Madigan: The Manhattan Beat (TV) (1972; USA; Technicolor; 73m) ∗∗∗ d. Alex March; w. Roland Wolpert; ph. Jack Priestley; m. Quincy Jones. Cast: Richard Widmark, Murray Hamilton, Ronnie Cox, Tony Lo Bianco, James J. Sloyan, Jennifer Harmon. A police detective is asked to break in a new colleague, a recent college graduate and finds his life in danger in the course of tracking down assault suspects and a possible murderer. Standard TV adaptation of 1968 movie benefits from NYC locations and a strong performance from Widmark. Premiere episode of a short-lived addition to the NBC Mystery Movie series. [PG]
Madigan (1968; USA; Technicolor; 101m) ∗∗∗½ d. Don Siegel; w. Howard Rodman (as Henri Simoun), Abraham Polonsky; ph. Russell Metty; m. Don Costa. Cast: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Harry Guardino, James Whitmore, Michael Dunn, Susan Clark, Steve Ihnat, Don Stroud, Sheree North. Two NYC detectives are given a weekend to bring a fugitive to justice. Gritty police thriller is largely a character study of two flawed but driven men – Widmark’s streetwise detective and Fonda’s by-the-book commissioner. Whilst the juggling of perspective reduces the narrative fluidity Widmark is excellent and Siegel directs with a sure hand. Based on the novel “The Commissioner” by Richard Dougherty. Followed by a 1972-3 series of six TV movies.