District Attorney's daughter falls in love with a gangster the D.A. is trying to put in jail.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Bribe (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Federal agent Rigby, in Central America to trace stolen plane engines, falls for the gorgeous wife of the chief suspect.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton
Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sophie loved Edmund, but he left town when her parents forced her to marry wealthy Octavius. Years later, Edmund returns with his son, William. Sophie's daughter, Marguerite, and William ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Van Heflin, Lana Turner, Donna Reed
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson, Edward Norris
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rich industrialist Walter Connolly feels unwanted by his wife and children so he hires unemployed Ginger Rogers to pose as his mistress.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, Verree Teasdale
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford
Black Widow (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young writer insinuates herself into the life of a Broadway producer.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, Gene Tierney
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Youthful tough Johnny Stone has fallen under the influence of petty crook Frank Wilson, who involves him and robbery and murder using his sister's boyfriend's stolen gun.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Billy Halop
The Actress (1953)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress. Clinton gets fired and Ruth rejects the advances of Fred Whitmarsh. Her father gives her ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons, Teresa Wright
Nora Prentiss (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Quiet, organised Dr Talbot meets nightclub singer Nora Prentiss when she is slightly hurt in a street accident. Despite her misgivings they become heavily involved and Talbot finds he is ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Kent Smith, Bruce Bennett
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Although she comes from an aristocratic family, beautiful Prudence Cathaway defies convention by joining the WAAFs and becoming romantically involved with an AWOL soldier.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Thomas Mitchell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lisbeth Bard
...
John Benson Farrell
...
Jeff Hartnett
...
Jimmy Courtney
...
Garnet
...
Mae Blythe
Henry O'Neill ...
Mr. Verne
Diana Lewis ...
Judy Sanford
...
Lew Rankin
Charles Dingle ...
Marco
...
Julio
...
Halligan
...
Billiken
Lou Lubin ...
Benjy
Edit

Storyline

Ruthless hood Johnny Eager is pretending to his parole officer that he has chucked the rackets and is now a full-time taxi driver. In fact, he's as deep in as he ever was and desperately needs official permission to open his new dog track. When he meets up with Lisbeth Bard, he finds he not only has a stunning new girlfriend but a possible way to get his permit. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Taylor-made for her ! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tote lebt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the bedrooms in Johnny's apartment at the track is a large painting, done in the art deco style, of a reclining blonde woman. Coincidentally, this same painting is featured briefly but prominently in Eyes in the Night (1942), released the same year and also starring Edward Arnold, referred to in that film by Marty as "a blonde tomato." See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Johnny is asking Benjy about the cop that won't let him put in slot machines, Benjy hands him a note with the cop's badge number (#711) on it which he unfolds before handing to Johnny. Then we see Johnny unfolding it again. See more »

Quotes

John Benson Farrell: You couldn't stop being a thief any more than a weasel could stop sucking chicken blood.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Melancholy
(1911) (uncredited)
(Also known as "Melancholy Baby" and "My Melancholy Baby")
Music by Ernie Burnett
Played during the opening and closing credits
Played as dance music by the band at Tony Luce's place
Played as background music often
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Van Heflin shines in this MGM gangster film
17 November 2004 | by (Boulder, Colorado) – See all my reviews

MGM produced this well-written, well-produced gangster saga, a type of film that was very unusual for the studio.

As the alcoholic, self-loathing, philosophizing buddy of Johnny Eager (Robert Taylor), Heflin steals the show. He plays his role with great intensity and complexity, making his performance one of the most deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscars in the history of the Academy Awards. His crying scenes are enough to choke a person up, and his possible suggestion of a homoerotic attraction to Eager is unique in a film of this era.

It's unfortunate that Heflin's subsequent roles and performances were generally dull. This actor needed roles that put him emotionally on the edge and exploited his intensity. But at least in Johnny Eager, Heflin set a standard for screen acting that remains a role model to this day.

Robert Taylor plays his scenes with Heflin with some dramatic tension and a hint of subtext, while still remaining comfortably within the confines of a handsome Hollywood leading man. Turner delivers her lines very artificially, coming across as insincere, and her face seems incapable of expressing emotion. Beautiful she is, but given the taut script, the director had the potential of eliciting less formulaic playing from her. Luckily, the rest of the cast is excellent -especially Edward Arnold and Robert Sterling.

Watch this one and you won't be disappointed. Heflin's performance is worth it all.


28 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Colorized version? kathyselden
What a dreamboat! practicepiano
Greyhound track conair3007
best drunk performance bobk77
Lana Turner was soooo beautiful.... YouToober
DVD now available directly from Warner Home Video! simonhowson
Discuss Johnny Eager (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?