In my last post I mentioned, in passing, the famous scene from Kiss of Death in which Richard Widmark pushed a wheel chair bound old woman down a flight of stairs. How sad I was today to see that he died. I was a huge fan. Although my first exposure to him was on an "I Love Lucy" episode, I first became aware of his talents when I saw John Ford's Two Rode Together, starring Jimmy Stewart. Although the movie is none too memorable, parts of it have stuck with me. In one scene, Stewart and Widmark sit by a river and shoot the shit. Ford shot this in one unbroken take and had the two actors improvise the scene. It is quite charming. The first time I saw it I was amazed by Widmark's charisma and his ability to keep up with Stewart. I needed to see everything with this man that I could find. And so I did. I have never been disappointed by a Widmark performance, whether he's a cackling maniac in Kiss of Death, a racist asshole in No Way Out, or a scheming pickpocket in Pickup on South Street, he steals every scene he's in. Sure most of his characters leaned toward the nefarious side, but that's what made them so durned interesting.
He will be missed.
(Here is the famous scene from Kiss of Death. Side note: mother's of snitches get stitches.)