Johnny Dangerously (1984)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  21 December 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 10,493 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 18 critic

Set in the 1930's, an honest, goodhearted man is forced to turn to a life of crime to finance his neurotic mother's skyrocketing medical bills.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Kelly / Johnny Dangerously
Richard Dimitri ...
Desk Sergeant


Set in the 1930's, an honest, goodhearted man is forced to turn to a life of crime to finance his neurotic mother's skyrocketing medical bills. Written by Craig Clarke <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


WANTED * MICHAEL KEATON * for being wacky, outrageous & rude in the 'new' hit comedy See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny peligroso  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Keaton's characterization of Johnny Dangerously frequently spoofs James Cagney, a star of gangster movies from the golden age of old Hollywood. See more »


When assistant D.A. Tommy Kelly goes to the D.A.'s mansion to tell him he has enough evidence to convict Johnny Dangerously, he says he has, among other things, recordings, and he holds up a reel of audio tape. This scene is set in the 1930s, but magnetic tape wasn't invented until the late 1940s. See more »


Ma Kelly: The Lower East Side. This really sucks.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the opening credits, you see "1935" on the screen. A car in the near lane of the street drives behind it. Then, another car (in the far lane) runs into the number sitting on the road, and smashes it to pieces. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Black Scorpion (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Funny "hit and miss" comedy
29 October 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

One of the first of the gangster spoof movies this is the story of Michael Keaton's Johnny Kelly sucked into Peter Boyle's New York gang before eventually leading it. This is confused by the fact that Johnny's brother (Griffin Dunne) is the DA seeking to put New York's crime lords away.

The film is silly from start to finish - the plot doesn't make sense and the characters are overblown, but that's the whole point - it's meant to be a spoof and it is. The jokes are quite hit-and-miss, but the majority hit and are funny, although you do need to be in the mood for it.

Michael Keaton is perfect in the lead role, clearly enjoying himself immensely and is on-form for the whole movie. The whole cast provide good support in a series of fun roles - Griffin Dunne is great as the DA, Danny DeVito top in a small role as the crooked DA (or host of game show "play ball"!). Richard Dimitri is hilarious as the gangster of unknown origin, guilty of murdering the english language (fargin' funny!), Peter Boyle is good as Johnny's boss, but Joe Piscopo is the best support as the gangster with attitude ("once").

The film is a fun throwback spoof. Every element of the film is exaggerated and the majority of it comes off well. Yes some jokes miss but they come so thick and fast that the next one is never far away.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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