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Plot:

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.

Also Known As: Los despiadados, Police sur la ville, Nur noch 72 Stunden, Madigan, Oi tromokrates tis Neas Yorkis, Keiji Madigan, Миллионы Мадигана Soviet, Säälimättömät, Brigada homicida, Madigan: Lisbon Beat, Nur noch 72 Stunden West, Skyd uden varsel, Squadra omicidi, sparate a vista!, Detektif Madigan, Brottsplats Manhattan, Onderwereld van New York, Os Impiedosos, Farlig yrke

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  • prof-magnus-sorensen
    prof magnus sorensen

    I think it was a great movie. Steve Inhat was a favorite of mine during his short career. Widmark,Guardino,Whitmore were terrific. I thought it had a lot of intertwining plots. Inger looked great. Guardino & Widmark played off each other very well. Both displayed an array of strengths and weaknesses.Inhat played an outstanding villain. I first recognized his talent as a bigot in the “Chase”. I believe he might have done some directing and writing before his untimely death. The episode where Warren Stevens makes a play for Inger was believable and a treat. The picture captured the New York scene during that period. A real mix of characters—Creeps,prostitutes,ex-pugs,midgets etc I watch it every time it comes on TV

  • dr-farago-racz-tibor
    dr farago racz tibor

    Everything about this movie sounded so cool and promising (the ’60s;Siegel;Widmark!),but “Madigan” is even better than I expected. My expectations were high,but this movie exceeded them.First,it must be said that this is not a crime film, or anything of the sort,but a movie about a few days of Detective Madigan’s life.It is,indeed,the surprising portrait of a man.The concreteness,the vigor,the sobriety,the directness of this extremely well-done and fast-paced movie are amazing.A director who does such a film really respects his public.It is a fact that,directing his “Madigan”,Siegel made not even one single mistake.Everything fits.The pace is maintained powerfully (“Year of the Dragon” does not bear comparison with “Madigan”).Widmark is a standout as Madigan,a brutal and lively detective.Widmark’s performance has a shocking intensity and strength.This role is a CREATION,and shows again the astonishing qualities Widmark had.He looks as cold,tough and sinister as usually.(I’m glad this movie was made,because Widmark deserved it so much!)I grant Fonda’s character needed to be developed,enlarged,explained.For one reason or another,”Madigan” is not a very famous movie.But this means nothing,the vast majority of the great movies aren’t famous nor awarded.”Russell”‘s mistress has a fine line:”Adultery is a lonely business”.This movie is unconventional,intelligent and precise;it is thrilling as Balzac is,as life is.

  • h-horvath-katalin
    h horvath katalin

    I really like this movie coming from the late 1960s. This movie represents every single characteristic from these days. Two excellent portrayed cops played by Richard Widmark and Harry Guardino make this movie a gratifying use of time, because of the adventure they are living through. Henry Fonda who portrays the seaming cold-blooded commissioner, is on non speaking terms, because of his inner struggle at multiple fronts; he had to decide what to do with his buddy Kane and what to do with his sinning bedroom mate. In my opinion these concerns in his life are represented in an excellent way, and along with Madigan’s battle this turns the movie into very deep and advanced. In this movie it was intended to make the story about Madigan, but the novel where the movie is based upon is called ‘The Commissioner’, meaning about Russell. In this movie they succeeded very well in giving them both the proper attention. Steve Ihnat always had a tendency to over-act, but in his role as Benesch this turned out very well and his brief appearances throughout the movie are very memorable. And there is of course the then normal use of cigarettes, the powerful language, the suits with hats and the wonderful music who make this an excellent movie that keeps to enjoy.

  • henrik-iversen
    henrik iversen

    I saw Madigan when it came out, some 40 years ago. Revisited it again recently on DVD. Wow, what a disappointment! As others have pointed out, above, they just didn’t know what they wanted to do with the film. The story is absolutely atrocious, full of loopholes and lack of exposition. The notes on the DVD said that Henry Fonda’s Commissioner character was supposed to be the lead – and why he took the part. Then they changed it to Widmark’s Madigan character. They had to force the two to have some relationship to make any sense of the story, but it was thin, very thin. A quick note about the music. It was, indeed, awful and inappropriate. But at least it was jarring enough that it woke you up during the numerous dull parts! What you can see here is the struggle to make the transition from the heroic cop/detectives of the previous decades (though clearly not the film noir types)to what became Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. This “struggle” in Madigan was painful to watch. It was never clear why Madigan was considered such a rogue. (Can you say that about Harry Callahan? NO!) Just an offhand remark that he had an incident or two in the past, quickly countered by James Whitmore’s character saying “He’s a good cop.” And the opening scene where Inhat’s (SP?) character gets the best of Widmark and Guardino made absolutely no sense. Why was the villain so bad? Why all the scorn for Widmark and Guardino when they were just “doing Brooklyn a favor” by picking up this guy? And never explained why the villain was so heinous other than that he shot some guy. They had to have him shoot two cops later to make you think, “Ooooooooooooh, he is very bad.” Come on! And inserting all of the women into each of the character’s lives, then giving them the most shallow of development and no explanation of, say, Sheree North’s character, inserted into one scene so you know Madigan once had a mistress but now “loves his wife.” On and on. Absolutely terrible writing. A high school level. Fonda (59) and Widmark (54) were too old for their roles. But again, it was a transition time in Hollywood. Still trying to use the older stars until the next generation – and a very different style of detective films – came along. Ugh!

  • loretta-gilbert
    loretta gilbert

    The end of an era. Cops in suits with narrow ties and fedoras, worn inside and out, day and night. Lincoln sedans with rear suicide doors. Women in bright colours, hats, and fully made up stay at home wives. The bad guys and near criminals in mauves and plush velour at the edge of the beatnik fringe. Dial telephones, typewriters, carbon paper, no computers, cops using phone booths and carrying dimes, cigarettes and booze everywhere, adultery, a near drunken sexual assault, all 60’s stuff at the end of an era. Widmark is too old to have both a hot wife and an ongoing pleutonic relationship with a nightclub singer. He is also a nice guy one minute and physically threatening an old lady the next or kicking down a door without a warrant. He can’t carry off the bad cop and rule breaker role. There is a subplot with police corruption and the straight laced commissioner learns too bend a little with advice from his married girlfriend. There is a second subplot with a potential racial police incident with a black suspect. The finale is pre-SWAT teams with the two detectives breaking through a door armed with two handguns each in a shootout reminiscent of a B western. Forget the plot, with its many flaws, and focus on the New York and the sixties look and feel

  • celia-patricio-espinosa-valenzuela
    celia patricio espinosa valenzuela

    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.

  • marijan-buric
    marijan buric

    “Madigan” is widely recognised as being a significant influence on the spate of TV and movie cop dramas that become so popular in the 1970s. It’s also quite an ambitious movie because in its 110 minutes, it features a manhunt for a killer, provides an insight into the complicated personal lives of police officers and contrasts the work of street cops with those in more senior roles. Maybe more significantly though, it also shows how the events that take place over a single weekend in June, lead a Police Commissioner to rethink the whole set of values and principles that he’d previously adhered to throughout his long and distinguished career.Tough NYPD detectives Daniel Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino) break into a tenement apartment in Upper Manhattan to apprehend a suspect who’s wanted for questioning and find Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat) in bed with a naked young woman. Benesch reacts by pushing the woman out of the bed and takes advantage of the distraction that this causes to disarm the two cops and escape with their guns. When Chief Inspector Charlie Kane (James Whitmore) informs Police Commissioner Anthony X Russell (Henry Fonda) about the incident, the strict disciplinarian reacts by criticising the Manhattan officers for departing from the rules by attempting to make an arrest on behalf of a Brooklyn precinct and gives them just 72 hours to recapture Benesch.Some other matters that Russell has to deal with on the same day include delivering a speech at the Police Academy graduation day, meeting a black preacher who claims that his son was beaten up and racially abused when arrested in connection with a sexual assault charge and also what to do about convincing evidence he’d been given of some serious wrongdoing by his oldest friend and colleague, Charlie Kane. Russell is a firm believer in what’s right and what’s wrong and doesn’t recognise any middle ground and so decides he’ll have to deal head-on with the accusations made against Kane.Meanwhile, Madigan and Bonaro make progress in their search for Benesch by conscripting the help of a bookie called Midget Castiglione (Michael Dunn) and a young man named Hughie (Don Stroud) who’d acted as a pimp for Benesch. Working long hours and under considerable pressure, Madigan also has to cope with the complaints of his beautiful wife Julia (Inger Stevens) who berates him for the commitment he gives to his job and the fact that it leaves her lonely and frustrated at home. She also doesn’t understand why he’s not more focused on gaining promotions to achieve greater status and respect. A brief amount of time he spends with his ex-girlfriend Jonesy (Sheree North) provides a more pleasant interlude but when reports are received that Benesch has shot a couple of police officers with Madigan’s gun, the pressure to bring the unhinged killer to justice becomes even more intense.Despite there being many different threads to its plot, “Madigan” never loses its impetus or clarity and through the use of extensive location work, also achieves a gritty, semi-documentary style which is perfect for this type of material. The characters are also interesting to watch because they’re so well-developed and display the kinds of contradictions that are so commonly seen in everyday life. A great example of this is Commissioner Russell who demands that everyone under his control should maintain the highest moral standards at all times and yet, this man who presents himself as a paragon of virtue, is actually involved in an adulterous affair with a married woman. What he learns about himself and others during the course of this drama easily makes him the story’s best written and most fascinating character by a considerable distance.The quality of the acting is particularly good in this movie with Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda both outstanding in their lead roles and some fine supporting performances, especially from Inger Stevens and Don Stroud.

  • albert-mlinar
    albert mlinar

    MADIGAN (Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Harry Guardino 1968) Directed by Don Siegel, who was to give us Dirty Harry a couple of years later. I’ve always avoided this film in the past, as I suspected it would be like many other cop films of the period and play like an over-long TV drama. In the event I enjoyed it, despite it …er …looking like an over-long TV drama. On the good side we have Richard Widmark’s excellent performance with the equally good Harry Guardino as his buddy. On the very good side we get Henry Fonda, who turns in a cool, measured piece of acting as the ramrod-straight Commissioner with more than enough on his plate. Overall it’s a bit episodic as the main plot concerning a simple manhunt is interrupted by side-stories and domestic goings-on, but still the film remains highly watchable. My main gripe is the over-use of incidental music. The big-band jazz-based music by Don Costa is very good, but it pokes its nose in when there should be silence and intrudes very loudly at times. Many films of this period seemed somewhat overloaded with music, so I suppose it was just of its time.

  • mar-amores-arenas
    mar amores arenas

    I just watched Madigan on Turner Classics. I had never heard of it prior. While the police/crime genre isn’t my favorite, I keep on open mind. This film disappoints on many levels. For starters, it really doesn’t hold up well. It’s highly melodramatic, and looks and feels about as realistic as a bad episode of Barnaby Jones. And apparently 1968 New York City was about as populated as Mayberry.Inger Stevens is beautiful to watch, in an idiotic role. We’re to believe that Richard Widmark has really got it going on with the women. Um, about as sexy as Bing Crosby, thank you. And about as youthful. Henry Fonda plays Henry Fonda phoning in his performance.The music is way too loud and overpowering. I guess it’s typical of the time, but still it was over the top and intrusive.Bottom line: Totally unrealistic characters, dialog. Cheesy set design. The film is just all over the place.

  • helen-martinez
    helen martinez

    While I was watching this quite brilliant film I was constantly thinking about the greatly written passages that can be heard throughout. In addition to that, Siegel’s direction is never less than gripping and helps the story with flashes of genius. The acting benefits from a perfect casting in which no one seems out of place. I enjoyed Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda, of course, but also James Whitmore who around 25 years later also excelled in Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption”. A fine film such as “Madigan” must have a powerful ending and that’s the case here. The last 10 minutes show Siegel’s mastery at his best. The final shooting comes unexpectedly and smartly gets to the point. Cop movies can be good or bad, but should always be truthful. I recommend “Madigan” just for that.

  • edoward-zeyt-ownts-yan
    edoward zeyt ownts yan

    Landing in theatres two years before “Airport”, this seems, at times, to be a template for the later, more glossy film. Where “Airport” dealt with the myriad problems of the airport manager and one of the pilots (including the halting of a deranged bomber), this film covers the myriad problems of a police commissioner and one of the detectives (including the capture of a deranged killer.) It also has the similar elements of a secret affair with a younger girl and a dissatisfied, social-climbing wife. Widmark even looks through a curtain the way Dean Martin did during one sequence. All that’s missing is Helen Hayes in a tweed coat and a brown hat with a pom-pom! (This comparison actually sheds less favorable light on “Airport” since IT came later and was clearly inspired in it’s direction and format by this film.) Widmark plays the title role, a detective who, with his partner Guardino, allows an unbalanced killer to steal his gun and break free from custody. The pair have 72 hours to bring the guy in or face reprimands. This does not sit well with Widmark’s bored wife Stevens, who has been planning to make a splash at a party which falls during this 72 hour period. Presiding over the department is Fonda, who is worried that a long-time cohort (Whitmore) has gone dirty and who drowns his sorrows in the cleavage of young, married Clark. The story threads take place separately until, like “Airport”, they converge at the end. The film opens excitingly enough with a showdown leading to an NYC rooftop. Location work throughout adds to the aura of the film. Widmark and Guardino (in the last glory days when detectives still wore suits, ties and HATS!) make an intriguing pair of cops, with Guardino coming off especially authentically. (In a less authentic moment, the film asks the audience to believe that a woman pushing 30, and in bed with the suspect, is really jailbait.) Things quickly get bogged down when Widmark comes home and has to deal with the lovely, but shrewy Stevens. Her role is horribly cliched by today’s standards. Maybe it was less so then. Still, Stevens manages to inject some degree of empathy along the way and even gets to wear one of those sky-high, late ’60’s hairdos that defy gravity. Meanwhile, Fonda wrestles (tiresomely) with his doubts about Whitmore, all the while maintaining a stoic, one note expression and seemingly walking through the film. His icky relationship with Clark (35 years his junior!) provides neither titillation, nor insight into his character. Clark’s role is pretty thankless and she still has some unaccounted-for residual British accent leftover from her studies in England prior to this. There are small, but solid turns from various other character actors including North as a torch singer and Warren Stevens as a bachelor on the make. Stroud gives a hammy, bizarre performance as an informant, but even he is outdone by Ihnat as the killer. Ihnat’s loud, inexplicably salivating character is never adequately explained and is under-presented to the point where his apprehension isn’t as climactic as it ought to be. Incidentally, the ending of this film could not be more telegraphed. Clues are dropped in the audiences lap, one after another, like breadcrumbs as the climax approaches. In all, it’s a slick, visually interesting film with some good acting, tempered by some vague scripting, alternately hammy/wooden portrayals and a layer of rigor mortis over it. It came at a time when police dramas had one foot in the “Dragnet” door and the other pointing towards “Dirty Harry”. The conglomeration of the two approaches isn’t always a comfortable one.

  • thea-battaglia
    thea battaglia

    A good, solid cop story made believable by the solid performances of Widmark and Fonda. Steve Ihnat, an unknown, steals the show as he creates the character Barney Benesch. Benesch is the most cold blooded, asocial, homicidal animal you ever saw. Vicious, insane, suicidal and homicidal. He is never without a .45 in each hand even while carrying a sack of groceries. Good scene: Widmark and his partner spot a guy in a booth in a bar that they think might be Benesch. When he expresses his resentment over being harassed, Widmark tried to brush him off by saying, “I’m sorry. You looked like some guy from Cleveland.” The guy jumps out of the booth and attacks them, shouting, “Nobody tells me I look like I’m from Cleveland.” The weak point in the movie comes when Widmark and his partner corner Benesch in a small apartment and he is behind a refrigerator with a pistol in each hand daring them to “come and get him.” Just before they go in a uniformed cop offers them bullet proof vests, which they refuse. NO cop would do that. And if he did he would be immediately removed from duty for a psych exam. So they go in, guns blazing, while Benesch comes out, guns blazing. Stupid end to what could have been a much better movie. But still worth watching because of a superb cast.

  • ruta-viksna
    ruta viksna

    “Madigan”, the Universal film of 1968 surfaced recently on a classic cable channel. Directed by legendary Don Siegel, and based on a novel by Richard Dougherty, with and adaptation by Abraham Polansky and Howard Rodman, proves to be a trip back to that era of the New York of the 1960s where crime took center stage for the police. There are two main stories in the narrative, one involving a team of detectives and the other about the police commissioner who finds himself in a dilemma as he finds out his best friend in the force has been involved in a shady deal.The detectives Madigan and Bonaro come to pick up Barney Benesch, a criminal, who is being sought in Brooklyn as a witness for a crime. The two irrupt in the apartment where Benesch is in bed with a young woman. He outmaneuvers the detectives, fleeing with their weapons, an embarrassing position for the lawmen who become the target of all jokes in the department.Anthony Russell, the commissioner, is told as he arrives in his office about the investigation that points out one of his colleagues, chief inspector Charles Kane has engaged in a shady deal which appears to be a criminal act, something a person in his position is immediate grounds for termination. Russell and Kane go way back in the police department. Russell, a decent man must get to the bottom of the situation to determine whether the chief inspector has to go.Don Siegel shot the film using locations in New York. The screenplay adaptation was written by Abraham Polonsky, a veteran of Hollywood, who was a good director himself and Howard Rodman. The emphasis of the action revolves around Madigan and his partner Bonaro, but another, probably more interesting film would have been made from the conflict between the two friends in higher places. Russell is no saint, he was having an affair with a socialite, but basically is a decent man. Kane, on the other hand, was just a good police officer whose whole family had been involved in the force in several positions.Richard Widmark does a wonderful job as Madigan, a man who has problems of his own, with an unsatisfied wife who is more interested in having fun, which her husband was not able to provide. Henry Fonda plays the upright commissioner with his usual easy way for giving a good performance without even trying. James Whitmore is Kane the man who makes a mistake and lives to regret it, thinking he has jeopardized his friendship with Russell. Inger Stevens’ Julia is a tad exaggerated, not feeling real. There are interesting supporting roles. The film had locations in New York City and Brooklyn, but it is obvious studio sets stand for real Manhattan streets. The final sequence was filmed in Los Angeles. Russell Metty, the cinematographer shows the New York of the late 1960s with flair. The music score is by Don Costa.

  • alex-edwards
    alex edwards

    An interesting cast that include a couple of my favorites made me enthused about watching the VHS of this in ’90s, several decades after seeing it in the theater when it came out. Boy, what a disappointment. Despite the cast, I found it to be somewhat boring. Only the beginning and the last 10 minutes of the film had any action. You’d expect more out of a tough crime story.The rest of the time was spent with soap opera material such as unhappy police wives, or the now-cliché good cops get harassed by their boss, the key cop is a corrupt one and the lead cop is totally misunderstood. Oh man, have we seen a lot of this crap since this film came out!No, this turned out to be an overrated film.

  • heather-dyer
    heather dyer

    This is a very good film–full of excellent acting and a pretty interesting story. Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda are both wonderful actors in the movie and their stories run parallel during most of the film–having almost no interaction in the film. Harry Guardino, Inger Stevens, James Whitmore and others provide some superb support and the film is very entertaining. In many ways it’s like a 1960s take on Film Noir, though with slightly less “gritty” dialog and a lot of late 60s sensibilities (a bit of nudity and graphic language that at first took me by surprise). Now this isn’t to say that the film is needlessly gratuitous. I just had a hard time, at first, hearing some of the swearing coming out of the mouths of some old-time actors. Additionally, and this did NOT improve the film for me, there were some soap opera-like elements thrown in that often didn’t work. Having widower Fonda sleeping with a married woman who had kids just seemed sleazy and didn’t at all fit with the character they had created. He prided himself on his decency and integrity, but this didn’t seem to make much sense. However, the tension between Widmark and his wife, Stevens, did work pretty well, as you could certainly see how being a detective could really be tough on a marriage.All in all, this was a very good film that seemed a little like DRAGNET, the TV show POLICE STORY and a soap opera all rolled into one. Good stuff that is well worth seeing, though I’d hesitate to let younger kids view this DVD.

  • ruknettin-bilgin
    ruknettin bilgin

    Considering all the talent involved why is the film as disappointing as it is. Start with a script that can’t decide whether it’s third-rate soap opera or second-rate police drama, with enough trite sub-plots and dialogue to border on self-parody. Fleshing out the private lives behind the badges may be a workable idea, but here the many subplots detract rather than add to the overall effect. Then there are the performances. Widmark’s aging Madigan appears not so much a burned-out case as an expressionless cypher, whose presence leaves the audience with nothing much to root for, and a long way from Widmark’s usual intensity. Then too, whose idea was it to have the street tough Madigan go through an embarrassingly bad comedy scene with Henry Fonda that should have stayed on the cutting room floor. There’s also Fonda’s turn as police commissioner, a role that must have required him to swallow an ice cube first and a lemon second, because throughout, he appears too frozen to unbend and too sour to smile, a combination that results in a grimly overdone portrait of moral rectitude. (Just the thought of his character coupling with Susan Clarke is about as plausible as pairing Cher with Jerry Fallwell.) In fact, the entire cast apart from the poignant Inger Stevens, appears to be doing their scenes by the numbers, which is technically the fault of director Don Siegel. Except Siegel is a Hollywood master, who ordinarily directs with style and verve, and specializes in police-action dramas; yet here, with the exception of the shoot-out, there’s none of the usual snap or polish. My guess is he took one look at the script and went for the payday, as did everyone else. I suspect too — as another reviewer points out — that the film’s basic problem lies with the studio, Universal, which only recently had specialized in Doris Day comedy fluff. Here however it’s 1966-67 — city ghettos are on fire, change is in the air, and Hollywood is trying to play catch up. Though praised at the time, Madigan is now little more than proof of how painful the process was.

  • marisol-baez
    marisol baez

    This is a very “late ’60s” detective drama, and if you’re in the mood, it will hit the spot. What struck me, and it has not been picked up by other posters, is the very visible difference between the majority of the scenes, shot on authentic NYC locations, and a few scenes straight from the Universal backlot, on urbanistically nonsensical streets with no gutters.The studio shot scenes (and the school-of-Lalo-Shifrin score) increase the impression that you are watching a first class TV movie. It all makes you hungry for a dinner in a foil tray.Definitely entertaining, in a period way.

  • nicolas-jose-bayona-guijarro
    nicolas jose bayona guijarro

    Detective Daniel Madigan (the excellent Richard Widmark) is very efficient and experienced, but also has no ethics. His partner, Detective Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino), and him go to a hotel room for the simple arrest of the small-time bandit Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat). Madigan is reckless and in a lack of attention on Benesch, he reacts, takes the guns of the detectives and escapes. When back to the precinct, they receive the information that Benesch is a killer. Commissioner Anthony X.Russel (Henry Fonda), a very rigid and moralist man, gives a schedule of three days maximum for the detectives to arrest Benesch. Yesterday it was the first time that I watched this excellent police-drama movie. In the present days, this movie is politically incorrect: Madigan has no ethics, most of the characters have affair with lovers, smoking is `in’, the interrogation is rough without human rights, and this is one of the greatest points of this film, since it is very real. Further, Don Siegel does not need car chases, explosions and other special effects to hook the attention of the viewer. The direction, screenplay and performance of the actors and actresses are more than enough to satisfy the viewer. The characters are very well developed and the scenes are very realistic. Again, an excellent police-drama movie recommended for those who like police story. My vote is eight. Title (Brazil): ` Os Impiedosos’ (`The Unmerciful’)

  • dr-gulyas-istvanne-kovacs-sara
    dr gulyas istvanne kovacs sara

    A decent exploration of the maverick detective theme that Siegal would examine more successfully in “Dirty Harry.” Richard Widmark is terrific in the title role, and the cinematography, along with some of the dialogue, is top notch. The film runs into problems, however, with the subplot involving police commissioner Henry Fonda, as well as Madigan’s difficulties on the homefront with wife Inger Stevens. Had the emphasis remained on the manhunt conducted by Madigan and his partner (Harry Guardino), it could have been a classic. Instead, too much time is devoted to talk, and as any Siegal enthusiast knows, action is what he did best. The later TV series, again starring Widmark, is superior.

  • mr-john-carroll-iii
    mr john carroll iii

    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.

  • albert-kaucic
    albert kaucic

    A fine, harshly realistic Don Siegel film from the late 60’s with Richard Widmark superb as Madigan. Steve Ihnat (from THE CHASE) is also a perfect twisted and aggressive villain with able support from Harry Guardino. The lovely Inger Stevens is touching in one of her last roles before her untimely demise. A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Steve Ihnat (who died too young). Don Siegel made a lot of good films and this is near the top of the list. One of the pro-cop films before Dirty Harry blasted it open. Once again, Inger Stevens will break your heart near the end of this and she never looked more beautiful in her all too short career. Well worth anyone’s time.

  • ana-maria-jimenez
    ana maria jimenez

    Madigan is directed by Don Siegel and adapted to screenplay by Abraham Polonsky and Howard Rodman from the novel The Commissioner written by Richard Dougherty. It stars Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Susan Clark, Harry Guardino and James Whitmore. Music is scored by Don Costa and cinematography by Russell Metty.Plot finds Widmark as Detective Daniel Madigan, who along with his partner Rocco Bonaro (Guardino), loses a suspected murderer who also makes off with their guns. Causing embarrassment to Police Commissioner Anthony Russell (Fonda), who is hardly a fan of Madigan’s methods, they are given 72 hours in which to locate the escapee and bring him in. But as the two men go in search of the crim, Commissioner Russell has various other problems to address, both at work and with matters of the heart. Last thing he needs is a volatile Madigan screwing things up…Based on a book called The Commissioner, a film originally titled the same, and the most interesting story thread in the picture is that of Henry Fonda’s Commissioner! Then why is the film called Madigan, who is an interesting character that really is only second fiddle in this particular Don Siegel orchestra? It is one of the odd and frustrating things about the piece, the story is complex enough without being unsure who to focus on, a shame because Widmark, Clark, Fonda and Whitmore are doing sterling work for their under pressure director (Siegel was constantly fighting with producer Frank P. Rosenberg).The themes at play are deliciously enticing, infidelity, police corruption, family strife, friendship, loneliness and identity etc etc, threads are dangled and given thoughtful dialogue passages. But hang on! Wasn’t there a murderer on the loose at the beginning of the film? Half way through the piece I had forgotten about Steve Ihnat’s crim that opened up proceedings, surely that can’t be right? Film looks terrific at day time, though, where Metty’s bold Technicolor photography really gives the New York locations a sense of 70s wonder (I know it’s a 60s movie but it feels very 70s, and in a good way as well), though Costa’s score is far too blunderbuss for narrative themes.It’s a mixed bag, a film you just know should be better considering the talent in front of and behind the cameras. Ideas at core are strong and worthy of filmic adaptation, while the last quarter is electrifying and crowned by a classic foray into film noir territory. But really this is recommended as just above average entertainment for the cop/crime movie fan. 6/10

  • srta-helena-souza
    srta helena souza

    In the late Sixties there has been a tendency towards rough cops who are up against the system – whatever that is – yet who win through despite all odds… Richard Widmark was one of them… In “Madigan” he is a solid, touchy New York detective who, like Quinn in “Across 110th Street,” knows the people on his patch and knows how to handle them…Unlike the Quinn character, however, he is honest to the nth degree… He will kill, beat and cheat to destroy the big villains, yet retains a curious affection for the little crooks that cross his path… One feels that if Madigan took a bribe, it would be secretly witnessed and the evidence produced in court to the ruination of some baddie

  • kimberly-hill
    kimberly hill

    Madigan is memorable for its final, climactic gunfight. This is the closest the cinematic art will ever come to reality unless someone actually captures a real life up-close-and-nasty gunfight on film. Widmark and Guardino vs. Steve Ihnat in about 4 seconds of absolute mayhem, with tragic results.By the way, I saw this film in an Army hospital in 1969, while recovering from being wounded in Vietnam. It was projected on a bedsheet hung in the middle of a ward. The image showed through clearly, so I (and half the audience) watched it from the back side of the sheet; all lefts and rights were reversed!

  • cajaeho
    cajaeho

    Detective Daniel Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Detective Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino) enter a squalid Manhattan apartment building to pick up Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat), who is wanted for questioning on a case in Brooklyn. When Benesch manages to take Madigan and Bonaro’s guns away and escape, Police Commissioner Anthony X Russell (Henry Fonda) tells them that they have 72 hours to get Benesch back, or else.Out of all of the Don Siegel-directed films I’ve seen to date, this was the biggest disappointment. The film begins and ends with fantastic action sequences–well directed, well shot, with a nice, gritty feel, but in between the film felt overlong, overly complex, and far too soap-opera-like for my tastes.It could be due to Madigan being adapted from a novel, but Abraham Polonsky and Howard Rodman’s (“Henri Simoun” here) script includes so many different threads, most of them inconsequential to the outcome of the film, that it almost begins to lose coherence in the middle. It’s a bad sign when the major arc of the story is completed, but characters still have to engage in a number of “But what about so and so?” verbal tags at the end of the film to try to satisfy the audience.It feels almost as if Madigan is made for two entirely different crowds–one, fans of gritty crime action films, and the other, fans of realist dramas cum soap operas. I can’t imagine the former caring about most of the material in the middle (unless it had a pay off towards their genre), and I can’t imagine the latter being interested in the action scenes. Most of the material in the middle, although it has some more than admirable dialogue and decent performances, hinges on a complex web of personal and professional relationships–various romantic affairs, questionable relations between the police and citizens, and so on. It all comes to naught in the end. Also not helping is Henry Fonda’s odd aloofness. Again, it might work if it had some other payoff, but it doesn’t.Still, the positive aspects were good enough to not bring my score below a 6. The film might also play better on a second viewing, where you better know how to adjust your expectations as it goes along. On a first, uninformed viewing, the beginning is likely to gear you up for a great, suspenseful and witty ride, leaving you disappointed in the middle, until you finally adjust and then you’re awakened again with action at the end.