6.9/10
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32 user 9 critic

Johnny O'Clock (1947)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 April 1947 (Mexico)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
High-class crook gets in trouble with the law.

Director:

Robert Rossen

Writers:

Robert Rossen (screen play), Milton Holmes (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Johnny O'Clock
Evelyn Keyes ... Nancy Hobson
Lee J. Cobb ... Inspector Koch
Ellen Drew ... Nelle Marchettis
Nina Foch ... Harriet Hobson
Thomas Gomez ... Guido Marchettis (as 'S. Thomas Gomez')
John Kellogg ... Charlie
Jim Bannon ... Chuck Blayden
Mabel Paige ... Slatternly Woman Tenant
Phil Brown ... Phil, Hotel Clerk
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Storyline

New York gambling house operator Johnny O'Clock is junior partner in a posh casino with Guido Marchettis and Chuck Blayden, a crooked cop. But Blayden is trying to cut into the casino's profits and warns Johnny not to interfere with his intention of becoming Marchettis' full partner. Blayden ends his relationship with coat check girl Harriet Hobson, then disappears. Later, Harriet is found dead in her apartment, apparently from suicide. Police Inspector Koch begins an investigation.He questions Johnny, Harriet's sister Nancy, who is infatuated with Johnny, and Johnny's associate, Charlie. When Blayden's body turns up in a nearby river, and when it is learned that Harriet death wasn't suicide but murder by poison, Johnny and Marchettis become prime suspects in both cases.To make matters worse, Pete Marchettis discovers that his wife Nelle is having an affair with Johnny. Out of jealousy, he sends hired gunmen to kill Johnny in a drive-by shooting while Johnny is driving Nancy to the ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Johnny was smart...too smart to tangle with women! (all uppercase on poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 1947 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

La ultima hora See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lee. J. Cobb (Inspector Koch) was called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1953 and given a chance to clear his name by naming communists he had known, Cobb named Shimen Ruskin who plays the dry-cleaner in this film. See more »

Quotes

Nancy Hobbs: What do I do now, Johnny?
Johnny O'Clock: Dry your eyes and blow your nose in the order named.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Broadway by Light (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

I Never Knew (That Roses Grew)
(uncredited)
Music by Ted Fio Rito
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
[Published 1925. Played as recurring background theme]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some Conflicting Interests
1 June 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Johnny O'Clock is a film about a man who walks the narrow edge of the fence between the legal and illegal. He's partners with Thomas Gomez in an illegal gambling establishment and they've got a crooked cop in Jim Bannon to do their dirty work insofar as rivals are concerned. Bannon's made several 'legal' killings of rivals which has interested honest cop Inspector Lee J. Cobb who wants very badly to close this particular racket down.

Dick Powell plays the title character who never quite gets involved in the dirty end of the business leaving that to Gomez. Bannon's girl friend is Nina Foch, a nice young woman who runs the cigarette and candy counter at Powell's swank hotel. When Foch turns up a very suspicious suicide and Bannon goes missing, Powell goes into action.

The other factor in the story is that Powell and Gomez's wife Ellen Drew were once involved and she'd like to get involved again. Powell ain't buying that trouble though, especially after Evelyn Keyes who is Foch's sister comes to town and she also suspects foul play.

Powell's character Johnny O'Clock is one of his most cynical, he makes his Philip Marlowe from Murder My Sweet look like Dudley DooRight the Mountie. His cynicism almost costs him because he finds a damning piece of evidence that could lead to the murderer and if would have cooperated with Lee J. Cobb from the gitgo it would have all been solved. But Powell's got other irons in the fire and some conflicting motives. In any event he does a great job in the title role.

Making his screen debut in a small part as one of the gamblers is Jeff Chandler. His hair is dark, but would shortly turn that premature iron gray that he was so identified with. There is also a very good small part for Mabel Paige who plays a nosy neighbor of Foch's who keeps offering her unwanted observations and opinions to Lee J. Cobb.

Robert Rossen was one film away from his career film as a director with All The King's Men. Powell was impressed with his work and personally had Harry Cohn get him as director for Johnny O'Clock. Rossen creates a moody and trenchant atmosphere for his players to work in and gets a near perfect noir film out of this material.

And that's a good reason to not miss Johnny O'Clock when it is broadcast.


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