Adapted from Richard Dougherty's THE COMMISSIONER, MADIGAN stars Richard Widmark as the eponymous New York detective in this warmup for Don Siegel's DIRTY HARRY. Joined by his partner Rocco Bonaro (Harry Guardino), Madigan raids the apartment of criminal Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat), but when both cops are briefly frozen by the sight of the hood's naked girlfriend, Benesch has time to grab their guns and make his escape. Commissioner Anthony X. Russell calls the cops on the carpet when it's learned that Benesch was wanted for homicide.This is only one among many problems for Russell, who is being dumped by his mistress, Tricia Bentley (Susan Clark), subjected to claims of police brutality by minister Dr. Taylor (Raymond St. Jacques), and forced to confront the corruption of Chief Inspector Kane (James Whitmore). Learning that Madigan and Bonaro had been working outside their own precinct, Russell angrily orders the pair to find Benesch within the next 72 hours. Bookie Midget Castiglione (Michael Dunne) puts the detectives in touch with Hughie (Don Stroud), one of the hood's pimps, and he delivers the goods. This is an excellent, action-packed, near-documentary account of the quotidian details of big-city police work, boasting an extraordinary supporting cast.
This New York crime drama examines the personal and professional worries of the police commissioner, chief inspector, and two detectives. Detectives Madigan and Bonaro are on a manhunt through Manhattan in search of a killer they accidentally let escape. Commissioner Russell steadfastly applies more pressure on the detectives to find the psychopath--and gives them a deadline of 72 hours. But the commissioner has other troubles on his mind.