Re: RARA-AVIS: Richard Widmark

From: Patrick King (
Date: 30 Mar 2008

--- jacquesdebierue <> wrote:
> Yes, it's a fantastic film, and in a way Widmark is
> emblematic of the
> era. Not an actor in the Cagney-Robinson-Bogart
> style, but a perfect
> hardboiled figure in the right films. He was
> somewhat mysterious, with
> some of Mitchum's hardness but without the latent
> spookiness of the
> latter.
> In the end, a relatively low profile actor "who was
> always there", yet
> he ends his life recognized as an important figure.
> He is lucky: often
> the reverse is true. It helps that the old noirs
> have been reassessed
> so favorably, of course.
***************************************************** Widmark's incredibly creepy performance as Tommy Udo in KISS OF DEATH, I think by itself puts him in the Pantheon. He did several other performaces of equal intensity. Certainly his overall choices of roles sent his career all over the map, but when he made the kinds of movies he was great in, he was as good as the best. Cagney, for the most part, made more consistent choices. But Widmark brought a real-world sleezyness to the underworld that probably inspired Dinero's character in MEAN STREETS, and Pachino's in NEEDLE PARK.

Patrick King

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