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Johnny Apollo (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 April 1940 (USA)
The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.



(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Cain
'Lucky' Dubarry
Robert Cain Sr.
Mickey Dwyer
Judge Emmett T. Brennan
Jim McLaughlin
Dr. Brown
Harry Rosenthal ...
Piano Player
District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney
Warden (as Selmar Jackson)


Wall Street broker Robert Cain, Sr., is jailed for embezzling. His college graduate son Bob then turns to crime to raise money for his father's release. As assistant to mobster Mickey Dwyer, then falls for Dwyer's girl Lucky. He winds up in the same prison as his father. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Jolting, Dynamic DRAMA! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dance with the Devil  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 17, 1941 with Dorothy Lamour and Edward Arnold reprising their film roles. See more »


Lucky Dubarry: I'm leaving town.
Robert 'Pop' Cain Sr.: Where to?
Lucky Dubarry: As far as 20 bucks and a mink coat will take me.
See more »


Featured in Remington Steele: Cast in Steele (1984) See more »


(1911) (uncredited)
(Also known as "Melancholy Baby" and "My Melancholy Baby")
Music by Ernie Burnett
Played by an off screen piano when Johnny and Lucky are sitting on the stairs
See more »

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User Reviews

"That Little Mischief In Your Goodnight Kiss"
10 March 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Johnny Apollo was Darryl F. Zanuck's attempt probably at Tyrone Power's request to give him some more challenging material. Up to this time Power's films were mostly either costume period dramas or screen comedies. For the first time Ty is in modern dress and in a drama.

Power fits the title role of Johnny Apollo rather well. The name is a spur of the moment creation for Robert Cain, Jr. who would be called a trust fund baby today. His widower father Edward Arnold's indictment for some white collar securities violations has put Power's rather well ordered and soft universe to a sudden end.

Power tries to play it straight, but can't make a go of it. Circumstances put him and gangster Lloyd Nolan together. And Power discovers he's got a talent for the rackets. He also attracts the attention of Nolan's girl friend Dorothy Lamour.

Johnny Apollo is a good film with crackerjack performances by the cast that Henry Hathaway directed. It's probably best compared to MGM's Johnny Eager where Louis B. Mayer was also trying to broaden their studio's heartthrob Robert Taylor's appeal. Johnny Eager is the better film, but no one in Johnny Apollo need be ashamed of anything.

Best performances in the film are from Nolan as gangster Mickey Dwyer. Nolan was never bad in any film he was ever in. Second best is alcoholic mob attorney Charley Grapewin.

Dorothy Lamour was brought over from Paramount for this film, playing a part that Alice Faye or Betty Grable might normally have been assigned to. She gets two of her best movie songs to sing, This Is The Beginning Of The End by Mack Gordon and Your Kiss by Frank Loesser and Lionel Newman.

Johnny Apollo is a fine gangster film from a studio that normally did not do that particular genre. At least at this time.

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