Robert Bray in My Gun Is Quick (1957)


(director/writer: Phil Victor/George White; screenwriters: Richard Collins/Richard Powell/from the novel by Mickey Spillane; cinematographer: Harry Neumann; editor: Frank Sullivan; music: Marlin Skiles; cast: Robert Bray (Mike Hammer), Whitney Blake (Nancy Williams), Pat Donahue (Dione, Blonde Bar-Girl), Donald Randolph (Colonel Holloway), Pamela Duncan (Velda, Hammer’s secretary), Booth Coleman (Det. Pat Chambers), Jan Chaney (‘Red’, Cafe Girl), Gina Core (Maria Teresa Garcia), Richard Garland (Louis), Charles Boaz (Gangster), Phil Arnold (‘Shorty’, Cafe Proprietor ), Peter Mamakos (LaRoche – Smuggler Chief ); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Phil Victor/George White; United Artists; 1957)

“Tame Spillane when compared to Robert Aldrich’s classic Mike Hammer noir thriller Kiss Me Deadly.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Mickey Spillane’s macho private eye Mike Hammer (Robert Bray) investigates the murder of a sweet LA bar girl prostitute, Red (Jan Chaney), that he first met in a diner wearing an expensive ring that’s now missing. Hammer further learns the ring was part of a shipment of Nazi jewelry smuggled out of France during the war by the mysterious American, Colonel Holloway (Donald Randolph). That leads Hammer to Dione (Pat Donahue), Red’s stripper friend (also murdered), a French mute (also murdered), a butler of a wealthy divorcee Newport Beach heiress (also murdered), and to the very much alive seductive villainous heiress Nancy Williams (Whitney Blake). Colonel Holloway decides to hire Hammer to recoup the valuable stolen Italian jewels. This leads Hammer to face off with the dangerous rival jewel thief gang, as the French gang, led by the smuggler sporting a hook for a hand (Peter Mamakos), shows us that he will kill for the valuables. There will be a lot of blood shed before Hammer recovers the jewels.

It’s competently directed by Phil Victor and George White (“George White’s Scandals of 1945”), who make it tame when compared to Robert Aldrich’s classic Mike Hammer noir thriller Kiss Me Deadly. It’s modestly passable on its own limited terms as an underachieving Hammer film. It’s based on the novel by Mickey Spillane, and is written by Richard Collins and Richard Powell. They are at their best when they retain the Spillane lingo, as Hammer gruffly responds to his loyal secretary Velda’s (Pamela Duncan) comment that he doesn’t sound right–“I just crawled out of a sewer, not a decent person left in the world.” But the writers shamelessly rip off the plot line from the Maltese Falcon, which was a big turn off for me. In a Spillane flick, his tawdry plot lines are just right.