26 user 15 critic

Johnny Apollo (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 April 1940 (USA)
The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.


Henry Hathaway


Philip Dunne (screen play), Rowland Brown (screen play) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Bob Cain
Dorothy Lamour ... 'Lucky' Dubarry
Edward Arnold ... Robert Cain Sr.
Lloyd Nolan ... Mickey Dwyer
Charley Grapewin ... Judge Emmett T. Brennan
Lionel Atwill ... Jim McLaughlin
Marc Lawrence ... Bates
Jonathan Hale ... Dr. Brown
Harry Rosenthal Harry Rosenthal ... Piano Player
Russell Hicks ... District Attorney
Fuzzy Knight ... Cellmate
Charles Lane ... Assistant District Attorney
Selmer Jackson ... Warden (as Selmar Jackson)
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge
John Hamilton ... Judge


Wall Street broker Robert Cain, Sr., is jailed for embezzling. His college graduate son Bob then turns to crime to raise money for his father's release. As assistant to mobster Mickey Dwyer, then falls for Dwyer's girl Lucky. He winds up in the same prison as his father. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not since "Jesse James" has he had such as role! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Unbilled actor Tom Dugan plays a convict named Tom Dugan. See more »


Jim McLaughlin: Well, they've never sent a millionaire to prison as long as I can remember.
Robert 'Pop' Cain Sr.: [Angrily] Where have you been for the last couple of years?
See more »


Referenced in The James Dean Story (1957) See more »


Your Kiss
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Alfred Newman
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Performed by Dorothy Lamour with Harry Rosenthal at piano
See more »

User Reviews

Power goes gritty
6 December 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Am incredibly fond of crime dramas, both the Phillip Marlowe/Raymond Chandler/film noir-type ones and the more elaborate, more violent ones such as the likes of 'The Godfather' and 'Goodfellas'. The cast also promised a lot, with the most intriguing on paper being an against type Tyrone Power. So they were my two main reasons for seeing 'Johnny Apollo', as well as liking the idea of the story and hearing good things from critics whose opinions are mostly worth trusting.

'Johnny Apollo' turned out to be a well done, fun film with a vast majority of elements executed excellently. If you like any of the actors, good casts and like the type of film it fits under, there is a fairly strong chance of you enjoying 'Johnny Apollo'. It is not a perfect film or one that blows the mind, but there are absolutely no regrets watching it. Quite the contrary and actually thought it was a much needed antidote after a difficult week.

Not everything works. Credibility is strained to the maximum, particularly the final act which also felt a bit too rushed and culminates on a too unrealistically pat and almost sugary note. Arnold's attitude towards his son regarding the crookedness seemed inconsistent and one is not sure as to why.

While the songs are great on their own, don't feel out of place and are beautifully sung by Dorothy Lamour ("They Say" is a hit for good reason, and "This is the Beginning of the End" is especially well sung), they interrupted the flow a bit. Lionel Atwill has far too little to do and struggles to do much with it.

Power however does quite well in an atypical role that required a lot of grit and Power provides that, more than just a handsome face that he was clearly trying to break away from admirably. Actually felt though that the supporting cast were even better, while Dorothy Lamour is an absolute charmer as the female lead the acting honours go to Edward Arnold, as the character who gets my vote as the most interesting, and Lloyd Nolan's unflinching gangster. Enjoyed Charley Grapewin too. The script is taut and has the right amount of suspense and entertainment value.

Henry Hathaway directs with ease and seemed to understand the genre, and the story is suitably hard-boiled and intriguing even if it is not flawlessly executed. The pace is controlled yet generally compelling when the flow is not interrupted. There is some authentic period detail enhanced by the gritty photography and eerie lighting.

In summation, pretty good and recommended though not an essential. 7/10

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Release Date:

19 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dance with the Devil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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