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Directed by Orson Welles

United States 1958 95 mins.

Celebrated as one of the greatest film noirs ever made, Welles’ mid-career morality tale sees him writing, directing, and starring as detective Hank Quinlan, a corrupt, exalcoholic cop working just north of the US-Mexico border. The legendary three-minute tracking shot that opens the film introduces us to Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston), a Mexican police detective who begins to investigate the mysterious death-by-explosion of two Americans at the border crossing. As Vargas uncovers more and more layers of corruption in the unnamed border town, Quinlan simultaneously falls off the wagon and tightens his deadly grip around Vargas and his comely new bride (Janet Leigh).

Genres: Noir, Crime, Thriller

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.