Johnny Handsome (1989)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  29 September 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 6,570 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 20 critic

Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Texas Ranger and a ruthless narcotics kingpin - they were childhood friends, now they are adversaries...

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Michael Ironside
Homeboy (1988)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Johnny Walker is a cowboy and a boxer. He is very shy and a bit of a fool. He is in love with Ruby, but he cannot tell her. He is also a bit old to keep on boxing, but its the only thing he... See full summary »

Director: Michael Seresin
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Debra Feuer
White Sands (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A small southwestern town sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and $500,000. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an FBI investigation.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Mickey Rourke
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The tough biker Harley and his no less tough cowboy friend Marlboro learn that an old friend of theirs will lose his bar, because a bank wants to build a new complex there and demands 2.5 ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Don Johnson, Chelsea Field
Trespass (1992)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Bill Paxton, Ice-T, William Sadler
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane
Francesco (1989)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Docudrama about the life of St-Francis of Assisi

Director: Liliana Cavani
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Helena Bonham Carter, Andréa Ferréol
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward
Wild Bill (1995)
Action | Biography | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt
Barfly (1987)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the life of successful poet Charles Bukowski and his exploits in Hollywood during the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Alice Krige
The Driver (1978)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

"The Driver" is a specialist in a rare business: he drives getaway cars in robberies. His exceptional talent prevented him from being caught yet. After another successful flight from the ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. A.Z. Drones
Vic Dumask
Yvonne Bryceland ...
Sister Luke
Mr. Bonet
J.W. Smith ...
Earl (as Jeff Meek)
Bob Lemoyne
Ed Zang ...
Prestige Manager
Prestige Salesman (as John Fertitta)


Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and Mikey are double-crossed by Sunny and Rafe---Mikey is killed and Johnny sent to prison. While in prison, Johnny is invited to a rehabilitation program, where Dr. Steven Fischer rebuilds Johnny's face and helps Johnny get paroled. Johnny starts working in a shipyard, where he meets Donna McCarty and starts a romance. Lt. A.Z. Drones is a skeptical detective who follows the rehabilitation of Johnny. Johnny's new life is consumed by the desire of payback. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Revenge has a new face See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Handsome - Der schöne Johnny  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$7,237,794 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was made and released about seventeen years after its source novel "The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome" by John Godley (aka Morton Freedgood) had been first published in 1972. See more »


During the graveyard scene, Larry "pumps" the action on a double barreled shotgun. See more »


Vic Dumask: I don't know you, Mr. Mitchell. What can I do for you?
John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley: A laundry service. Could be five million dollars worth.
Vic Dumask: That sounds illegal.
John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley: [sotto voce] It is.
See more »


Referenced in Il solitario (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Compromised Hill film buoyed by three terrific performances
23 December 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

"Johnny Handsome" is a flawed but fascinating work from Walter Hill. Mickey Rourke is great as a deformed criminal who returns to avenge the people (Ellen Barkin and Lance Henriksen) who wronged him. The conceit of the premise is that Johnny's enemies will not see him coming with his new face, a face rebuilt after his ugly one was cut to pieces. Unfortunately, this potentially rich premise is quickly discarded and the film becomes a more standard crime yarn with a pointless love story thrown in. Johnny's love interest, Elizabeth McGovern, who was great in a similar role in "Racing With The Moon", is wasted and just doesn't belong in this material.

Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin are great as two of the oiliest lowlifes to impact with a movie screen in years. Barkin's pronunciation of the word "geek", when referring to Rourke's character, is hilarious, as is the crime couple's incessant badgering of each other. If the film had focused more on this duo and less on McGovern and another subplot involving Forest Whitaker, who is saddled with a dreadfully written role as a doctor who tries to help Johnny, it would have been a true contender.

The opening robbery scene is classic Hill -- brutal and economical -- and sets high expectations for the mayhem to come. Ry Cooder's slide guitar score is mesmerizing, and Mathew F. Leonetti's cinematography is moody and beguiling.

Ultimately, the film is a gritty pulp crime novel compromised by studio concessions. Which is such a crying shame.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Remake marlowlobos
One of the most underrated movies of all time thga
Stops making sense in the last 20 minutes shaggy61
Special Edition DVD? orangerunner
Drum solo theme (when they stole in the factory) WEKurtz
topical dingduder
Discuss Johnny Handsome (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: