A Marked Man

I'm not sure what it is about Richard Widmark that draws me into any role he's playing. He's got just as much intensity as Kirk Douglas yet it doesn't come across as it does for Douglas as Desperate Mania (which I love about Douglas). His voice, as distinct as Henry Fonda or John Wayne, as well as the grit of Charlton Heston. Widmark is just great to watch! My first film with Widmark was Judgement at Nuremberg, though at the time I didn't know who he was nor Burt Lancaster. Little did I expect that both names would soon become friendly assurances on my film viewing selections. Here are my latest Widmarks...

The Cobweb - (1955) Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Starring Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer

I really enjoyed the characters in this film and felt the weaving of the story to be almost a thriller in that the audience held a vital piece of information or understanding that most of the characters didn't. The plot was thick and the performances solid, Gloria Grahame and John Kerr in secondary, however essential roles provided just as much punch as Widmark and Lillian Gish, even the minor characters such as Sue and Mr. Capp were very well-rounded. Minnelli sure knows how to deliver a widescreen film.

I sure hope the day arrives when I could see his films on a large screen.

Don't Bother to Knock - (1952) Directed by Roy Ward Baker

Starring Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, Anne Bancroft

Marilyn Monroe as a crazy woman, and surprisingly she's pretty effective as such. Maybe its not surprising. I myself was surprised, I was just about ready to never give a chance, ever. Perhaps this role meant something to her, perhaps she was under some pills and that did the trick, or maybe she just tried so hard to be bad in this role that it worked against her and the result was a sad character that one could help feel sympathy for.

This film is full of surprises; in its content, I found it too be very adult, the situations were mature and some of the violence perhaps, ahead of its time. Honestly, in one scene I cringed when a character received a blow to the head from an angrily desperate Monroe.

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