Although there have been other Mike Hammers in the movies and on TV - I think Ralph Meeker might have been the best of them all. He's tough, mean, and nasty - just like Mickey Spillane wrote him.
This is a terrific 50's film noir with Hammer drawn into the case when a female hitchhiker he picks up gets dead - and it's a particularly gruesome death too. (And look! It's a young Cloris Leachman!) After that Hammer's on the job - fist fighting, gun fighting, throwing people down stairs, the works.
The McGuffin everyone is after is mysterious - and very lethal. The movie comes down to one of the craziest climaxes ever put to film - and that's saying something!
Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!