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? ”

night and city

“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. ”

garden of evil

“There’s things a man has to know and has to do, and it’s best that he does them alone. ”

Backlash (1956)_02

“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. ”

tunnel love

“If I don’t return, sir, it won’t make much difference *what* shows on my record.”

two rode

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?