Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 14, 2018, 06:45:45 PM
:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Best Mike Hammer
0 and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
: 1 2 [3] 4
: Best Mike Hammer  ( 21922 )
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #30 : March 31, 2011, 12:21:51 AM »

I think a treatment like Sin City's might be in order.


titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #31 : April 02, 2011, 05:50:12 PM »

The Bill Conti's theme for the Assante's movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOM-dnTnILo


cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #32 : April 02, 2011, 07:52:32 PM »

The Bill Conti's theme for the Assante's movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOM-dnTnILo

Nice opening credits.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #33 : April 14, 2011, 07:55:29 AM »

I like this slightly over the top interpretation of Mike Hammer, especially after viewing all the previous watered down versions.  O0 O0 O0

I, The Jury (1982)

Directed by  Richard T. Heffron, starring Armand Assante, as Mike Hammer, Barbara Carreram as Dr. Charlotte Bennett, Laurene Landon as Velda, Alan King as Charles Kalecki,  Geoffrey Lewis as Joe Buttler, and Paul Sorvino as Det. Pat  Chambers.

I first saw this probably sometime in the late 80’s once, had nothing to compare it to, and barely remembered it so it was a delight to get to view this the other day, especially since I‘ve recently been revisiting Spillane and the films based on his novels.

It took 30 some odd years for a film to really do full justice to the zeitgeist of a Mickey Spillane novel. The best looking and true  Noir adaptation is still “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955) with Ralph Meeker, Jack Elam, Strother Martin, Jack Lambert, Gabby Rogers, and Cloris Leachman, but it was hampered by being made while the Hays Code was still in effect. The original “I, The Jury” (1953) was DOA having non presence Biff Eliot in the title role, but at least the babes were “hammertomically” correct , “My Gun is Quick” (1957) starring Robert Bray as had the right caliber of women, but had the action not in NYC, but in some seaside resort and Hammer was running around with a pop gun not his trademark .45 Colt Automatic. “The Girl Hunters” (1963) had Spillane in the title role, but he was no actor, and aside from the establishing shots of NYC , the film was shot in England. At least it had the babes.

But WOW!, right from the opening credits of I, The Jury (1982) you know you are in Mike Hammer land with the emphasis on women and the Colt .45 automatic, Broads & Bullets, Girls and Guns (both kinds).  I’m sure graphic novelist Frank Miller (Sin City) had to have seen this graphic opening sequence in three colors black, white, and red, and was influenced by it. If not, it predates that style by 10 years.

This version has Hammer’s office located above Times Square, set in the post Vietnam 80’s. Hammer is a sleazy detective working divorce cases. We first see him pulling a dead fish out of his tank and holding it while talking to another fish/client, who is worried about his wife cheating on him. Hammer asks to see her picture notices that she is beautiful, then tells the client that he’s in trouble. Next shot has Hammer screwing the clients wife while fielding a call from him, the conversation is humorous along the lines of , “yea I’m right on top of her”, and “yea, don’t worry, I’m very familiar with all her moves”.

Hammer’s one armed war buddy Jack takes a slug in the guts and dies crawling across his living room, notified of his death Hammer (like a licensed rogue cop with full access to NYPD info) acts like bull in a china shop and the action (along with the catchy and wonderfully complementary score) never quits… that is unless a broad drifts into range, and a bevy of lovelies do so.

In this version Velda who in the novels was also a licensed detective holds her own doing double duty as a competent secretary/associate, and quasi love interest, she shows flashes of jealousy when Mike returns to the office disheveled and bruised from his  escapades.

All the actors put in decent performances, I just wish Geoffrey Lewis had a bigger part, my only quibble.

What’s not to like.

Barely Neo Noir if that. The one noir lit sequence that I do rememner was when Hammer goes to pay respects to Jack's wife. Most of the film is too brightly lit.

No first person narrative.

And well, this version deviates a bit from the novel, i.e., using a surrogate serial killer in place of Kaleki’s henchman to the detriment of the novel‘s excellent Bellamy Twins sequences, the substitution of the sex clinic for the whorehouse, and bringing an ex-CIA paranoid operative “house as fortress” character into the story.

Armand Assante as Hammer hews closer to the Ralph Meeker look than what you picture Mike Hammer should look like (for me that would have been the great Charles McGraw), but he has the machismo and misogynistic qualities right, lol .

The cinematography is adequate, very pedestrian, nothing stylistic.

Setting the story in the post Vietnam 1980’s takes away the dirtier, grittier, sleazier, New York of the late Forties to early Sixties. There’s no street level connection to the Burlesque Joints, XXX Movie Theaters, The “Live Nude Girl” Peep Shows, the Arcades, the newspaper stands, the street vendors, the con games, the Dime A Dance Ballrooms, the bums, the panhandlers, the hookers, etc., etc.,  New York was starting to loosing that real ambiance, too bad. I remember The 42nd St. Times Square area ridden with the above in 1970, and by the time I returned in 1996 it had changed to Disneyland. Minor quibbles.

Still excellent film 8.5/10,some funny bits, almost the perfect Hammer with an excellent score.

The only way to improve would be a Sin City type treatment keeping the machismo and misogynistic qualities this film has with the dirtier, grittier, sleazier, New York of the late Forties to early Sixties.
   

« : April 14, 2011, 04:38:27 PM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #34 : April 15, 2011, 07:54:04 PM »

Some screencaps from I, the Jury, it could sure use a nice new pristine release;

Establishing shot Times Square, notice the twin mercury vapor lamps in the center of the shot these replaced the incandescent bishop crook lamps in the sixties, instead of a warm yellowish glow, the main avenues of NYC were more brightly lit. About this time I also remember all the bare incandescent light bulbs in the subways being replaced by florescent strip lighting, we definitely lost a lot of gritty ambiance when this change took place


here is a Times Square shot circa late 1940's note the bishop's crook lamps



back to the film

Hammers Office looking down on Pussycat & Kitty Cat Theaters:


FYI The Pussycat was located on the SW corner of 49th Street and Broadway making Hammer's Office a corner office on the NE corner of 49th Street & Broadway below are better images of Pussycat & Kitty Cat notice Topless Sign in film reads Mardi Gras in picture. Today all of the buildings on all 4 corners have been replaced.

this one at ground level from in front of Hammer's building


and this one at ground level at "Jack Dempsey" corner NW corner of 49th & Broadway


First introductory shot of Hammer & his office fish tank


Two fish the dead one and the client whose wife is fooling around.


Hammer looking at client's wife picture. "Oh yea you got a problem"


"I'm right on top of it", "I know all her moves."


Velda a blond in this version.


Velda & Colt 45 Auto


Velda in action


To be continued.......



« : April 16, 2011, 02:43:30 PM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #35 : April 16, 2011, 04:09:47 PM »

More screen caps. . .

Paul Sorvino as Det. Pat Chambers



The most noir-ish sequence is when Assante goes to console Jacks creepy wife and she comes on to him.



Hammers first confrontation with the Dr. Charlotte Bennett (Barbara Carrera)



The Bellamy twins at Bennett's Sex Clinic



Geoffrey Lewis at his Bear Mountain/Husdon Highlands hideaway



Dr. Charlotte Bennett with her hair down at her Manhattan town house.



Bennett in her bedroom lair



Bennett with her pants down.




« : April 17, 2011, 04:32:37 AM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #36 : April 17, 2011, 04:55:41 AM »

Thinking about "I, the Jury", the various interpretation's of  Mike Hammer and Phillip Marlowe, and the various Noirs that I've watched in the last couple of months, I think a good all encompassing term for what is missing in the modern adaptations 1981's Margin For Murder, 1982's "I, The Jury" and Garner's "Marlowe" (1969) is, (to paraphrase a term Leone used in relation to Zapata Westerns) "The Romance of the Fedora". It's not that the characters specifically have to wear fedoras (Kiss Me Deadly) but when you take out enough of the Noir archetypes you don't get the correct feel any longer.

Margin For Murder (1981) TV movie directed by Daniel Haller, with Kevin Dobson as Mike Hammer, Charles Hallahan as Pat Chambers. Cindy Pickett as Velda, and New York City.

I'll give this one credit for being almost completely shot in the grittier neighborhoods of New York City, and it has plenty of night shots, decrepit building interiors, and to boot, Hammer actually wears a fedora in a couple of sequences, bravo, better in those areas than Assante's film which seemed a bit too antiseptic, in that respect. But again we are hampered by being in the contemporary modern era with a discotheque and its music and all the visions of "Saturday Night Fever" that that, conjures up. Dodson at least plays Hammer as tough as Assante, and the babes are again "hammertomically" correct.

Velda is more of a plain Jane secretary in this one not as pro-active as Laurene Landon in "I, The Jury" (1982). More fisticuffs than bullets flying in this Hammer version, don't think its based on any particular novel, this one also has a sidebar story of Hammer & Velda trying to find a home for stray puppies. Again as in "I, The Jury" there seems to be a penchant for making Spillane's stories into over blow conspiracy stories, trying to go for more spectacle, don't know if this was the trend in most of Spillane's stories or not, the only two I've read seemed simpler tales.

Not as much graphic violence and no nudity (its a TV film after all)as next years "I, The Jury" would have also the Nelson Riddle score pales in comparison to Bill Conti's for the 1982 film. 7/10

« : April 17, 2011, 11:48:28 AM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #37 : November 30, 2011, 06:40:43 PM »

Released a few months ago.



cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #38 : November 30, 2011, 07:02:09 PM »

Released a few months ago.



Yes dj was telling me about them on the OUTIA location tour, he said they weren't bad, but the 22 minute run time for each episode streamlines the stories quite a bit.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #39 : January 26, 2012, 08:48:44 PM »

Murder Me Murder You (1983) TV Director: Gary Nelson, With Stacy Keach, Tanya Roberts, Delta Burke and Don Stroud, nice New York location work and they shot in the winter with lingering piles of snow, on the streets and icing the buildings, but once again Hammer is depicted out of his time period, Keach is adequate as Mike Hammer and Tanya Roberts as Velda is once again hammertomically correct, some of the supporting cast are interesting but the disco era is all wrong.



When the fuck are they going to do Mike Hammer correctly in the 1950's, where he belongs, its not rocket science. At least Keach is wearing a fedora.

This film has a lot, actually, let me be more precise TOO MANY big hairdo big breasted Amazon chicks that the effect is incredibly watered down they all blend into one another and their effect is WASTED. Its get to the point that there are no average women around to "stack" them up against, there is even a mud wrestling sequence, but being a TV film they are wearing bikinis. Who the fuck did the casting on this The Playboy Club?

I think I'll have to check out the Darren McGavin version next.


« : January 27, 2012, 05:21:26 AM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #40 : January 26, 2012, 08:58:02 PM »

I think I wrote about this and the dvd twin companion (More Than Murder) but of course can't find where.


titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #41 : March 13, 2012, 03:24:54 PM »



Margin For Murder (1981) TV movie directed by Daniel Haller, with Kevin Dobson as Mike Hammer, Charles Hallahan as Pat Chambers. Cindy Pickett as Velda, and New York City.

I'll give this one credit for being almost completely shot in the grittier neighborhoods of New York City, and it has plenty of night shots, decrepit building interiors, and to boot, Hammer actually wears a fedora in a couple of sequences, bravo, better in those areas than Assante's film which seemed a bit too antiseptic, in that respect. But again we are hampered by being in the contemporary modern era with a discotheque and its music and all the visions of "Saturday Night Fever" that that, conjures up. Dodson at least plays Hammer as tough as Assante, and the babes are again "hammertomically" correct.

Velda is more of a plain Jane secretary in this one not as pro-active as Laurene Landon in "I, The Jury" (1982). More fisticuffs than bullets flying in this Hammer version, don't think its based on any particular novel, this one also has a sidebar story of Hammer & Velda trying to find a home for stray puppies. Again as in "I, The Jury" there seems to be a penchant for making Spillane's stories into over blow conspiracy stories, trying to go for more spectacle, don't know if this was the trend in most of Spillane's stories or not, the only two I've read seemed simpler tales.

Not as much graphic violence and no nudity (its a TV film after all)as next years "I, The Jury" would have also the Nelson Riddle score pales in comparison to Bill Conti's for the 1982 film. 7/10

There are some good points in this review but Joe, the problem is: where is Mike Hammer? I don't think that the modernization can hamper the Spillane's character. The problem is the the modernization of locales is accompanied by a watered down of the grittiest, meanest aspects of Hammer's personality. See, f.e., the way he disposes of the three bodyguards: it is not as violent, sadistic as it should be.   
Now, Dobson is a good Hammer (though not a good actor): but he persuaded me all the more  that James Caan would have been a perfect candidate for the role in that same year. He just doesn't inspire fear like Hammer should.
Then, as pointed out by Max Allan Collins, in this I, the Jury clone an element which is missing is the personal relationship of Hammer to the victim (which is well represented instead in the Assante movie). So we can't SEE why Hammer is taking all that trouble.
This movie was made for tv and earned a lot of critical appraise: included in the best 10 tv movies of the year. But the problem is that you can't make a good Mike Hammer movie for TV. So it earns your 7\10. But it is not my Mike Hammer movie.

In my opinion, the only true Hammer moment in all the movies I have seen so far that can be considered as strong as the Hammer of the novels is the finale  of The Girl Hunters.


cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #42 : March 13, 2012, 03:44:04 PM »

None of them have got it 100% right yet agreed too bad Spillane wasn't much of an actor.

PS I was in Newburgh, NY the other day and took a bunch of images of Jack Strange's town (or what's left of it) supposedly he was the original basis of the character Mike Hammer.

« : March 28, 2012, 03:36:08 AM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8075



« #43 : May 05, 2012, 04:15:41 PM »

Yes dj was telling me about them on the OUTIA location tour, he said they weren't bad, but the 22 minute run time for each episode streamlines the stories quite a bit.
Most of (or all?) episodes posted at youtube.


cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13172


easy come easy go


« #44 : May 06, 2012, 03:31:29 AM »

Most of (or all?) episodes posted at youtube.

I'll check them out, thanks.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
: 1 2 [3] 4  
« previous next »
:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
0.07146