Mickey Spillane on Screen

A Complete Study of the Television and Film Adaptations


In stock

About the Book

In the mid–20th century, Mickey Spillane was the sensation of not just mystery fiction but publishing itself. The level of sex and violence in his Mike Hammer thrillers (starting with I, the Jury in 1947) broke down long-held taboos and engendered a near hysterical critical backlash. Nonetheless, Spillane’s influence has been felt—reflections of Hammer are visible in nearly every subsequent tough guy of fiction and film, including James Bond, Dirty Harry, Shaft, Billy Jack, and Jack Bauer. Spillane’s fiction came to the screen in a series of films that include Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and The Girl Hunters (1963) with the author himself playing his private eye. These films, and television series starring Darren McGavin and Stacy Keach respectively, are examined in a lively, knowledgeable fashion by Spillane experts. Included are cast and crew listings, brief biographical entries on key persons, and a lengthy interview with Spillane.

About the Author(s)

Max Allan Collins has earned an unprecedented 16 Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991), receiving the PWA life achievement award in 2007. He is the author of the graphic novel Road to Perdition and has directed four feature films and two documentaries. He lives in Muscatine, Iowa.
James L. Traylor grew up reading the paperback adventures of Perry Mason, Ellery Queen, and Mike Hammer. His articles have appeared in The Armchair Detective, The Mystery FANcier, Clues, Hardboiled, The Strand and The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing (1999). He lives in Meansville, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Max Allan Collins and James L. Traylor
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6578-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9242-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsA Tip of the Porkpie Hat:       ix
Introduction:       1
: Prologue: I, the Writer:       5

1. “I, the Jury” (1953)      17
2. “The Long Wait” (1954)      27
3. “Ring of Fear” (1954)      36
4. “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955)      43
5. “My Gun Is Quick” (1957)      62
6. “The Girl Hunters” (1963)      72
7. “The Delta Factor” (1970)      83
8. “I, the Jury” (1982)      88

9. Mike Hammer TV Pilot (1954)      95
10. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” (1958–59)      100
11. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer in ‘Margin for Murder’” (1981)      117
12. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer: ‘Murder Me, Murder You’” (1983)      121
13. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer: ‘More Than Murder’” (1984)      128
14. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” (1984–85) CBS-TV      131
15. “Return of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” (1986)      139
16. “The New Mike Hammer” (1986–87) CBS-TV      143
17. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer: ‘Murder Takes All’” (1989)      152
18. “‘Come Die with Me:’ A Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer Mystery” (1994)      155
19. “Tomorrow I Die” (“Fallen Angels,” 1995)      162
20. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, Private Eye” (1997–98)      166

A. The Hammer (Film) Code:       175
B. “‘The Girl Hunt’ Ballet” (“The Band Wagon,” 1953):       176
C. Who’s Who of Spillane on Film:       179
D. Stars of the Hammer Film Universe:       186
E. Mickey Spillane in His Own Words:       187
Bibliography      203
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Hits all the targets…first class study. A lot of terrific behind the scenes photos”—Classic Images
  • “Strongly recommend”—Bookgasm
  • “As good a survey of a famous mystery writer’s media adaptations as I’ve seen”—Mystery Scene
  • “Each Spillane film and television series [gets] a thorough and insightful inspection…a thoughtful examination of one of the greatest mystery writers in American history and the celluloid treatment of his works. It should have a place of honor in every film and mystery lovers’ library”—PulpFictionReviews.blogspot.com