Friday, August 10, 2012
Mickey Spillane on Screen
The truly enjoyable thing about this book is that it isn't just a history of film adaptations of Spillane's books, but that it keeps up a running commentary on Spillane's life and writing career. You learn what he was (or wasn't) working on at the time that the various films were made and what he thought of them. You'll see who Spillane wanted to play Mike Hammer in the early films and why that didn't work out.
The most fun for me was all the behind the scenes info on my favorite Spillane Mike Hammer film, The Girl Hunters and on my other favorite Spillane movie, Ring of Fear. I knew John Wayne was involved in the production of Ring of Fear, but not precisely how.
I also have a small personal interest in the book because it was one of the authors, James L. Traylor, who loaned me his Beta Max copy of Ring of Fear many many years ago so that I could see it. Now I have a shiny DVD copy, but back in the day the movie was almost impossible to find.
Anyway, if you are a fan of Mickey Spillane, you need this book, even if you're not particularly interested in the movies. The title, MICKEY SPILLANE ON SCREEN is apt. It's all about Mickey.