Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1958 TV series)

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer is the first syndicated television series based on Spillane's hard-boiled private detective Mike Hammer, played by Darren McGavin. The series was produced from 1957 to 1959, and had a run of 78 episodes over two seasons. Episodes were filmed in black and white and filled a half-hour time slot. As a syndicated television series, original air dates and the order of episodes vary by geographic location – for example, in New York City, the series debuted January 28, 1958, on WCBS-TV,[1] and the first episode aired was "Letter Edged in Blackmail".[2]

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer
StarringDarren McGavin
Bart Burns
Theme music composerDave Kahn
Melvyn Lenard Gordon
Opening theme"Riff Blues"
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes78 (list of episodes)
Production
ProducerRichard Irving
Running time30 minutes
Production companyRevue Studios
DistributorMCA TV
Release
Original networkSyndication
Picture formatBlack-and-white; NTSC
Audio formatMonaural sound
Original releaseJanuary 7, 1958 (1958-01-07) –
September 18, 1959 (1959-09-18)

CastEdit

MainEdit

RecurringEdit

Production and castingEdit

Darren McGavin played the title role. McGavin would go on to play another hard-boiled private detective in the short-lived 1968 series The Outsider. He is perhaps best known as Carl Kolchak in the television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker and the curmudgeonly father in A Christmas Story. Bart Burns played Captain Pat Chambers, Hammer's main ally in the Police department.

EpisodesEdit

Season 1 (1958)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
11"The High Cost of Dying"January 7, 1958 (1958-01-07)
22"Just Around the Coroner"January 14, 1958 (1958-01-14)
33"Hot Hands, Cold Dice"January 21, 1958 (1958-01-21)
44"Death Gets a Diploma"January 28, 1958 (1958-01-28)
55"So That's Who It Was"February 11, 1958 (1958-02-11)
66"Dead Men Don't Dream"February 18, 1958 (1958-02-18)
77"Letter Edged in Blackmail"February 25, 1958 (1958-02-25)
88"Death Takes an Encore"March 7, 1958 (1958-03-07)
99"Lead Ache"March 14, 1958 (1958-03-14)
1010"Overdose of Lead"March 21, 1958 (1958-03-21)
1111"A Grave Undertaking"March 28, 1958 (1958-03-28)
1212"A Shot in the Arm"April 4, 1958 (1958-04-04)
1313"Stay Out of Town"April 11, 1958 (1958-04-11)
1414"Beautiful, Blue and Deadly"April 18, 1958 (1958-04-18)
1515"Skinned Deep"April 25, 1958 (1958-04-25)
1616"Peace Bond"May 2, 1958 (1958-05-02)
1717"Play Belles' Toll"May 9, 1958 (1958-05-09)
1818"For Sale, Deathbed, Used"May 16, 1958 (1958-05-16)
1919"Music to Die By"May 23, 1958 (1958-05-23)
2020"My Fair Deadly"May 30, 1958 (1958-05-30)
2121"The New Look"June 7, 1958 (1958-06-07)
2222"The Broken Frame"June 14, 1958 (1958-06-14)
2323"Look at the Old Man Go"June 21, 1958 (1958-06-21)
2424"The Paper Shroud"June 28, 1958 (1958-06-28)
2525"My Son and Heir"July 5, 1958 (1958-07-05)
2626"Final Curtain"July 12, 1958 (1958-07-12)
2727"A Detective Tail"July 19, 1958 (1958-07-19)
2828"It's an Art"July 26, 1958 (1958-07-26)
2929"Four Blind Mice"August 2, 1958 (1958-08-02)
3030"No Pockets in a Shroud"August 9, 1958 (1958-08-09)
3131"The Living Dead"August 16, 1958 (1958-08-16)
3232"Old Folks at Home Blues"August 23, 1958 (1958-08-23)
3333"No Business Like -----"August 30, 1958 (1958-08-30)
3434"Crepe for Suzette"September 7, 1958 (1958-09-07)
3535"Letter of the Weak"September 14, 1958 (1958-09-14)
3636"That School Girl Complex"September 21, 1958 (1958-09-21)
3737"To Bury a Friend"September 28, 1958 (1958-09-28)
3838"Mere Maid"October 5, 1958 (1958-10-05)
3939"Scar and Garter"October 12, 1958 (1958-10-12)

Season 2 (1959)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
401"Baubles, Bangles and Blood"January 2, 1959 (1959-01-02)
412"Accentuate the Negative"January 9, 1959 (1959-01-09)
423"Requiem for a Sucker"January 15, 1959 (1959-01-15)
434"I Ain't Talkin'"TBA
445"The Big Drop"TBA
456"Aces and Eights"TBA
467"Husbands Are Bad Luck"TBA
478"Jury of One"TBA
489"Another Man's Poison"TBA
4910"According to Luke"TBA
5011"Coney Island Baby"TBA
5112"Save Me in San Salvador"March 20, 1959 (1959-03-20)
5213"Park the Body"April 2, 1959 (1959-04-02)
5314"Tattoo Bruté"April 9, 1959 (1959-04-09)
5415"When I Am Dead, My Darling..."April 16, 1959 (1959-04-16)
5516"Swing Low, Sweet Harriet"April 23, 1959 (1959-04-23)
5617"The Last Aloha"April 30, 1959 (1959-04-30)
5718"Shoot Before You Look"May 1, 1959 (1959-05-01)
5819"Evidence on the Record"May 8, 1959 (1959-05-08)
5920"The Commodore"May 15, 1959 (1959-05-15)
6021"Curtains for an Angel"May 22, 1959 (1959-05-22)
6122"A Haze on the Lake"May 29, 1959 (1959-05-29)
6223"See No Evil"June 4, 1959 (1959-06-04)
6324"Dixie Is Dead"TBA
6425"Bride and Doom"June 18, 1959 (1959-06-18)
6526"M Is For Murder"TBA
6627"Now Die In It"TBA
6728"Pen Pals"July 10, 1959 (1959-07-10)
6829"Groomed to Kill"July 17, 1959 (1959-07-17)
6930"Slay Upon Delivery"TBA
7031"Doll Trouble"July 31, 1959 (1959-07-31)
7132"Stocks and Blondes"August 7, 1959 (1959-08-07)
7233"Wedding Mourning"TBA
7334"Merchant of Menace"TBA
7435"I Remember Sally"TBA
7536"A Mugging Evening"TBA
7637"Slab Happy"September 11, 1959 (1959-09-11)
7738"Siamese Twinge"September 18, 1959 (1959-09-18)
7839"Goodbye, Al"September 25, 1959 (1959-09-25)

Home mediaEdit

On September 20, 2011, A&E Home Video released Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the first time.[3] The 12-disc set featured all 78 episodes of the series.

ReceptionEdit

 
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Diamond Studio City Walk of Fame

Public and critical reaction to the show was mixed. While TV Guide referred to it as "easily the worst series on TV",[4] McGavin said that the show was "instantly successful".[5] Some reviewers[who?] were critical of the show for its use of excessive and gratuitous violence. However, McGavin made a point of playing the role of Hammer with a hint of tongue-in-cheek satire – against the wishes of Universal Studios executives.[5]

Unlike the series that appeared in the 1980s, Mickey Spillane had minimal involvement in the production of the 1950s program. "I just took the money and went home," Spillane said of the show. "Believe me, I had bigger fish to fry, namely, that darn elusive Batmanfish."[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Adams, Val (January 19, 1958). "It's in the Bag for the Yankees This Year, at Least on TV". The New York Times. pp. X11.
  2. ^ R.F.S. (January 29, 1958). "Mike Hammer Filmed Series Begins". The New York Times. p. 55.
  3. ^ "Mike Hammer DVD news: Announcement for Mike Hammer - The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2017-01-14.
  4. ^ a b Tim Brooks; Earle Marsh. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present. New York: Ballantine Books.
  5. ^ a b "Mike Hammer". www.darrenmcgavin.net. Archived from the original on 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2017-11-16.

External linksEdit