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Richard Widmark 1914-2008

March 26, 2008

Richard Widmark was one of those great character actors most won’t remember by name, but will remember the face. And certainly seeing the face will always call to mind a certain look that spoke of the deep percolating layers beneath.

Being a Film Noir devotee, Richard Widmark stands out to me as one of the seminal actors of the genre. Films such as Pickup on South Street, Night and the City and Don’t Bother to Knock are all mandatory viewing. Folks my age will likely remember him in the remake of the classic Noir Out of the Past, as the steely-eyed Ben Caxton in Against All Odds. Didn’t know that was a re-make, eh?

However, it will be a moment in his film debut that he will probably be best remembered for. To this day, one of the most chilling and challenging scenes in all of classic cinema. That scene was in Kiss of Death.

Watch, learn and remember.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2008 7:50 am

    Widmark was one of my faves–but he’s been out of the public view for so long, I thought we’d already lost him. To me, the consummate Widmark performance was in “The Bedford Incident”. Magnificent. They don’t make them like these guys any more–Widmark, Mitchum, Lancaster, Fonda, Stewart, Douglas–and that’s a shame…

  2. March 28, 2008 8:02 am

    Hey Cliff. . .

    Saw me poking around your store front, did you?

    Great hearing from you! I look forward to spending some quality time at your blog again very soon. This place has been quite dry as-o-late, and focus on one of my writing projects has my nose so close to the grindstone. . . Well let’s just say about all I can see is the grindstone.

    Yeah, Widmark was great. Loved his work in “Night and the City” as well. . . I am a HUGE Jules Dassin fan.

    Look forward to catching up with you very soon, perhaps get a quality word in, maybe two. . .

    Happy to see your name around here anytime. . .

    –D.

  3. March 28, 2008 12:13 pm

    Anytime, monsieur. Sounds like we’ve BOTH had our noses shortened considerably by applying ourselves to ye aforementioned grindstone.

    Finishing SO DARK THE NIGHT was wonderful. Actually WRITING it the toughest thing I’ve ever tackled, by a whole order of magnitude. But it’s a fun, thrilling read and I hope you will give it a glance at some point.

    I feel like an old fart whenever one of these greats passes away–like another part of my past has broken off and floated away in a strong current, never to be retrieved. Losing Hunter S. Thompson and William Burroughs was like that for me. A twinge I still feel whenever I see their books on my shelves…

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