There's a few caveats however, its TV, it has a code just like the MPPC of Hollywood, the Hammer-tomically correct broads aren't going do much more than tease and forget about strip.
Another is that it's not Hammer neat. McGavin's Hammer as written is part Spillane's Hammer and part Kane's Johnny Liddle, Manhattan detective novels. This is a low rent Hammer who apparently has rooms at the Parkmore (residence) Hotel. The series is set in close to the correct time period for the first seven Spillane Hammer novels
More caveats are Runtime: 30 minutes, minus commercials and end credits, intro is short and within a minute you are into the story. The end credits have all the info running about 2 minutes the episodes are probably actually around 26-7 minutes long. Aside from Hammer (McGavin), Pat Chambers (Bart Burns in 21 of 79 episodes), and coke bottle glasses wearing, candy store owner Geta (Vitto Scotti 7 episodes) there are not a whole lot of returning characters or (much character development over the span of the episodes.
|Mike Hammer (Darren McGavin)|
For the short run times the stories move along with great economy and good use of McGavin's first person narration to bridge the set pieces. The NYC on location sequences feature McGavin walking the streets, driving his 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible around Manhattan, or hopping in taxis these give the show a nice Neo Realist feel.
All the babes are hammer-tomically correct. Occasionally there is some episodes with Noir-ish lighting and Dutch angels used. The majority of the sets have a nice sleazy look complimenting the stories. Lots of action, the episodes either feature fisticuffs (McGavin held a black belt in traditional Japanese karate). I've read that the show was notable for him doing many of his own stunts and for the "enthusiasm" he put into some of the fight scenes, sometimes forgetting to pull his punches and "ad-libbing" moves. Iy was also known for a lot of sudden and quick blazing gun fights in cramped quarters with the bad guys ending up dead. It has decent theme music, "Rift Blues."
Season One - Disc One
- The High Cost of Dying - A convict at Sing Sing is mortally stabbed. He wants Hammer to dig up the loot he stole and ransom his wife.
Tappan Zee and Sing Sing
- Just Around the Coroner - A fellow neighbor at the residence hotel inherits 7,500 dollars and every two bit con artist, mooch, and hooker wants to score off him, This one features a brutal murder and a badger game extortion scheme.
On the Hollywood set rather than NYC
Hammer-tomically correct babe
- Hot Hands, Cold Dice - After Willie the Squeaker fingers Mike to a couple of Goons from Vegas, Mike returns to his office to find it tossed.
- Death Gets A Diploma - An old friend of Mike asks him to investigate her son's involvement with a dame who just happened to finger a mobster for a whack out side The Goldfish Bowl night club.
- So That's Who It Was - Chinatown, a seedy residence hotel. Mike investigates the bump off a stew bum/junkie he knows.
Wong (Keye Luke) and Hammer
Pat Chambers (Bart Burns)
- Dead Men Don't Dream - Goons muscling for a protection racket murder a boyhood buddy. Lower East Side/Manhattan location shots.
Notice the TV aerial sticking out of a window to lt.
Old West Side Drive and the United States Lines Pier
- Letter Edged in Blackmail - A blackmailing scheme goes foul. Wet city streets and lots of Manhattan location shots.
Angie Dickinson lt.