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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 21, 1946 with Robert Taylor reprising his film role. See more »
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 »
(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 »
Plot-heavy crime melodrama with well-cast Taylor and Turner...
JOHNNY EAGER was one of MGM's early entries into film noir territory and it's an atmospheric and tough crime melodrama that gives Taylor and Turner some emotionally charged scenes. Too bad Turner's part isn't bigger than it is--she's more talked about than seen--but she makes it count in the big moments.
She plays a judge's daughter who falls in love with a mobster who it seems has never really loved a dame before. He leads her on to make her believe that she's guilty of a murder committed when he stages a fake fight with a fellow gangster. It's his way of blackmailing her father. The plot takes a lot of twists and turns before the complicated story runs its course--with Van Heflin in his Oscar-winning supporting role as the man who tries to be Johnny's conscience. Seems to me Heflin played much better roles after the war in leading roles for which he was never nominated again--namely 'Green Dolphin Street' (excellent work) and 'The Three Musketeers' (both times opposite Lana Turner).
You may be interested in reading my feature article on LANA TURNER appearing in the Spring 2002 issue of FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE.
Robert Taylor gives a solid, convincing performance in the title role. Barry Sullivan, Robert Sterling, Edward Arnold and Paul Stewart all do well in colorful supporting roles.
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