|The Girl Hunters|
|Directed by||Roy Rowland|
|Produced by||Robert Fellows|
|Written by||Mickey Spillane |
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Edited by||Sidney Stone|
Present Day Productions, Inc.
|Distributed by||Colorama Features |
Zodiac International Pictures
|June 12, 1963 (Los Angeles premiere)|
The Girl Hunters (1963) is a British-made crime drama film directed by Roy Rowland, adapted from the 1962 Mickey Spillane pulp novel of the same name. Exteriors were shot on locations in NYC with studio scenes done in London in 1962.
Spillane himself stars as private detective Mike Hammer, one of the few occasions in film history in which an author of a popular literary hero has portrayed his own character. It also starred Bond girl Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger), veteran actor Lloyd Nolan, and syndicated newspaper columnist Hy Gardner as himself.
Ever since his loved and lovely assistant Velda has gone missing, private detective Mike Hammer has been drinking steadily and becomes a bum living on the streets. For seven years he hasn't been on a case, but that changes when his former pal from the police, Capt. Pat Chambers, asks his assistance on a job. Capt. Chambers and Hammer were both in love with Velda leading to an end of their friendship. A senator has been murdered and Velda has disappeared.
Hammer is needed to talk with Richie Cole, a dying sailor who refuses to speak with anybody else. According to federal agent Art Rickerby, not only has Richie been shot by the same gun recently used to kill a politician, he is actually an undercover federal agent.
Hammer's investigation leads to Laura Knapp, the late senator's widow. She is beautiful and she is seductive, but Hammer does not trust her. He learns that they are all caught up in the fallout from a network of spies operating during WWII. Now a killer nicknamed the "dragon" is trying to silence people who had some information about the spying. At the end Hammer manages to find and kill the "dragon". He confronts Laura with the his suspicions about her involvement . Laura fires a shotgun that Hammer had rigged to backfire in order to test her loyalty and Hammer gets his answer. It is not clear if Velda is still alive.
- Mickey Spillane as Mike Hammer
- Shirley Eaton as Laura Knapp
- Scott Peters as Police Captain Pat Chambers
- Guy Kingsley Poynter as Dr. Larry Snyder
- Charles Farrell as Joe Grissi
- Kim Tracy as Nurse
- Hy Gardner as Himself - The Columnist
- Lloyd Nolan as Federal Agent Arthur Rickerby
- Benny Lee as Nat Drutman
- Murray Kash as Richie Cole
- Bill Nagy as Georgie
- Hal Galili as a thug with an ice pick
The film features examples of product placement when Spillane and Nolan share a couple of cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Also, during the first newsstand scene, Mad Magazine #77 (March 1963) is clearly visible.
Spillane recalled meeting crime figure Billy Hill in London and invited him to the film set. According to Spillane, Hill provided firearms that were used in the film. Spillane also noted that the producers surrounded him with actors who were shorter than he was.
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