Madigan 11/16/19

KL Studio Classics

Don Siegel’s powerful cop saga shows the way for police stories of the ’70s — it has traces of TV movie cheapness, and then barrels forward with its story of rotten crooks a desperate detective and an elitist Police Commissioner. A strong cast gets powerful roles — Richard Widmark, Harry Guardino, Inger Stevens, James Whitmore — and Henry Fonda is cooly forbidding. The bang-bang finale was celebrated for its violent editing: Siegel’s blunt-force cutting effects make it feel extra-intense. For warped screen villainy, Steve Ihnat’s Barney Benesch has no equal — he has less than three minutes of screen time, but you’ll never forget him. Kino gives the show a strong commentary by Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.