Madigan

  • 1968
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

Action-packed cops-and-robbers film cowritten by longtime television vet Howard Rodman, who evidently didn't like the way it turned out (he used his pseudonym, Henri Simoun). In the Spanish Harlem section of Manhattan, detectives Madigan and Bonaro (Widmark and Guardino) arrest Barney Benesch (Ihnat), a wanted hoodlum who is hiding out in a tacky flat to...read more

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Action-packed cops-and-robbers film cowritten by longtime television vet Howard Rodman, who evidently didn't like the way it turned out (he used his pseudonym, Henri Simoun). In the Spanish Harlem section of Manhattan, detectives Madigan and Bonaro (Widmark and Guardino) arrest Barney

Benesch (Ihnat), a wanted hoodlum who is hiding out in a tacky flat to avoid an indictment by the Brooklyn courts. Benesch is in bed with a naked woman when they break in, which distracts the two cops from their quarry long enough for him to pull a gun on them and escape. Police commissioner

Russell (Fonda) dresses the two men down for allowing Benesch to get away in such an inglorious manner and gives them 72 hours to nail the killer. Russell has a lot of other woes as well: he's having an affair with a married woman (Clark), his colleague (Whitmore) has accepted bribes to keep a

brothel operating, and he must contend with a black minister (St. Jacques) whose activist son was badly beaten by racist cops. Aggravating this hornet's nest for Madigan is his socialite wife (Stevens), who urges him to give up his career in law enforcement.

Very documentarian in approach, MADIGAN successfully reworks standard genre material into a realistic, hard-hitting portrait which deliberately sticks pins in the police department hierarchy. Writer Polonsky had been blacklisted in the 1950s and his partner Rodman kept his status active with a

local construction union even while working in the Hollywood community. The acting is good throughout, with many fine character sketches of urban types.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Action-packed cops-and-robbers film cowritten by longtime television vet Howard Rodman, who evidently didn't like the way it turned out (he used his pseudonym, Henri Simoun). In the Spanish Harlem section of Manhattan, detectives Madigan and Bonaro (Widmar… (more)

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