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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Don Siegel
USA 1968

 

From Don Siegel, the legendary director of Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, The Black Windmill and Escape from Alcatraz comes this hardboiled crime-drama starring screen greats Richard Widmark (Backlash) and Henry Fonda (The Ox-Bow Incident). This critically acclaimed detective drama takes a hard-hitting look at the lives and loves of New York City’s top cops. Directed in gripping documentary style by Siegel, Widmark portrays the veteran Big Apple detective who is given only a few hours to track down a vicious killer. Fonda is the humane yet relentlessly forceful police commissioner who orders Widmark into the streets to solve the case, even though it might be his last assignment. The top-notch cast includes Inger Stevens (Firecreek), Harry Guardino (The Enforcer), James Whitmore (Them!), Susan Clark (Valdez Is Coming), Don Stroud (Coogan’s Bluff), Sheree North (Breakout), Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet) and Raymond St. Jacques (Cotton Comes to Harlem). Screenplay by Abraham Polonsky (Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here) and Howard Rodman (The Six Million Dollar Man) with stunning CinemaScope cinematography by acclaimed DP Russell Metty (Touch of Evil).

***

It's a seemingly peaceful spring morning in New York City -- graduation day at the Police Academy -- and Police Commissioner Anthony X. Russell (Henry Fonda) is looking forward to giving a speech to the new officers. But all isn't well: Russell's been given apparently incontrovertible evidence that his oldest friend, Chief Inspector Charles Kane (James Whitmore), is shaking down a bar owner, and a black minister (Raymond St. Jacques) is claiming that his son was brutalized when he was picked up for questioning in a rape/assault case. Then Russell gets a call informing him that two first-grade detectives, Daniel Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino), allowed small-time hood Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat) to get the drop on them, steal their guns, and escape while they were trying to pick him up for questioning at the request of Brooklyn detectives -- and Benesch is now a suspect in that earlier murder in Brooklyn. Madigan has other problems, including the fact that the commissioner -- his ex-captain -- doesn't trust him, always believing him to be a loose cannon who has taken advantage of the badge in accepting favors and cutting corners where peoples' rights were concerned. Madigan also has a beautiful, upwardly mobile wife (Inger Stevens) who loves him but can't abide all the time his job takes him away from her or crimps her socializing; and he has never fully gotten over Jonesy (Sheree North), a saloon singer he knew before he was married. Madigan and Bonaro are given 72 hours to bring in Benesch and begin beating the bushes for leads.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 22nd, 1968

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:03.057        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,424,554,514 bytes

Feature: 21,098,182,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.54 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,424,554,514 bytes

Feature: 21,098,182,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.54 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson
• TV Spots (3:35)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:27)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 12th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (October 2019): Kino have transferred Don Siegel's Madigan to Blu-ray. It is on a single-layered disc with a reasonable bitrate. It looked pretty good on my system. Not dynamic but film-like, a shade of inconsistency, but true colors with some richness and pleasing contrast. The 1080P services the film presentation very well.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language. Madigan has an interesting score by Don Costa, sounding a deep and atmospheric in an unusual manner - there is consistent and clear dialogue. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray have a new audio commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson. These guys are great together - they reveal the conflict with Siegel and producer Frank P. Rosenberg with specific anecdotes. They find interesting details (the sans-serif font of the titles being used in TV shows like Columbo and McCloud) in Siegel's direction, the locations, Russell Metty's, less-remarkable, cinematography, relationship to the TV show Naked City and much more referencing other films and past interviews. It definitely helps with appreciation of this excellent late 60's cop drama. There are also TV Spots and a theatrical trailer as supplements.

Madigan has Don Siegel's efficiency and sexiness creating a different style of police drama - as they state in the commentary "fresh for its time". It's a Neo-Noir that worked on a few levels - flawed, duplicitous, characters and their interpersonal relationships, some procedural detective work, depth within the occupational hazards of being a cop (or Commissioner) and a final shoot-out.  I really enjoyed my viewing on Blu-ray. With the highly valuable commentary this is a definite recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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