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Mean Johnny Barrows (1976)

Johnny Barrows, a G.I, is dishonorably discharged from the army after striking his commanding officer. When he returns home, he is mugged and thrown in jail. Down on his luck and with no ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Barrows
Tony Da Vince
Mario Racconi
Don Da Vince (as Tony Caruso)
Don Racconi
Prof. Theodore Rasputin Waterhouse
Carlo Da Vince
Aaron Banks ...
Capt. O'Malley
Robert Phillips ...
(as Bob Phillips)
Victor Rogers ...
Body Guard
John LaMotta ...
Antonio Goti (as Johnny LaMotta)


Johnny Barrows, a G.I, is dishonorably discharged from the army after striking his commanding officer. When he returns home, he is mugged and thrown in jail. Down on his luck and with no money, he gets a job at a gas station run by a racist jerk. After a while, he beats him up and is thrown in jail again. Shortly after, a mobster hires him as a mafia hit man because of his military training and he now gets caught in the middle of a rival gang war between two families. Written by Jmac1988

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Action | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

January 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peace is Hell  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Star Fred Williamson's M*A*S*H (1972) co-star Elliott Gould came in for a half-hour's work to help out his friend. Gould completely improvised his part on the spot. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the veteran who traded his place on the front line for a place on the unemployment line. Peace is Hell. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The New York Ripper (2015) See more »


The Hero & Some Other Time
Sung by Gordon Staples and The Devastating Affair
See more »

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User Reviews

Dull, indecisive Johnny Barrows …
27 May 2010 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Either I have been misinterpreting and misusing the word "mean" throughout my entire life, or this movie's title is completely misleading. Fred Williamson's title character, Johnny Barrows, is about everything but mean in this movie. He's dull, and incredibly indecisive citizen who remains frustratingly honorable even though life is repeatedly stabbing him in the back. Barrows is a decorated Vietnam veteran, but after his discharge from the army (for righteously punching a superior in the face) he quickly becomes homeless, unemployed and has to start digging for food in garbage bins. His mafia buddy Mario Racconi offers him a job as hit man numerous times, especially since a rival clan moved into their territory, but Johnny Barrows prefers to clean toilets at a gas station for $21 per month because that's an honest profession. Yeah right. Only one full hour and one dead godfather later, Johnny finally gets a bit mean and accepts the job to protect a woman who doesn't even fancy him. The film ends with the message: "this movie is dedicated to all veterans who traded the front line for the unemployment line". Oh, okay, so this is an attempt at social criticism? Let me assure you there are numerous of gritty and violent 70's movies out there dealing with re-integration issues of Vietnam veterans, and practically all of them are better than "Mean Johnny Barrows". This is just a boring Fred Williamson vehicle, his directorial debut by the way, with only a couple of notable moments in the last fifteen minutes. Roddy McDowell's role is hardly worth mentioning and Elliot Gould merely just makes a cameo.

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Mean Johnny Barrows belindawoods
Wow - so much better remastered and 2.35:1 treshon
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