I, the Jury (1982 film)
|I, the Jury|
|Directed by||Richard T. Heffron|
|Produced by||Robert H. Solo|
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Edited by||Garth Craven|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox (US)
|April 22, 1982|
I, the Jury is a 1982 film based on the best selling detective novel of the same name by Mickey Spillane. The story was previously filmed in 3D in 1953. Larry Cohen wrote the screenplay and was hired to direct, but was replaced when the film's budget was already out of control after one week of shooting. He was replaced by Richard T. Heffron.
The film begins with a James Bond-like teaser opening before the story begins. The plot involves two detectives: protagonist Mike Hammer (Armand Assante) and his one-armed friend, Jack Williams, who is discovered murdered. The plot also features a serial rapist and a sex therapy clinic headed up by Dr. Charlotte Bennett (Barbara Carrera).
The plot contains elements not in the novel, such as government conspiracies and mind-control techniques by the CIA and the Mafia.
According to screenwriter Larry Cohen, he was originally hired to direct but was fired after expressing his concerns to cast or crew over the producers running out of money. Cohen also claimed "We finished way ahead of them. They went way over budget and the company went bankrupt. They sold the picture at a bankruptcy sale." (Cohen didn't specify which production company went bankrupt.)
The film received mixed reviews. It was criticized for eschewing essential plot lines from the novel, in favor of nudity, violence and extended action scenes. Others complained that Assante was miscast as Hammer. However, a New York Times review of the film in 1982 written by Jennifer Dunning found the pulp film entertaining:
"Along the way there are spectacular chases and ingenious gore, including a water bed that oozes blood. It all ends with Hammer storming a booby-trapped hideaway, alone and without a gun, then slithering through a last little fillip of bloody romance. I, the Jury only aims to entertain. And who cares, with Mr. Assante around?"
- Armand Assante as Mike Hammer
- Barbara Carrera as Dr. Charlotte Bennett
- Laurene Landon as Velda
- Alan King as Charles Kalecki
- Geoffrey Lewis as Joe Butler
- Paul Sorvino as Detective Pat Chambers
- Judson Scott as Charles Kendricks
- Kendrick, James. "I, The Jury" review at QNetwork.com
- An oral history of the cult classic Q: The Winged Serpent
- "I, The Jury" reviews at www.amazon.com
- Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews
- Dunning, Jennifer. "I, The Jury Brings Back Mike Hammer's New York." New York Times movie review, originally published October 11, 1982.