MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 919 this week

Johnny Handsome (1989)

6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 5,607 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 23 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 31 Dec 2010
 
a list of 21 titles
created 07 Apr 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 15 Apr 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 15 Jun 2012
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Johnny Handsome (1989)

Johnny Handsome (1989) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Johnny Handsome.
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

White Sands (1992)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    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
Cop Land (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The sheriff of a suburban New Jersey community populated by New York City policemen slowly discovers the town is a front for mob connections and corruption.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta
Cape Fear (1991)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a 14 year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Jackie Brown (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A flight attendant becomes a key figure in a plot between the police and an arms dealer.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
Heat (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
Sleepers (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized; over 10 years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt
Carlito's Way (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
U Turn (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young punk drifter heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him, is forced to stop in a Arizona town where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong for him.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte
Fargo (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi
Thriller | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An escaped con on the run from the law moves into a married couple's home and takes over their lives.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Anthony Hopkins, Mimi Rogers
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A professional assassin rescues a young girl whose family were killed in a police raid.

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Revenge has a new face See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Handsome  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,237,794 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Pacino was initially interested in playing the title character and worked with the producers on developing the script, but ultimately dropped out of the project due to script problems; Pacino felt, despite numerous revisions, they had never been able to transcend the script's B-movie qualities. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Il solitario (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Level-Headed Gaze at the Natural Progression of a Character
23 May 2010 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Johnny Handsome emerges from the film noir envelope of the 1940s, out of movies with bleak streets and bitter laughter, with characters who dwell in sourpuss crash pads and regard bars as their personal salons. It is set in New Orleans, a city with a film noir essence, and it stars Mickey Rourke, who siphons himself into the role of a burnt-out down-and-outer who has as good as withdrawn himself. The only real friend he has is a father figure named Mikey, who brings Johnny in on a jewelry store job with a couple of really shady characters. They call him Johnny Handsome since his face has been miserably deformed since birth. He and John Merrick look closely related. Johnny has also trained himself to talk despite some sort of nasal or vocal obstruction by his disfigurement, resulting in a rhinal, phonetic mutter. As the movie opens he and Mikey have been double-crossed resulting in Mikey dead, Johnny the patsy, the haul in the hands of their despicable associates.

In jail, he's accorded a deal if he'll single out his co-conspirators. He declines, because it is of course gangland decree that you do not rat on your partners, and of course also because he intends to kill them when he gets back on the street. But then an intriguing thing happens to him: In jail, a caring surgeon recommends that plastic surgery could turn Johnny into a fairly attractive guy, and speech therapy could make him into an adequate contender for rehabilitation. Johnny is such a miserable and achingly sad character in such a bleak world that we are overjoyed by this ray of sunlight.

Johnny has nothing to lose, and subjects himself to the surgery which, faithful to the customs of movies like this, is no problem at all. Out on parole, he walks the straight and narrow. And he happens on a girl who loves him. However Johnny has an inner dilemma: Since the day he was born he's been walking around feeling repulsive, fearful, rejected, that he has a hard time grasping any real fortune. In fact, the choice is clear all along: He can go straight, mind his p's and q's and be content with this woman. Or he can resume with crime and see his vengeance through. As a man who's spent his entire life made to feel like a waste and a good-for-nothing, he has a choice between something that at this point he finds difficult, and something that comes very very easily. As per Rourke's usual, he adopts a challenging physical transformation that complements his emotional one.

Made during the late '80s, '90s stretch of typically unintelligent action pictures, with audiences less enterprising in a way than those of the 1940s and stars who like to maintain their hero worship or avoid any threat to their masculinity at the end, there is the expectation that Johnny will choose the path of improvement and hopefulness, not without some difficulty, naturally, but he is endowed with every emotional, practical and legal clean break to be able to do that. Nevertheless, the charm of this film, especially as an American action movie from 1989, is that it takes a level-headed gaze at the natural progression of its character. If you've been jeered into the shadows all your life, no matter how much light you suddenly get, where would you feel most at home? And what is happiness? Satisfaction, peace of mind. If you were him, what would really truly give you those things? This old film noir wine poured into a gritty, hazy new bottle is filmed with genuine flair. Matthew F. Leonetti, the cinematographer, smokes out the scrappiest alienation in the most sordid sections of New Orleans, and the Ry Cooder music is a merge with the blues and a weep. It is strange how Walter Hill's intensely dark and violent dramatic thriller is given little to no reference literature, hardly anyone has heard of it, is all in all a buried treasure. Not that many movies have the utter nostalgia, ruefulness and grit that this movie evokes throughout.

And the movie is definitely enhanced by tenacious supporting performances by a remarkably notable cast including Ellen Barkin, playing one rotten apple riding roughshod over any and everything that even comes close to boring her; Morgan Freeman in a rare role as a mean, cold man, a lone-wolf cop just waiting for Johnny to slip up; Lance Henriksen, on the other hand, breaking out of all those stoic roles to eat up the scenery as a formidably wicked character of almost comic-book proportions; and Forest Whitaker, that urgent ray of sunlight in Johnny's life, that one presence who is highly educated and highly compassionate and ennobled by his profession. And though he's largely identified with the action genres of post-classical American cinema, Hill directs with an almost maligning disinterest in Reagan-era Hollywood formality. This is a movie in the real practice of film noir, a movie where heroism is simply being able to survive, where an everyday person treats himself to the darker proclivities of his character, and destiny arrives.


4 of 4 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
Special Edition DVD? orangerunner
Stops making sense in the last 20 minutes shaggy61
Drum solo theme (when they stole in the factory) WEKurtz
Discuss Johnny Handsome (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?