Like most fans, the novel I, THE JURY was my introduction to Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer. Been a fan of both ever since. This was the first filmed Hammer and in 3D to boot. In watching the movie on Youtube, I couldn’t see any of those overt in your face shots to demonstrate the 3D process. Biff Elliot plays Hammer and Preston Foster was Pat Chambers. My immediate reaction was that Foster was to old for the part. Chambers and Hammer were contemporaries and Foster looked to have about twenty years on Elliot(actually twenty-three in real life).
The plot followed the novel, though toned down a bit. Hammer swears he will find and execute his friend’s killer himself and Chambers gets a bit put in the paper with the intention of drawing out the killer.Charlotte Manning gets it in a close-up at the end, but there was no blood in any of the many killings that happen during the picture. Some of the more sensational aspects of the book wouldn’t have flown in the early fifties on a film screen.
Elliot’s acting wasn’t the greatest either. In some of the first person voice overs, he substituted volume for emotion. Just didn’t have the look either, though I admit to a long period of other actors fitting the bill in my mind before I saw this one. In fact, The Girl Hunters with Spillane himself was the first cinematic Hammer I ever saw.
One thing I wondered about while viewing the movie was the insertion of Christmas cards throughout at key points. Wikipedia sttes it was a low budget film and they were unable, no funds, to do location shooting suring the holiday season in New York.
The film had a moody look, but just dragged to much at times.