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Johnny Eager (1941) - Plot Summary Poster

(1941)

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Summaries

  • The step-daughter of a district attorney falls in love with a gangster on parole who her father originally imprisoned.

  • Ruthless hood Johnny Eager is pretending to his parole officer that he has chucked the rackets and is working as a taxi driver. In fact, he's as deep into crime as he ever was and desperately needs official permission to open his new dog racing track. When he meets up with Lisbeth Bard, the step-daughter of the district attorney, he finds she is not only stunning but a possible way to get his permit.

  • The gangster Johnny Eager has a scheme to pose of taxi driver to his parole officer Mr. Verne. However he is unsuccessfully trying to get the license to open a dog racing track. Johnny is a ruthless and handsome man and his only friend and partner is the alcoholic Jeff Hartnett. When Mr. Verne visits Johnny at home, he brings the social assistant Lisbeth Bard, who is the daughter of the District Attorney John Benson Farrell that is Johnny's greatest enemy and responsible for sending him to the prison. Johnny seduces Lisbeth that falls in love with him. But Johnny is a heartless man and lures Lisbeth making her believe that she killed a man to protect Johnny. Then he blackmails Farrell to get his permit to open his dog track. Meanwhile Lisbeth is deeply affected by her love for Johnny and for the death of a man. When her former boyfriend Jimmy Courtney offers all his money to Johnny to leave the country with Lisbeth, he has difficulties to understand Jimmy's attitude. But when he visits Lisbeth, he begins to understand the meaning of love and sacrifice. What will Johnny do?

  • Johnny Eager, out of prison on parole, is on the straight and narrow in not wanting to return to prison, he working as a cabbie, or so he wants his parole officer, Mr. Verne, to believe. While Johnny does don a cabbie uniform and does drive a taxi cab in public, it is only a front in he returning to his racketeering ways, with his latest venture, stalled due to regulatory issues, being a new dog racing track at Algonquin Park. Despite having a slew of flunkies and henchmen, Johnny has never shied away from doing his own dirty work in killing anyone who tries to or does cross him. Arguably his best friend is Jeff Harnett, his unofficial right hand man, and an alcoholic who, in his constant drunken state, provides Johnny with the only sense of a conscience in his life. Upon meeting, Johnny and Lisbeth Bard, a sociology student who has access to Verne's office for her studies, fall for each other. Their attraction to each other does not wain even after she learns that he is still a criminal as she initially suspected, and he learns that she is the stepdaughter of John Benson Farrell. When he was a prosecutor, Farrell was the one who was responsible for putting Johnny behind bars, and now that he is district attorney, is the one who has placed an injunction against the opening of the race track. While Farrell threatens to put a stop to Johnny and Lisbeth's romance in any way he can, even through illegal means, Johnny decides to have something of his own in his back pocket if Farrell is indeed true to his word. Johnny's actions in this matter have unintended negative consequences which threaten not only his relationship with Lisbeth, but also her life as she knows it.

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