Mike Hammer, Private Eye (TV Series 1997–1998) Poster


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It's Hammer time again!
SavalasFan10 September 2005
I must respectfully disagree with Jimbo. This series is indeed grittier than the original. I'm a huge fan of the 80's Mike Hammer series starring Stacey Keach and I never missed a episode. I found out about the '97 reprise only after it had ended and wished for years that I could check it out somehow. Thank GOD for DVDs! Mike Hammer, Private Eye is now available on DVD and it's definitely grittier and a step closer to the vengeful Hammer of Mickey Spillane. Jimbo calls the show "cheap" because this Hammer series obviously didn't have the same network budget that the original series did. I find that the lower budget feel of Private Eye really works in it's favor. This production makes Hammer's world seedier and that makes Hammer all the more nobler in his efforts to take out the trash.

Mike Hammer, Private Eye is a very enjoyable series. I like Keach even more this time around. The older Hammer is more vicious and hard boiled. The older the bull, the stiffer the horn. His flaws and foibles also add to the fun. I've watched all of the episodes in the DVD set and each one highly entertained me. It's all good fun. I'm damn glad Keach came back for this show. I'm also damn glad somebody put this series out on DVD. Mike Hammer, Private Eye delivers!
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Perfect incarnation of Spillane Novels
MaouriCeltic11 September 2003
This show is probably one of the best incarnations of the great Spillane novels. Tough and gritty with plenty of lovely ladies for the men. This show had a nice edge which although could be hard was also lose enough not to fall into self parody. Good turns by the cast of regulars. Especially Shannon Whirry as Velda. Its hard to see why this show only lasted one season. Considering the following and the syndication market this should have been on at least three seasons. But if you want to see a good Mike Hammer incarnation that has good stories along with being faithful to the character watch this one. Only complaint seeing Stacey get all these women. I am not going to dispute Mike Hammer having a beautiful girlfriend but him walking into a room and having women make sexual innuendos to him is just not believable but oddly appropiate for the show. Also I think we can fairly say that the lady in red is a hallucination that Hammer has and not a real women. Great show check it out!
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Better than the earlier series
TC-415 August 2000
This syndicated show is a much grittier version of the show that was on the network in the 80's. Hammer is a tougher guy and is much more like the Darren McGavin version of the 50's which I liked best of all. There are no better scenes than when he tangles with the D.A. Barrington played by Kent Williams who should have gotten an Emmy. I hope that Stacy makes newer episodes as this character will never die.
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Cheap Detective from Manhatten, no make that Ventura
Tom Willett (yonhope)11 January 2007
The episode I just watched was number 20 of 26 that are packaged in one Mike Hammer set from 1997 and '98. The production values were low budget filming in Ventura, CA for New York. There are some exterior establishing shots of The Big Apple, but much of the location sets look like anywhere but New York.

The episode is called The Maya Connection. Some of the dialog is haunting and maybe prophetic. The very first line in this show is a voice-over saying, "Saddam Hussein... We should have got him when we had the chance." The accompanying visuals show someone loading a rifle.

There are a couple of establishing shots that show The World Trade Center towers. Later in the story we hear a voice-over saying, "The real victims of war are the people who live at Ground Zero." It all takes on a new meaning in today's world.

Maxwell Caufield is good as the guest star. I could visualize him in a James Bond type role. He is a secret agent in this. Maxwell is at his best in Grease 2. There is a lot of action and plenty of wise cracks, especially from Stacy Keach, our Mike Hammer.

The story is much too disjointed to follow. It doesn't matter. It has some action and comedy and some really weird stuff. A scene in the back seat of a taxi seems to be an Altoids commercial. The best comedy sighting in this is Stacy in drag as an Iraqi woman.

Worth the $11.99 for 26 episodes.

Tom Willett
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There's Stacy Keach...and not much else
nomoons1118 December 2011
Stacy Keach is the only reason this 2nd incarnation of him as Mike Hammer is watchable.

I was a huge fan of the original Stacy Keach Mike Hammer series. Along with a lot of TV movies he did with the same character, he created a pretty good little franchise for himself. That being said, this 2nd incarnation of this great detective is just not that great. It has quite a few earmarks of a low budget and the first is the actors. All of em except Shannon Whirry are just plain bad. Shane Conrad is an absolute joke in this. You can tell he got the job just by who his father was. Worse than the acting is the script writing. The dialogue is so bad it's not even borderline laughable or believable, it's just laughable and unbelievable.

Regardless of the fact that this show pale's in comparison to Stacy Keachs' original series, he's the reason this show is still worth a look. He plays the same character with the same flair. It's petty obvious that Keach brought this character back to make a buck. It was successful the first time so why not try again. It just wasn't as good this time around.

Most know when they hear "Mike Hammer" they think of Mr. Keach himself. There's a reason for that, he is Mike Hammer(sorta).
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A poor knock-off of the previous series.
Jimbo5215 August 2005
I must disagree with TC-4. The "grittiness" he describes, I would call "cheap".

I think the original CBS series of 1983-87 was superior to this one. With Don Stroud as Pat Chambers, Donna Denton as "The Face" Lindsay Bloom as Velda and the other regular supporting actors, it was a class act all around.

While Shannon Whirry makes a tasty Velda, the rest of this production was just a bargain-basement attempt at bringing back a good series. Obviously, it didn't work, with so few episodes shot.

Stacy Keach was good as always, but I miss his previous co-stars.
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This Mike Hammer lacked "The Hammer"
manny23919 August 2000
"Mike Hammer, Private Eye" was nothing more then a watered down version of the 80s classics. Slow, and aging, Mike Hammer lacked the true "intimidation" a younger version of himself had. The 80s show was grittier, tougher, and more lively, while today it seems looser and more sophisticated. I tried getting into it, but I was FAR more upset that A&E canceled the old Mike Hammer reruns, then this old watered down version got canceled. Big disappointment, thankfully Stacy Keach went on to better things!
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Stick to the 80s Mike Hammer
mainestay7 September 2012
Stacy Keach's Mike Hammer can be divided into the 80s version and then this one, the 90s version. In my opinion the 80s Hammer was much better. Look, call me a chauvinist, but beautiful women and cleavage are part of the Mike Hammer mystique. It's one of the things that made the 80s Hammer so popular. Unfortunately for the "new & improved" 90s private eye, Keach's wife Malgosia Tomassi, who also plays the useless yoga instructor, insisted there be less emphasis on skin. Can you say Yoko Ono?? I knew you could.

Also, say you're a private dick in New York. You carry a .45 for protection. Suddenly you round a corner and get jumped by two huge gorillas who begin pounding you with baseball bats. Obviously they intend to kill you or at least maim the crap out of you. Do you...

A) Grab your gun and repay the favor, or B) Lay there like an 88-year-old woman and take it.

If you said "A" then you're more of a man than THIS Hammer is. I don't know how many episodes I've seen this pathetic scene played out. I kept yelling at the TV "Grab Betsy, dumb ass, that's what you have her for!!" But alas, Keach never heard me. (BTW, "Betsy" is his gun) Until they release the 80s Mike Hammer on DVD, I'd suggest watching two Hammer movies Keach did: "Murder Me, Murder You," and "More Than Murder," both from the 80s. And both B.M.T. (Before Malgosia Tomassi).
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