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Johnny Handsome (1989)

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1:24 | Clip
After being double crossed and thrown in jail, a deformed gangster gets a new face and rehabilitation, but his desire for revenge looms.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

John Godey (novel), Ken Friedman (screenplay)
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley / Johnny Mitchell
Ellen Barkin ... Sunny Boyd
Elizabeth McGovern ... Donna McCarty
Morgan Freeman ... Lt. A.Z. Drones
Forest Whitaker ... Dr. Steven Fisher
Lance Henriksen ... Rafe Garrett
Scott Wilson ... Mikey Chalmette
David Schramm ... Vic Dumask
Yvonne Bryceland Yvonne Bryceland ... Sister Luke
Peter Jason ... Mr. Bonet
J.W. Smith J.W. Smith ... Larry
Jeffrey Meek ... Earl (as Jeff Meek)
Allan Graf ... Bob Lemoyne
Ed Zang Ed Zang ... Prestige Manager
John P. Fertitta ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Handsome - Der schöne Johnny See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,437,642, 1 October 1989

Gross USA:

$7,237,794

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,237,794
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of numerous movie collaborations of composer Ry Cooder and Walter Hill. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Rafe Garrett: You got a real nice face now don't you, Johnny? But I think I liked it better the old way. Yeah, and I think I can help you get it back.
[punches Johnny]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il solitario (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compromised Hill film buoyed by three terrific performances
23 December 2005 | by fertilecelluloidSee 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.


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