by Albert Zugsmith for Universal. According to Zugsmith, he and Welles got together in his bungalow after each days shooting was completed, where they would drink vodka, smoke cigars and rewrite the next days scenes. (However, this was disputed by director Jack Arnold, who said Welles didn’t rewrite any of the script). It also appears that Zugsmith would have been a valuable ally with Welles in his battle with Universal over the final editing of the film, but by then, he had left the Universal lot and set-up shop at MGM.