Richard Widmark reprises his big screen role of Detective Dan Madigan in this single-season entry from "The NBC Mystery Movie." A tough, dogged cop, Madigan chases down crooks in his native... See full summary »
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1973   1972  

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Madigan (1968)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In New York City's Spanish Harlem, detectives Madigan and Bonaro are given 72 hours by their superior to capture a hoodlum wanted for homicide in Brooklyn.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens
Banacek (1972–1974)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The adventures of proud Polish-American detective Thomas Banacek.

Stars: George Peppard, Ralph Manza, Murray Matheson
Black Sheep Squadron (1976–1978)
Action | War | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The dramatized World War II adventures of US Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his Marine Attack Squadron 214, AKA The Black Sheep Squadron.

Stars: Robert Conrad, Simon Oakland, Dana Elcar
Vanished (TV Movie 1971)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Government agencies investigate the mysterious disappearance of a powerful presidential adviser.

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Richard Widmark, Skye Aubrey, Tom Bosley
Brock's Last Case (TV Movie 1973)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A New York City cop who has retired to a small Western town is drawn into the local case of an Indian who is accused of murdering a sheriff.

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Darrow, Beth Brickell
Rollercoaster (1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller-coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: George Segal, Timothy Bottoms, Richard Widmark
Baretta (1975–1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The cases of maverick undercover New York City detective Tony Baretta.

Stars: Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts
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Cast

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 Sgt. Dan Madigan (6 episodes, 1972-1973)
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Richard Widmark reprises his big screen role of Detective Dan Madigan in this single-season entry from "The NBC Mystery Movie." A tough, dogged cop, Madigan chases down crooks in his native New York but also travels the world on assignments against crime.

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Drama | Crime

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20 September 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sergeant Madigan  »

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(6 episodes)

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Part of the NBC Wednesday Night Mystery Movie. See more »

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Follows Madigan (1968) See more »

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Richard Widmark's only series
12 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Richard Widmark first played Detective Dan Madigan in a 1968 movie directed by Don Siegel, who would go on to do "Dirty Harry" (1971). Harry Guardino played Madigan's partner and lovely Inger Stevens was his dissatisfied wife. Madigan was a tough, sardonic guy who wasn't above taking minor bribes, but he was essentially an honorable man. Madigan is killed at the end of the movie. Some astute critics think highly of the movie.

Don Siegel had also directed "Coogan's Bluff" (1968), which was turned into "McCloud".

Thirty-four year old Dean Hargrove produced the series version of "Madigan". Hargrove had produced the Gene Barry segments of "Name of the Game", which were the most stylish and entertaining episodes of that series. Hargrove produced the first 90-minute season of "McCloud", and he injected a lot of humor and class. This season (1972-73) Hargrove was producing "Columbo" (in its second year) and "Madigan".

Hargrove made a few poor choices in putting "Madigan" together. Madigan was made into a loner cop like Columbo and McCloud. Madigan should have had a strong partner to play off of, like he did in the movie. Bruce Dern could have worked beautifully with Widmark. Hargrove turned Madigan into a "fish out of water" like McCloud by having the New York City cop investigate cases in London, Lisbon and Naples. It was almost the reverse of "McCloud" who was a New Mexico deputy marshal working on cases in New York City. By this point, the concept seemed a bit tedious.

"Madigan" should have focused on a tough cop and his partner investigating cases in New York City. The show should have tried for less humor and more suspense and mystery. And Hargrove needed more compelling detective stories than he was able to find. Maybe producer David Levinson ("The Senator") might have found a more appropriate tone for the show.

On the plus side, there was a lot of fine, expensive location shooting. And Hargrove hired first-rate directors like Jack Smight ("Harper", "No Way to Treat a Lady") and Boris Sagal ("Rich Man, Poor Man".) And Richard Widmark, who was then 57-years old, is a dramatic actor of stature and substance.

Widmark had been very appealing as the president in "Vanished" (1971), an ambitious two-part World Premiere movie that also starred James Farentino ("Cool Million"). Widmark received an Emmy nomination for that role, but lost to George C. Scott for "The Price".

Maybe Widmark and Hargrove should have used that fine performance as the president as the template for a series hero. Widmark could have played a brilliant trial lawyer. That kind of role would have allowed Widmark to project more of his natural intelligence and warmth than Dan Madigan did.

Sergeant Dan Madigan might have been a little too tough and gritty for viewers to feel very close to. Even Dirty Harry might not have been a success as a TV hero.

Dean Hargrove went on to a long successful career ("Matlock", "In the Heat of the Night", "Jake and the Fatman", "Diagnosis Murder", "Father Dowling", the "Perry Mason" movies.) He is still at it with "Jane Doe", starring delightful Lea Thompson and Joe Penny.

Dean Hargrove is the son of talented Hollywood writer Marion Hargrove. Robert Walker played Marion Hargrove in the movie "See Here Private Hargrove", based on Hargrove's book about his adventures in the army during World War II. Marion Hargrove later wrote probably the best episode of "Maverick". It was called "Gunshy" and it was a devilish send up of "Gunsmoke". Marion Hargrove later wrote some scripts for his son's shows.


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