Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda star in this critically acclaimed detective drama that takes a hard-hitting look at the lives and loves of New York City's top cops. Directed in gripping documentary fashion by Don Siegel, ... more »Richard Widmark portrays the veteran Big Apple detective who is given only a few hours to track down a vicious killer. Henry Fonda is the humane yet relentlessly foreceful police commissioner who orders Widmark into the streets to solve the case, even though he knows it might be his last assignment.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 3/6/2014...
Madigan has true star power that includes Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Richard Widmark, and James Whitmore among others! Writing is great and with documentary style filming what we get is an evenings worth of quality entertainment that parents will not be embarrassed to let the kids watch!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
'Madigan' is enjoyable police drama
DBW | Chicago, IL USA | 09/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As others have noted, "Madigan" is at its best in basic cops-and-robbers mode, when Detectives Dan Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Rocco Bennaro (Harry Guardino) are pursuing insanely dangerous gunman Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat). Director Don Siegel knows what he's doing when it comes to movement and violence, and that's more than evident here. A subplot involving the embattled police commissioner (Henry Fonda) and his struggle with possible graft on the part of his long-time friend and captain (James Whitmore) works reasonably well.The commissioner's affair with a married woman (Susan Clark) isn't too much of a distraction, especially since Clark is nice to look at, as usual. But the subplot that doesn't work is the unhappiness of Madigan's wife (Inger Stevens). Stevens does what she can to bring the woman to life, but the script defeats her, particularly in a scene following a police ball. Production values are very high, as 1968 New York emerges vividly in the location shooting. Don Costa's score deserves to be released on CD - it's a very memorable and exciting one, especially the main title and the build-up to the climax."
Widmark shines as N.Y.C. detective
B. W. Fairbanks | Lakewood, OH United States | 05/18/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When focusing on the title character, a maverick New York City detective played by Richard Widmark, this 1968 Don Siegel directed drama is a riveting action film, a precursor of sorts to Siegel's even more riveting "Dirty Harry." Things slow down, however, when the spotlight is turned on various subplots (commissioner Henry Fonda's distrust of Madigan, and the detective's troubled relationship with wife Inger Stevens). Still, no one has ever played a copper with as much authority or short-tempered brilliance as Widmark, and the cinematography is top-notch. Filmed on location, this film captures the gritty streets of New York quite well. The film later inspired an excellent and undeservedly short-lived TV series (1972-73), also with Widmark, that rotated with two other shows on "The NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie.""
GOLD STANDARD FOR ITS TIME
Gregory Saffady | Michigan | 05/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Dougherty's THE COMMISSIONER, upon which MADIGAN, is based was one of the first works of fiction to accurately portray cops problems away from the station house. MADIGAN, one of the best films of 1968, is true to that part of the book and Don Siegel implants his own brand of genius on the rest. MADIGAN shows a not too distant era when there were blood-and-guts hat wearing detectives who worked their own angles to solve their cases. The portrayls by Widmark and Guardino are lasting and solid to the core. For it's time, MADIGAN was a gold standard in police procedurals. The NYC landscape bolstered by the Don Costa soundtrack is stunning."
Cops in Hats
EddieLove | NYC, USA | 05/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The second Don Siegel movie from 1968 about a cop in NYC hunting the killer who stole his gun. (Paging Dr. Freud.) Great NYC location work is mixed with some dreay backlot stuff in this otherwise good policer. We get a little too much of the cops' homelives, but there's a hard-hitting climax. (Plus the last line in the picture provides ironic resonance to the city's racial issues with law enforcement that haven't gone away since the picture's release. ) Nice brassy Don Costa score."
Gritty 60's cop movie
F. J. Harvey | Birmingham England | 11/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This actionful New York set cops and robbers movie was co-scripted by the once blacklisted leftist writer Abraham Polonsky and this may ,together with the anti-establishmant modes of thinking current at the time of its making ,be responsible for its strongly critical stance on police corruption and morality . Madigan (Richard Widmark)and his partner Bonaro (Harry Guardino)go to arrest a hoodlum wanted for murder ,one Benech(Steve Inhat).They find him in bed with a woman and using the fact that they are distracted by this he steals Madigan's gun and makes his getaway.Police Commissioner Russell (Henry Fonda) givbes them 72 hours to nail him and restore the prestige the department has lost by the fiasco Russell has other weighty matters on his mind .He is having an affair with a married woman (Susan Clark).A prominent black minister (Raymond St Jacques) is hassling him over the death of the minister's son ,an "activist"who has been beaten by racist cops.Plus ,he is on the take from local brothel owners to ensure their businesses are undisturbed by the police . Madigan also has problems outside his work life namely his domestic situation .His socialite wife (Inger Stevens)is pressurising him to leave the force and take up more remunerataive work .The crisis worsens when Benech uses Madigan's gun to kill two people .
Don Siegal directs splendidly ,in a semi-documentary style ,and this contributes to a realistic and gritty movie with an authentic feel to its depiction of police work on the streets of (mainly Spanish )Manhattan.The acting is uniformally excellent with Richard Widmark especially outstanding , There is a technical problem which some may find impairs enjoyment slightly -the Techniscope process used by Universal gives a certain grainy quality to night scenes but in some ways this is appropriate to the ambience of the movie
This is a very good movie if a tad heavy on the leftist propaganda at times"