Re: RARA-AVIS: Help Finding Stories

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 19 Jan 2000

On Tue, 18 Jan 2000 wrote:

> TOUCH OF EVIL immediately comes to mind. The portrayal of Chicanos
> is curious,
> to say the least -- and casting Heston as a Mexicano narc goes beyond
> curious to
> the bizarre. I haven't read the Whit Masterson novel, BADGE OF EVIL,
> upon which
> Welles and Paul Monash based the screenplay. Surely someone on the list has
> read it -- how about it, Bill Crider? Does it have
> the same border elements?

What a coincidence: I just finished the book last night. It doesn't have the same border elements, although Mitch Holt (who doesn't appear in the film) has a Mexican wife. Welles (but not Paul Monash - I think Welles rewrote the screenplay with a very heavy hand) changed the nationalities of the main characters: Holt became a Mexican Vargas and Holt's Mexican Wife became a WASP Janet Leigh. Welles changed much: Hank Quinlan became the top baddie, although in the book he's just a bad guy's sidekick. Very interesting to read the book after seeing Welles's movie, what, six or seven times. And not a bad book. But the wife's Mexican nationality doesn't play big role in the book.


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