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Johnny O'Clock (1947)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 762 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 5 critic

High-class crook gets in trouble with the law.

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(screen play), (original story)
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Title: Johnny O'Clock (1947)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Johnny O'Clock
...
Nancy Hobson
...
Inspector Koch
...
Nelle Marchettis
...
Harriet Hobson
...
Guido Marchettis (as 'S. Thomas Gomez')
John Kellogg ...
Charlie
Jim Bannon ...
Chuck Blayden
Mabel Paige ...
Slatternly Woman Tenant
Phil Brown ...
Phil, Hotel Clerk
Edit

Storyline

High-class crook gets in trouble with the law.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hora Decisiva  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 12 May 1947, the "Lux Radio Theater" presented a radio version of this story. Dick Powell and Lee J. Cobb reprised their roles for the live radio broadcast. See more »

Quotes

Chuck Blayden: You get in my way and I'll kill you.
Johnny O'Clock: You took the words right out of my mouth.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Noir is unfocused.
2 April 2005 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Well, it's got all the right trimmings -- Dick Powell, Thomas Gomez, Lee J. Cobb with a cigar. Names that sound phony and semi-ethnic -- "Guido Marchettis," "Johnny O'Clock". Released in 1947, black and white. High-class setting with diversions into the seedier parts of an unnamed city. Tough cop, greasy heavy, lying ex-girlfriend, innocent blond new girlfriend, treacherous jealous friend.

Edgy dialog.

(Gunshots offscreen) "What's that noise?" "Somebody's got a nasty cough."

"I've got a bullet in my gut and fire in my brain."

"You were in the army. What did you learn?" "What I already knew."

"My man was killed." "Accident?" "Yes -- the war."

The photography is neat and crisp. Rossen's direction is efficient. He moves the bodies about with ease. But the plot is simply lacking in real drama and doesn't have much in the way of character development. There seem to be several unrelated subplots. A young woman seems to have committed suicide, but maybe it's murder. Her sister arrives in town and falls for Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell) but will they marry? A bad cop disappears. But we don't really get to know any of them to care much about them. And everything is pulled together with a few offhand words by Dick Powell just before the end.

I kind of wanted to like it because I'm fond of noirs and think that Rossen's work elsewhere has sometimes been superb, but this one got by me. People walk around and talk to one another. There are card games and two shootings. Girls smile at men, who dismiss them. It's all on the surface. As the detective says in "Psycho," "If it doesn't jell, it isn't aspic. And this isn't jelling." It's still interesting to watch -- once.


21 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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