If asked to name my favorite leading actors of the tough guy variety who really hit their stride in the fifties I usually start with Douglas and Lancaster, Mitchum and Ford. Chuck Heston. The one name I always find a place for is Mr. Richard Widmark. Once Widmark got through the late forties and a succession of weaselly characters that he most certainly excelled at he found the opportunity to play on both sides of good and bad in the decade ahead. Westerns, adventures, drama and even a Doris Day comedy filled his card through out the 1950’s.
“How much are you sellin’ me for? ”
“Sometimes you look for oil, you hit a gusher. ”
Widmark says to Coop…….”Before this is over, you’ll be just like that horse, eatin’ right out of her hand. ”
“There’s things a man has to know and has to do, and it’s best that he does them alone. ”
“But dear, we can’t keep living on your grandmother’s money… it’s not that I’m too honorable, but it’s running out. ”
“If I don’t return, sir, it won’t make much difference *what* shows on my record.”
Before the seventies hit Widmark worked for Don Siegel in Madigan and set the groundwork for what was to come in the police dramas ahead.
Here’s a bonus interview that turned up on youtube with Widmark looking back at some of his films and career. Any favorites of your own?
He was a terrific bad guy – you believed he was capable of almost anything. Yet, you always read what a decent fellow he was in real life.
I’ve been trying to think of a fave Richard W. performance, and I can’t pick just one…
This post collection – and memorable lines – is a wonderful tribute to Mr Widmark. 🙂
Glad your a fan like me. Have you ever seen the A&E Biography show on him? Great episode on an interesting life.
For me, his most memorable would be ‘Kiss of Death’, but I also liked him in two other noir films, ‘Night and the City’ and ‘Panic in the Streets’. I have yet to see ‘The Swarm’, though…
lol. The Swarm just might be the one he’s remembered for in years to come! I think his western work deserves more attention as well.
Of the few Westerns I’ve seen him in, I think my favorite would be ‘Warlock’. Followed by, of course, ‘Swarm II: Attack on Dodge City’.