Los Angeles hotel lobby florist Johnny Allegro is a man with a secret: he's a former criminal who escaped from the Sing Sing prison.However, Johnny went straight and became a legitimate businessman. One day, a high-class, well dressed attractive blonde runs into his arms, in the hotel lobby, and pretends she's his date for the evening. She whispers in his ear that she is followed, in danger and needs Johnny's help to escape. Intrigued, Johnny accepts to play along and help the stunning blonde beauty. They sit in the hotel bar and talk. Her name is Glenda Chapman and she wants to escape the police detective who sits in the lobby shadowing her. Over the following days, Johnny falls for Glenda who lives in the hotel. Unfortunatelly, Johnny is visited, in his flower shop, by Treasury Agent Schultzy who tels Johnny that he knows about Johnny's real identity and that Johnny is an escaped criminal. However, Johnny is not arrested. Instead, the Treasury Agent asks him to assist the government... Written by
There seems to be some misunderstanding here. No, there is a stronger word. You know the word. Treason.
That's too strong a word. I resent it.
And for which there are stronger consequences, which you will resent even more.
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Underrated, Well-Mounted Thriller; Fine Raft Vehicle, Romance and Mystery
George Raft made a conscious decision to play ethical central characters--tough on his pocketbook, perhaps, but doing what was necessary. He turned down parts that others made successful in the popular sense; but "Johnny Allegro" was worth making, as "High Sierra" was not, not as "fiction". And this was a man who had scene first hand the negative influence gangsters could have on lives. In this case, Raft agreed to play a character well within his somewhat-limited range. Johnny Allegro is no saint, no genius. But he is a man willing to do the right thing to square himself with the law, and help the police investigate an "untouchable", a Mr. Big brilliant played by George Macready. Ted Tetzlaff directed this interesting mission film, with his usual skill, from a script by Karen de Wolf, Gene Endore and James Edward Grant. The idea is that Macready smuggles men to a remote Caribbean island, men who need to escape the law, and they then serve his criminal organization loyally because they must. Johnny's police pals set him up as a man on the lam for having killed a policeman to make his escape, all faked; then he is able to join another escapee and find his way to the island through the villain's usual channels. Then he falls in love with someone Macready, the usual Renaissance man and intellectual villainized in US films--holds as his prize possession--lovely Nina Foch, his wife. Investigating the island to which he has been spirited, he finds a way to call in the cops and cover his actions. But then he and Foch must escape Macready and his bow and arrow--with which he kills the disloyal in his empire...The film is attractive in B/W but not stylish; yet the cast is above average. other players include Will Geer as Raft's boss who believes in him,, Thomas Browne Henry as his boss who does not, Gloria Henry, Ivan Triesault, Harry Antrim, Bill Phillips, and many others. George Duning wrote the fine music and Frank Tuttle did the elaborate set decorations. The other element in the film is the noir mission sense of being beyond help, and the growing romance between Raft and the brilliant Nina Foch, who for once is given a sympathetic part in a film. This is a well- paced, interesting and well-mounted "B" effort; and one that bears repeated watching for its mystery, its situation-derived characters and the under-theme of loyalty which is interestingly examined. Above average.
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