I, the Jury commentary track

In October 2004, I flew to Studio City, California where my uncle Biff and his wife Connie lived. Biff Elliot was an actor; his career lasted from the 1950s through the 80s. His list of credits is impressive, but he only had one starring role in a film. I, the Jury came out (in 3D, no less). Biff was the first Mike Hammer!

This impressive film noir has been unfairly overlooked. It has, to my knowledge, never been released on any home video format, and has only been screened once or twice since its original theatrical run ended back in 1953. The copy I have was taped off TV in the 80s or maybe early 90s. Knowing Biff might not live long enough for a proper re-release of his film, I asked him to sit with me and record a commentary track. My thinking was if someone ever did get around to mastering I, the Jury for DVD and Blu-ray and Biff was no longer able to participate, I could offer this recording for inclusion. Biff was an excellent storyteller and I knew he could provide an entertaining commentary track.

Sure enough, Biff gave a rollicking, informative commentary on this little-seen cinematic gem. When he passed away in 2012, I knew I had done the right thing by recording this piece of history. Alas, no one has stepped up and given I, the Jury an official release. I have taken it upon myself to share Biff’s last words on his first, and biggest, film role.

For the first time available anywhere beyond my Mac, listen to Biff Elliot provide commentary for the Harry Essex-directed I, the Jury:

8 replies on “I, the Jury commentary track”

Thanks so much for doing this! It was thoughtful and important, and you were the best one for the job!

If you are still reading these comments, Josh, thank you for making this wonderful commentary available! I can’t believe that I’ve only now discovered it, or that no one has yet picked up on it for a well-deserved blu-ray release of “I, the Jury.” Your uncle was always my favorite Mike Hammer actor, and I’m sorry that he felt so strongly about not being typecast in the role. Thanks for making this honest and informative commentary with your uncle before he passed away. What a great memory he had for the filming details! Spillane should have appreciated Biff Elliot’s and Harry Essex’ efforts a lot more than he did, and somebody needs to get this out on blu-ray.

I’m so glad you enjoyed the commentary! I found it was an enlightening and highly entertaining talk. He could have gone on for a lot longer, haha. I share your hopes for a Blu Ray release, and plan on posting if I hear of any news.

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