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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>
The wall calendars, which appear to be prominently placed, show dates beginning with "09 June Friday" through "11 June Sunday". This correlates to year 1967. See more »
Both detectives draw their service revolvers in the back room of the bar before confronting Benesch. But when they enter the bar, the guns are back in their holsters and they unclip them again. See more »
Benefitting from the location shooting in New York of the Sixties, Madigan is a fast paced police action thriller. Richard Widmark and Harry Guardino are a pair of veteran NYPD detectives who get the tables turned on them by a suspected killer they were trying to bring in. They've got 72 hours to find him or face the consequences. In addition to losing suspect Steve Ihnat, Ihnat also relieved them of their police weapons.
You get the feeling that both Widmark and Guardino are past their prime and maybe ought to be coasting towards retirement with desk duty. The way Ihnat gets the better of them in the movie has to be seen to be believed and I won't say more.
Widmark and Guardino are both good in their parts, but the acting honors have to go to Steve Ihnat in this film. He is one the most maniacal killers ever brought to the silver screen and you won't forget him after seeing Madigan. Tragically he died four years after this film was made and a great career was cut short. Besides this film, Ihnat is probably best known for another maniacal portrayal on a Star Trek episode where he's a convict who takes over a futuristic prison and wants to use the Enterprise as a getaway vehicle.
The film is based on a novel entitled The Commissioner and that title part goes to Henry Fonda. In the films of Henry Fonda he says he was tricked into this film. As you might gather the character of the NYPD Police Commissioner is the central one in the novel and it was on that basis that Fonda took the part. Didn't turn out that way, but Fonda stuck it out, partially because he admired Widmark as a player having worked with him previously in Warlock.
Madigan being directed by Don Siegel is a forerunner of the more famous Harry Callahan character that Siegel directed Clint Eastwood in the first of the Dirty Harry films.
The action doesn't slow for a second even in the scenes not involving the pursuit of Ihnat because of the tension Siegel creates. And of course the character created by Ihnat.
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