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Johnny Handsome (1989)

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 »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Lt. A.Z. Drones
...
...
...
...
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)
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Handsome - Der schöne Johnny  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is considered to be in the "film noir" genre. Walter Hill once said in an October 1, 1989 interview with 'The Philadelphia Inquirer': "This is very reminiscent of the kind of film noir they made in the '40s. You have the doomed character, and audiences back then were more comfortable with it. You can imagine John Garfield having a lot of fun with something like this". 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 Wordsmith (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Undiscovered Gem!
20 January 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Mickey Rourke has to be one of the greatest, yet most under-rated,

American actors alive today. This film proves it. He plays this

character with layers and a depth few could accomplish or would

even dare. Unfortunately, most people regard his personal life

(and abrasive personality itself) with such disdain that they refuse

to fairly judge his professional accomplishments.

Rourke plays a grotesquely facially disfigured man who's life of

ridicule, non-existent home-life, and resultant self-guilt have led

him to a life of crime. Nothing original there, I'll admit. But one

must watch Rourke's subtle portrayal to see not a man of rage, as

most actors would give, and be expected of, from the audience, but

a man quietly locked into his world of pain. The way he holds his

cigarette from the top, so as to cover part of his face; the downward

tilt of his head, eyes averted from anyone's gaze; or the curt, quiet

speaking so as not to draw too much attention. The example of

speech is in itself remarkable. Not only does Rourke affect a

severe speech impediment as the disfigured Johnny Handsome,

but he then takes on a new one as a man who is now capable of

proper diction, but who is completely unused to being able to

speak properly. And he is constant in his portrayal throughout.

The story is simple but good, driven with excellent visual editing,

and a wonderful sound track (provided by Ry Cooder), that really

sets the pacing. The cast is largely wonderful, as well, with quite a

few recognizable "stars". Forest Whitaker as the sympathetic but

driven and demanding doctor, Lance Henrikson and Ellen Barkin

in amazing performances as two completely greedy "scum-bags",

and Morgan Freeman, in a real role reversal, as a rotten, taunting

parole officer. Probably the only weak link in the cast is Elizabeth

McGovern, who's attempted Louisiana accent never holds up and

over-all acting just suffices.

This film remains a favorite of mine that I watch every now and

again, always enjoying it both for the excitingly building tension of

the story, and the great performances (and performers) littered

throughout the film. If you like this film, I also suggest "The

Elephant Man", by David Lynch (for the life-with-disfigurement

aspects), or "The Warriors", by Walter Hill, as a great, early

example of this same director's work.

8/10 Mickey Rourke at his best!


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