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This Gun For Hire

dfordoom in noirfilms

Mickey Spillane at the movies

Mickey Spillane has had mixed fortunes when it comes to film adaptations of his novels. The 1955 movie version of Kiss Me, Deadly has been widely praised although it’s not to my taste. Personally I much preferred the 1962 The Girl Hunters with Spillane himself as Mike Hammer. He might not have been the world’s greatest actor but he certainly understood Mike Hammer.

I’m also find of the surprisingly hard-boiled late 50s TV series with Darren McGavin, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. I’ve never seen the 1980s TV adaptations.

There were a couple of other 1950s movie adaptations, which don’t seem to have very favourable reputations. There was the 1953 version of I, the Jury and a 1957 film of My Gun Is Quick. The latter is now available on DVD but the reviews I’ve read make it sound less than enticing. Even worse, they make it sound as if it had little or nothing in common with Spillane’s novel.

Is anyone prepared to step forward to defend the My Gun Is Quick movie? Or I, the Jury too for that matter although it seems to be unobtainable.


The 1955 movie version of Kiss Me Deadly was a deliberate mockery of the book and of the Mike Hammer canon and character in general. As for the 1980s series of telemovies they were reasonable though I never quite bought Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer - someone like Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood or Lee Marvin would've been more appropriate.