We probably won't see a lot of Universal catalogue product in the next while, after the fire, but here's some good news: on October 7, Universal is finally releasing all three versions of Touch of Evil. The original 1958 release (96 minutes) the longer pre-release preview version (108 minutes) and the revised version based on Orson Welles' famous memo to the studio. Each version comes with audio commentary; the late Charlton Heston recorded a commentary for the revised version (with Janet Leigh).
I much prefer the earlier versions of Touch of Evil, either the theatrical version or the preview version, to the "restoration," for reasons I've gone into before. Short version is, I think of Touch of Evil as an Albert Zugsmith film as well as a Welles film, and I think it was short-sighted to assume that the movie should follow all the suggestions Welles made in his memo; just because something was done over Welles' objections doesn't mean it doesn't belong in the film. I prefer the credits over the opening shot, and many other touches -- including some of Zugsmith's trademark exploitation touches like lingering on the bug-eyed corpse of Joe Grandi -- that were lost in the restored version. But the best thing, as with Blade Runner, is to have all the versions available. Which will now be the case.
October 7 also brings two-disc releases of Psycho, Vertigo and Rear Window, finally justifying my reluctance to shell out for the Universal Alfred Hitchcock collection because I figured there would be further releases of these movies.