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 »
Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »
Policemen Bonaro and Madigan lose their guns to fugitive Barney Benesch. As compensation, the two NYC detectives are given a weekend to bring Benesch to justice. While Bonaro and Madigan follow up on various leads, Police Commissioner Russell goes about his duties, including attending functions, meeting with aggrieved relatives, and counseling the spouses of fallen officers.Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
After years of rejecting offers to star in a TV series, Richard Widmark finally succumbed to Universal and NBC-TV's offer for a series. The pilot, Brock's Last Case (1973). was rejected, however, and Widmark was asked to play Madigan in a segment of the NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie during the 1972-73 season. The series was canceled after one season despite usually finishing in the top 30 of the Nielsen ratings. See more »
When the killer is located in a hotel room, the police mass in view of the window rather than around the other side of the building. Then while the killer is firing from the window the assault group run into the building on the side under fire from the window. They evacuate the floor of the killer's room well after the first shots are exchanged and no police are watching the door to prevent escape. See more »
Mixed bag, but interesting bridge between classic film noir and modern crime films
Directed by Don Siegel who had a foot firmly planted in classic Hollywood and who was also a trailblazer in modernizing American action films, "Madigan" serves the perfect bridge between the two. Co-written by Abraham Polonsky, who'd previously been on the Hollywood Blacklist for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the film follows two different NYPD police officers. One is Madigan, a tough no-nonsense detective played by Richard Widmark trying to catch a killer, and the other is the straight-arrow police commissioner, Henry Fonda, who's balancing justice, politics, and an extra-marital affair. The film was based on a book titled "The Commissioner" and Fonda's character was the original focus of the story, but the producers instead changed the focus to Widmark's Madigan character, so the film unfortunately ends up a an odd combination of two different stories. Both Fonda and Widmark's stories involve them having to balance their work-life and home-life, but neither of those story elements seemed all that interesting. The most interesting part of the story concerned Widmark and his partner, Harry Guardino, on the trail of criminal Steve Ihnat. Watching Widmark and Guardino push the boundaries of acceptable law enforcement in their investigation makes this film an interesting bridge to director Don Siegel's controversial and highly influential vigilante cop film "Dirty Harry" he'd make a few years later. Siegel also makes great use of NYC locations that give ether film added grit and realism, much like we'd later see in William Friedkin's "The French Connection" and Siegel's use of San Francisco in "Dirty Harry." Siegel also skillfully demonstrates his own directional action sequences chops with a memorable showdown in the film's finale, which features with three characters in tight quarters, all with John Woo-style double-fisted pistols in each hand. Overall, "Madigan" features an old style police detective story (with a nice plot nod to Kurosawa's "Stray Dog") that abandons the stylistic German Expressionist roots of American film noir and instead takes the genre into new more realistic and gritty of territory, even if those stronger elements get somewhat undone by dull and unoriginal subplots involving the marital lives of Madigan and the commissioner.
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