DECEMBER 26th: Richard Widmark, 34-year-old American actor, in London to appear in the film ‘Night and the City’ (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
  • Golden Globe Awards

Tomorrow’s Stars Yesterday: Richard Widmark, 1948

Mel BrooksRichard Widmark in 1948. No awards were given in 1949 or 1951 but Kevin McCarthy was the only anomalous winner, in 1952.

Kiss of Death,Elia Kazan’sPanic in the Street that made him a movie starBut the path to acceptance was never easy for him, and in fact, he was 33 when made his first movie.

William Wellman, and Jules Dassin, always giving critically acclaimed performances.

Zanuck’s personal production for that year and Joe Mankiewicz’s first film after successive Oscar wins for A Letter to Three WivesAll About Eve, in other words, a bona fide prestige piece. Now Fox’s top contract male actor, he had to contend with a succession of mediocre films, but guaranteeing him top billing even over Marilyn Monroe in Don’t Bother to Knock.

Samuel Fuller’sRichard Brooks’Take the High Ground, a worthy successor to Battleground,

Vincente Minnelli’sThe Cobweb,Mark Robson’sA Prize of Gold,Backlash which hemade for Universal. Run for the Sun was his first British movie, working with director Roy Boulting, and he returned to Fox for The Last WagonDelmer Daves.

Otto Preminger cast him as the Dauphin in Shaw’s Saint JoanJohn Gielgud, and he did surprisingly well. He followed that with Karl Malden’s maiden effort as a director Time Limit, a respectable version of a highly regarded Broadway play. Sturges’ The Law and Jake WadeThe Tunnel of LoveGene Kelly able to coax his most charming performance, he and his costar Doris Day had wonderful chemistry together.

John Wayne’sThe Alamo, he was convinced that if Wayne could do it so could he. But midway through The Secret Ways, he had to be rescued by director Phil Karlson. Even John Ford’sTwo Rode TogetherJames Stewart was a bust. But then Stanley Kramer came to the rescue by casting him in a pivotal role in his all-star Oscar and Golden Globe award winner Judgment at Nuremberg. After that, he never looked back.

Jack Cardiff’sThe Long Ships and Michael Anderson’sFlight from Ashiya and provided star power for John Ford’s ambitious but disappointing Cheyenne Autumn. He had one of his best roles in James Harris’s cold war drama Bedford IncidentEdward Dmytryk’sAlvarez Kelly, and Andrew McLaglen’s The Way WestKirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum. Don Siegel’s MadiganA Talent for Loving, working for the first time with Richard Quine was a bust; however their follow-up film The Moonshine WarWhen the Legends Die, a prestige picture which showcased newcomer Frederic Forrest.