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Touch of Evil Blu-ray

United Kingdom
Masters of Cinema Eureka Entertainment | 1958 | 1 Movie, 5 Cuts | 111 min | Rated BBFC: 12 | Nov 14, 2011

Touch of Evil (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (27.99 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1, 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

English SDH

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)

Region B (locked)

List price: £22.99, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.4 of 54.4
Extras 4.9 of 54.9
Based on 2 user reviews

Movie appeal

Psychological thriller100%

Touch of Evil


Touch of Evil Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this must-own Blu-ray release

After a murder is committed in a small town right on the US-Mexico border a rogue cop from the US tries to frame his Mexican counterpart for it.

For more about Touch of Evil and the Touch of Evil Blu-ray release, see Touch of Evil Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Director: Orson Welles
Writer: Orson Welles
Starring: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia, Joanna Moore, Akim Tamiroff

» See full cast & crew

Touch of Evil Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

British distributors Eureka Entertainment's Blu-ray release of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil contains five versions of the film, all encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted 1080p transfers. We have take screencaptures from all five versions in the following order:

a) Screencaptures 1-22 (1998 Reconstruction Version, 1.37:1, 111 min).
b) Screencaptures 23-30 (1998 Reconstruction Version, 1.85:1, 111 min).
c) Screencaptures 31-35 (1958 Theatrical Version, 1.37:1, 95 min).
d) Screencaptures 36-37 (1958 Theatrical Version, 1.85:1, 95 min).
e) Screencaptures 38-39 (1958 Preview Version, 1.85:1, 109 min).

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"Reconstructed Version (1998) -- 1.37:1 & 1.85:1. This version was reconstructed by Walter Murch & Bob O'Neil, referring to notes from Orson Welles's 1957 memo. This 2010 HD transfer utilized a 35 mm Safety Composite Fine Grain (printed 6pts. Lite) – created at YCM Lab in 1998. The restored/reconstructed mono audio (SET188751) utilized as sources the "theatrical version" source DME (SET195468), the "preview version" print (SET107951), and an ADR line. The source for the opening scene music was taken from the body of the "theatrical version".

Theatrical Version (1958) • 1.37:1 & 1.85:1. This 2010 HD transfer utilized a 35mm Safety Composite Fine Grain (#2) (w/Extra R-7) – SET192840 – created in 1958. Reel 11 only is from a 35mm Safety Composite Fine Grain (#1) – SET192839 – also from 1958. Audio is sourced from a mono MAG – DME SET195468.

Preview Version (1957/1958) • 1.85:1. Also formerly referred to as the "Long" or "Extended Version", it derives from an old surviving 1957/1958 preview print which was an interim version of the film during the editing and re-editing process prior to release. A 35mm Silent Dupe Negative (printed in 1972 from a composite preview print, which dates back to 1957/1958) – SET240723. Audio has been restored from a studio print – SET107951 – as the source. It is a 2008 HD transfer."

I spent the last couple of days comparing the reconstructed 1.37:1 version of the film to the reconstructed 1.85:1 version of film, and at this point I lean towards the former as the more stylistically convincing one. It clearly has the Wellesian identity the director's previous films have (which, by the way, is also what is noted in the booklet) which is more appropriate here because the film simply "breathes" easier in 1.37:1. Obviously, this is strictly my personal opinion, and you could choose to watch the reconstructed 1.85:1 version instead if you happen to disagree. Since both versions of the film are included on this release, there shouldn't be any controversy.

The reconstructed 1.37:1 version looks very impressive. As I soon as I received the Blu-ray, I ran a few quick comparisons with my R1 SDVD release and can confirm that the upgrades in quality are indeed substantial. For example, during the close-ups there are various textures that are simply missing on the SDVD (some of the most impressive ones are with Janet Leigh in the motel). Also, the panoramic scenes look far crisper and clearer, and when the camera zooms blur is practically missing. The color-scheme is also far more convincing. The blacks are vibrant and well saturated, the variety of grays well balanced, and the whites gentle and natural (on the DVD, the whites are quite problematic). Furthermore, some careful noise corrections have been applied, but the film grain has been retained. Some of it isn't always well resolved, but strangely enough I was only able to tell while viewing the reconstructed 1.85:1 version (see screencapture #27). The most obvious examples were the ones where actually blocky noise would sneak in and overwhelm the grain. On the reconstructed 1.37:1 version, however, the effect was far less obvious. In fact, there are some truly impressive sequences there where the grain is very well resolved and the image quite striking (see screencapture #4). During the first half of the film, on the reconstructed 1.37:1 version there are some traces of mild sharpening. Some of them can be noticed when the film is projected on a large screen, but I personally doubt that the overwhelming majority of viewers will see them. These are minor issues and the overall integrity of the presentation is never jeopardized. Finally, the film has been thoroughly cleaned, but some extremely small negative wear/damage remains (see the tiny line in screencapture #12).

There are select scenes in the theatrical versions that look slightly weaker. For example, I noticed some mild compressions artifacts that I did not see on the reconstructed versions. However, there are entire sequences that actually look on par with the best ones from the reconstructed version (see screencaptures #34 and 35). Color reproduction is identical.

The preview version looks fine, but the reconstruction 1.37:1 version clearly has a marginally sharper, more vibrant look. Some close-ups look softer and noisier, but the panoramic shots actually compare quite well. Again, the color-scheme is identical to those of the other four versions of the film.

(Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).

Touch of Evil Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

All five versions of Touch of Evil come with English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. tracks (with portions of Spanish). For the record, Eureka Entertainment have provided optional English SDH subtitles for each of them.

On the reconstruction versions the English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track sounds excellent. The sound is crisp, vibrant, and dynamically surprisingly active. Henry Mancini's score has clearly benefited from the loseless treatment. The unique audio effects at the end of the film are also far more impressive. Various stabilizations have obviously been performed as well. As a result, the dialog is consistently crisp and stable. Additionally, there are no problematic pops or background hiss.

Touch of Evil: Other Editions

2-disc set

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Touch of Evil Blu-ray, News and Updates

Touch of Evil Blu-ray Officially Announced - August 25, 2011

Earlier today, independent British distributors Eureka Entertainment officially announced the Blu-ray release of Orson Welles' Touch Of Evil (1958). Often cited as one of the legendary director's greatest works, Touch of Evil will arrive on Blu-ray only as a special ...

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