Culture Shocking Blocking


Image for Madigan

Madigan (1968, d. Don Siegel) is superior to the police noirs it spawned (i.e., Dirty Harry), and also to the more fondly remembered Bullitt, which came out that same year. Those movies represent the criminal as society’s id, and complacent liberals as its ego; the audience is tricked into rooting for the super-ego to gain the upper hand.

In this scene from Madigan, however, Barney Benesch (Steve Ihnat) orders New York police detectives Madigan (Richard Widmark) and Bonaro (Harry Guardino) to play choo-choo while Benesch’s girlfriend Rosita (Toian Matchinga) cowers in the wardrobe. The cops are society’s super-ego, the girl is its id; the ego is in control!

Madigan’s screenplay was adapted by writers who’d been blacklisted in the Forties. Draw your own conclusions.

Tags: Madigan, Movies