powered by AFI
The film's opening title card reads: "Victor Saville Presents Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury." Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart noted that this film was being shot in color, an earlier March 16, 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that the picture was being shot in the Dunning 3-D black & white process. The film was shot and released in black and white and in 3-D; however, the viewed print was flat. The screen credit for Harry Essex reads as follows: "Written for the screen and directed by Harry Essex." The opening title cards also include a credit for actors Tani Seitz and Dran Seitz as "The Seitz Twins." The film features intermittent narration by Biff Elliot as "Mike Hammer."
I, the Jury marked the first feature film to be based on the "Mike Hammer" character or a novel by Mickey Spillane, and the feature film debut of television actor Elliot. The film was the first production of Victor Saville's company, Parklane Pictures, Inc. According to an article in Los Angeles Times, Saville bought the screen rights for I, the Jury and another Spillane novel for $230,000. Following I, the Jury, Saville and his company produced two additional films based on Spillane novels, The Long Wait in 1954 and Kiss Me Deadly in 1955 (see entries below).
Correspondence in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that the MPAA urged the producers to change "Kalecki's" illegal business from drug trafficking, and also required that Hammer shoot "Charlotte Manning" in self-defense, rather than out of revenge. Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter news items include Carole Thurston, Lester Sharpe, Bud Starke, Gilbert Perkins, Wally Rose, Juan Duval, Lou Smith and Sailor Vincent in the cast, but their appearance in the picture has not been confirmed. Modern sources add the Roy Engel, Frank Richards and Jack Stang to the cast.
For additional information on author Mickey Spillane and the "Mike Hammer" series, see the entry for the 1954 Warner Bros. film Ring of Fear below and consult the Series Index. Kiss Me Deadly, a 1955 Parklane Pictures film featuring Ralph Meeker as Hammer, was also presented by Saville (see below). In 1957, Parklane Pictures released another film based on the Hammer character titled My Gun Is Quick (see below). Other films based on Mike Hammer include the 1963 Fellane Productions film titled The Girl Hunters, directed by Roy Rowland and featuring Spillane as Hammer (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70) and the 1983 American Cinema Productions film I, the Jury, directed by Richard T. Heffron and starring Armand Assante. A 1956 television series by Revue Studios, titled Mike Hammer, featured Darren McGavin, and two additional television series, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1984-1987) by Columbia Pictures Television and Mike Hammer, Private Eye (1997), both featured the actor Stacy Keach, Jr.