Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a... See full summary »
Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule, it focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself ... See full summary »
Dick Powell stars as Haven, a government private investigator assigned to investigate the murders of two cavalrymen. Travelling incognito, Haven arrives in a small frontier outpost, where ... See full summary »
Lilith is a about a mysterious young woman in an elite sanitarium in New England, who seems to weave a magical spell all around her. A restless, but sincere young man with an equally ... See full summary »
A security leak is found at a Southern California atomic plant. The authorities stand in fear that the information leaked would go to a hostile nation. To investigate the case more ... See full summary »
A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, ... See full summary »
Joseph H. Lewis
As much as more touted actors such as Bogart and Mitchum, Dick Powell helped form the noir cycle, with his assumption -- the first on film -- of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet. He went on to star in such dark and definitive works as The Pitfall and Conflict (not to mention such lesser offerings as Cry Danger and To The Ends Of The Earth). Here, as title character and mid-level gambler/gangster Johnny O'Clock, he sports the thick shell and sub-zero emotional temperature of the noir protagonist, a type he helped to patent. But given a muddled script with noirish shots, situations and symbols thrown in willy-nilly, he fails to convince. Evelyn Keyes, as the sister of a murdered hat-check girl, has (as always) her moments, as does Ellen Drew, as the soused trophy-wife of big mobster Thomas Gomez. Lee J. Cobb puffs his cigar endlesslly, trying to enforce the law. Johnny O'Clock is not quite a bad movie but it's less memorable than many worse-made movies in the cycle. There's just nothing particularly distinctive about it. You feel you've watched it before, at least in bits and pieces, even though chances are (it remains relatively obscure) you haven't.
16 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?