Richard Widmark, Happy Birthday! Born December 26th; 1914-2008

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Night and the City (1950) Directed by Jules Dassin Shown: Richard Widmarkwidthe-street-with-no-name-richard-widmark-1948 widfilm-noir-night-and-the-city-richard-widmark-via-cinemademerde widrichardwidmar widrichard-widmark

Richard Widmark was nominated for one Academy Award during his career, that for Best Supporting Actor for Kiss of Death (his debut) in 1947. Of course that single nod is not an indication of his acting worthiness for he turned in many top-notch performances that gleam as shining stars in his film-resume. Film-Noir and Westerns seemed to be his favorite stomping ground with occasional forays into Comedies and traditional Dramas. Kiss of Death, 1947, Night and the City, Panic in the Streets and No Way Out, all in 1950, Don’t Bother to Knock, 1952 and Pickup on South Street, 1953, constituted a smorgasbord of Film-Noir titles that is difficult to match by anyone, save Ida Lupino. I have always found it a shame that Widmark did not find more comedies to work in, which I think he had a nice flare for. He made 41 movies from 1947 through 1965 (in 1965 he also produced “The Bedford Incident”) working with such directing giants as: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Jules Dassin, Henry Hathaway and Samuel Fuller, and some of the most talented and beautiful actresses in filmdom history: Marilyn Monroe, Gene Tierney, Doris Day and Lauren Bacall. Many very good movies populate Richard Widmark’s role-call, with a few classics included, especially where Widmark left his mark on the genre of Film-Noir.

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