A private detective helps a prostitute being assaulted, and notices that she is wearing a very unique ring. She is later found murdered and there is no trace of the ring, which turns out to... See full summary »
Legendary detective Mike Hammer has spent seven years in an alcoholic funk after the supposed death of his secretary, Velda. He is brought back to the land of the living by his old friendly enemy, police lieutenant Pat Chambers.
An old friend of a private detective is murdered. The detective, Mike Hammer, will make every effort to find out the killer. At each step he does, there is someone taking advantage of his ... See full summary »
Richard T. Heffron
A former reporter comes back home after serving in the army during World War I and finds that it's much more difficult to find work than he expected. Desperate, one day he crashes a wedding... See full summary »
A man suffering from temporary blindness accidentally walks into a house where a murder has just occurred. The killers, realizing he's blind, decide not to kill him but just knock him out ... See full summary »
American Gregor Stevens arrives in London searching for his brother who, unknown to him, has been convicted of a murder and is within three days of being executed. He meets Yvonne Durante, ... See full summary »
It's nearly Christmas, but Mike Hammer is on the vengeance trail when Jack, his wartime buddy, is murdered. Hotheaded Hammer sets out to find the killer, working his way through an increasingly large pile of suspects (and corpses). Along the way, he meets a new love interest, psychologist Charlotte Manning, a treacherous Santa, a gangster named Kalecki, and two weird sisters, the Bellamy twins.Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
Originally filmed in 3D; but, by the time it opened, 3D had lost favor among audiences, and many first run engagements, as well as most second run engagements, opted to offer it in the standard 2D version. See more »
The first film adaptation of a Mickey Spillane novel, filmed in 3D and starring one of the all-time nobodies, Biff Elliot, as Mike Hammer. He looks like William Bendix's younger brother and acts like Lon Chaney, Jr. in "Of Mice and Men." The selling point of any movie based on a Spillane story, aside from the violence, should be the dialogue. That's true here, with lots of tough noir one-liners. Unfortunately, many of those are bellowed by Elliot, who barges into every scene like he's mad someone made him take this job. Seriously, watch this guy stomp around. Someone hired this moose to act and this is what they got. Even the film's famous final scene is tainted by his inability to deliver a line with emotion.
On the plus side, the movie was photographed by John Alton. He makes the most of the cheap production values. Good use of the Bradbury Building, which is recognizable to fans of films like D.O.A. and Blade Runner. Nice score from Franz Waxman. The supporting cast includes many lesser known actors but there are a few old pros like Preston Foster, John Qualen, and Elisha Cook, Jr. How any of them kept a straight face while that sack of meat was barking at them is beyond me. Attractive Peggie Castle makes an unconvincing psychologist and is even less convincing as a woman attracted to Elliot.
This movie has a lot that prevents it from being great. But all of the other issues combined don't equal the sheer ineptitude of casting Biff Elliot as Mike Hammer. This was his film debut and he never did anything this big again. He worked fairly steady for decades, mostly in television. I have no idea why he was cast. Worked cheap? Saved the producer's life? Knew where the bodies were buried? I don't know. All I do know is he stinks in this.
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