Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Richard Widmark

I miss the giggling psychopath of Kiss of Death. I miss the way he managed the almost impossible task of reversing the image that Kiss had given him with Panic in the Streets. I miss him in The Swarm telling Michael Caine that he’s “not about to go down in history as the only US general to get his butt kicked by a mess of bugs!” I miss his drunken disgust at post-war German revelry in Judgment at Nuremburg. I miss him roughing up Don Stroud in Madigan almost as much as his double-gun run in the film’s final scene. I miss his scenes with Ida Lupino in Road House. I miss the decidedly un-snooty way he classed up Against All Odds. I miss him offering George Segal a letter of commendation in Rollercoaster. I miss him taking shots at Lawrence Harvey in The Alamo. I miss his exporting to England for Hammer’s swansong, To the Devil a Daughter. I miss his quiet malevolence in Coma. I miss the way he turned a naval marionette into a 3 dimensional character in The Bedford Incident. I miss him carrying the weight of a lifetime of cons in Night and the City.

I also miss the way he wore hats.

I already miss Richard Widmark and he hasn’t made a film in over 15 years. He turned 93 on the day after Christmas last year, and died today.