Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Overlooked Films: Darren McGavin as Mike Hammer in "The High Cost of Dying"

A couple of weeks ago we looked at Hammer's screen debut in I, the Jury. Today we present the first episode of the 1958 TV series starring Darren McGavin. Did Spillane like the show? I don't know. Do you?


Walker Martin said...

I would think that Spillane probably did not like this TV version. Mike Hammer was played as a sort of likable wise cracking private eye. Not the Spillane version at all.

However I do like the Darren McGavin version and I have the dvd box set. They are like fast moving stories from DIME DETECTIVE in the 1940's.

Anonymous said...

I heard McGavin being interviewed on a talk radio show in the 1970's, and he described a meeting with Spillane. Apparently, the Mick complained that McGavin wasn't "big enough" to be Hammer. Which was odd, in a way, considering that McGavin was taller than Spillane.

Yet, in an interview in the 1980's (when the Stacy Keach series was running), Spillane said that there was never any physical description of the character in the original novels.

Supposedly, when Spillane sold the TV rights to CBS for the Keach series, the contract specified that the show had to be set in New York, not L.A.; there had to be pretty girls in every episode; Hammer had to carry a .45 automatic, not a "sissy" .38 revolver; and that Hammer could not have long hair.

Rick Robinson said...

I'll bet MAC knows. Hope he comes by and tells us.

Cap'n Bob said...

The show was okay but the closed captioning was a riot. I haven't seen such mangled English since I called tech support for my computer. Hilarious.