Monday, July 30, 2018

Noirsville Bonus - Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Noir TV (Season Two)

The Big Drop - Directed by Boris Sagal. The teleplay was written by Carey Wilber and Bill S. Ballinger  (as B.X. Sanborn). The DOP was Jack MacKenzie.

This episode stars McGavin as Mike Hammer, Peggie Castle who starred in I, the Jury (1953) the first Hammer Film and in other Noir , 99 River Street (1953), The Long Wait (1954) Finger Man (1955)), as Joan Barry, Bek Nelson as Dorothy Webb, Jan Arvan as Mello Taylor, Karl 'Killer' Davis a former pro wrestler with 1742 matches as Jutman.

When Spillane's Mike Hammer segued into TV, they toned down the sexuality but kept up the cinematic violence. Lots of fistfights, and gun play in quite a few episodes, the Black & White photography give it a graphic novel look.

The writer still had way around the TV production code with some clever dialog. 

Mike Hammer [V.O.]: It was one of those hot New York days... oh, not really hot - you drink a glass of water, wait a minute and it gushes out of your pours like Old Faithful in Yellowstone.

Mike with Dorothy Webb (Bek Nelson)

Dorothy Webb : I want to ask you your price for catching a murderer.
Mike Hammer : Well, that all depends. I've got my dollar-a-day specials, two murders for the price of one and then, of course, they're cheaper by the dozen.

Dorothy Webb hires Mike to find the man who murdered who father, "Spider" Webb, an old time   steeplejack with 30 years experience. Slowing down he took a job that was close to his heat a high rise window-washer.

Official reports claim it was an accident. His daughter is sure it was murder. Spider fell 20 floors to his death.

Mile and "Mello" Taylor the Undertaker (Jan Arvan)

Mike finds out that "Spider" lost a $10,000 stock investment a crook/swindler named Lonzi who seems to have skip town.

From an undertaker friend of the family, Mike discovers that possibly Spider was trying to break into Lonzi 's office for some kind of dirt that he could use for leverage. When Mike cases the office he discovers that Lonzi  still has a secretary Joan Barry, and a muscle/bodyguard Jutman on the job.

Mike and secretary Joan Barry (Peggy Castle)

Mike and Jutman (Karl "Killer" Davis)
This is a decent story that is pretty much all set bound with hardly any location work. Some nice noir-light action sequences on a window ledge.


A cute work around a possible TV production code, no, no. Joan is asking about sex, we all know it.

Joan Barry : How did you know it was me.
Mike Hammer : I get lucky sometimes....
Joan Barry :  Oh. do you get lucky often?
Mike Hammer: sometimes two or three times a week. (wink, wink)

Killer Davis

Peggy Castle is the hammer-tomically correct femme fatale. A average episode 6.5-7/10

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