I, the Jury

1953

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 443

mike hammer film noir

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 24, 2022 at 01:34 PM

Director

Top cast

Peggie Castle as Charlotte Manning
Mary Anderson as Eileen Vickers
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
811.38 MB
1280*934
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...
1.47 GB
1480*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by christopher-underwood 8 / 10

crackling dialogue and constant action

Quite a surprise, this one, based on the Mickey Spillane book, done very much in the film noir style and shot in 3-D! Actually watching this flat it is only the opening with the dying man crawling towards the camera with his hand reaching forward that I was aware of the 3-D origins and we are swiftly on to an absorbing thriller. Not as tough and sexy as the book but a really decent effort with some super shadowy location filming. Biff Elliot, of whom I had never heard, is fine in the lead, if not sensational but the crackling dialogue and constant action keep things moving along nicely while Peggie Castle is great as the femme fatale. Low budget and maybe nothing too special but tight and bold. Very likable.

Reviewed by rmax304823 3 / 10

Pulp Fiction.

You don't mess around with Mike Hammer (Biff Elliot). Hammer is searching for the killer of one of his best friends, and he's bent on revenge. He's accosted by three ugly hoods in a bar. The dapper leader sneers at Hammer and asks, "All right, who are you, and why you been nosin' around all --" That's as far as he gets. POW! Right in the kisser. Hammer, who is built like Boulder Dam, or maybe his overcoat is, brawls with the two remaining goons until he's decked with a simple wooden coat hanger.

I grant you, it doesn't seem plausible, but then the whole movie is not much more than a crude assemblage of events that Hammer bulls his way through, insulting people as he goes, scoffing at the women who throw themselves at his feet, and all the time wearing the same unchanging expression, as of a guy who can't act but has suddenly found himself playing the lead in a picture that's sure to make a bundle.

In the 50s, everyone gobbled up Mickey Spillane's pulp fiction. They couldn't wait for the next book or the movie that would be made from it. This was the first, I think. And it's last conversational exchange was known by all. Hammer plugs the murderer in the stomach. "Mike, how could you do this to me?" "It was easy." The movie sucks in almost all respect, except maybe for its use of the Bradley Building in L.A. Over the years, the Bradley Building served as an office for, among others, Edward G. Robinson, Fred MacMurray, Jack Nicholson, and Douglas Spader.

I enjoyed this flick when it was released but I was only a kid, excited by a gruff and inarticulate angry man who could beat everybody else up and kill them if necessary. All brawn and few brains. (That's adolescence in a nutshell.) Now, old and worn, I find it almost intolerable. Elliot cannot act. Peggy Castle can act, although she doesn't have to. The supporting cast overacts outrageously under the incompetent direction, even such usually reliable players as Nestor Paiva.

John Alton was a fine photographer but his images here -- the stark shadows, the glistening pavements, the ominous alleyways -- only serve to mask the emptiness of the movie. Franz Waxman, also a talented craftsman, should be sent to jail for his musical score. What he does to a clarinet is what my mother-in-law used to do to me.

Mike Hammer is a private eye. The noirs were filled with private eyes like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. They were experienced, intelligent, tough, vulnerable, and flawed. They made mistakes. This one is more of a caricature of noir films. Hammer has no weaknesses whatever, nor any thoughts that might interfere with the movement of his fists. Compared to this, "The Maltese Falcon" is a masterpiece of subtlety and nuance.

Pfui.

Reviewed by bmacv 5 / 10

The private-eye thriller and film noir begin their final descent

In 1953, I, The Jury became the first of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer series to hit the screen, but it takes its cues from movies of 1947, when the book hit the kiosks. The yuletide cards serving as scene dividers, the violence counterpointed to Christmas carols recall The Lady in the Lake, while the duplicitous female psychiatrist reprises Helen Walker's Dr. Lilith Ritter in Nightmare Alley (the final, fatal tryst comes from the even earlier Double Indemnity).

These echoes may have been attempts to invest Hammer with some respectability, linking him to the more subtle and textured characters of the 1940s. It's clear something had to be done with him, because Spillane went for raw sensation in a way that caused a sensation of its own. His private eye is uncouth, short-fused and randy but misogynist, bowing to no authority save his own (hence the title). Spillane luckily or shrewdly had as readers of his punch-drunk prose men who had survived overseas combat and were making up for lost time in the footloose, post-war prosperity; he gave them not just sex and violence but sex-and-violence.

So in one sense, Biff Elliott makes an ideal Hammer, closer to Spillane's lout than his (relatively) spruced-up successors Ralph Meeker and Robert Bray (plus Armand Assante, in the marginally better 1982 remake of this title). He comes across as a Dead End kid grown up with a license and a gun, slow-witted but fast with his fists and his trigger.

When his best friend, an insurance investigator and combat amputee, gets himself coldly killed, Hammer scours New York to avenge him. The urban locales bring out the talents of director of photography John Alton, who here tried his hand at the 3-D process (thus I, The Jury, along with Man in the Dark, The Glass Web and Second Chance, becomes one of the few noirs so filmed).

The shoot-from-the-hip action, however, rides roughshod over any intricacies of the plot. Characters Hammer encounters stay generic, with the exception of Peggie Castle as the shrink. The film's last scene is hers, not Elliott's, as she moves into a languorous striptease that comes to a quick finale. For better or worse, it's an emblematic image that showcases Spillane's coarsened sensibility, his fusion of brutality and eroticism, and spells an end to the more freighted ambiguity that was a hallmark of the noir cycle.

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