Back to my favorite genre for tonight's Saturday Night Cinema, film noir. Our feature tonight is Johnny O'Clock. "Three years after song-and-dance man Dick Powell reshaped his nice-guy image by playing hard-boiled gumshoe Phillip Marlowe in Murder My Sweet, he returned to film noir with this crime-based thriller...." Superb cast:
This love triangle leads to a web of complications, leaving Police Inspector Koch (Lee J. Cobb) to unravel the threads of deceit and a murdered casino employee's sister (Evelyn Keyes) to tug on Johnny's heartstrings before it's too late. Applying Raymond Chandler's dictum that a good plot is an excuse for a series of exciting scenes, rookie director Robert Rossen strings together tense vignettes—brought vividly to life by cinematographer Burnett Guffey.
1947 NY Time:Movie Review
Johnny O Clock (1947) SCREEN REVIEW
Another of those underworld smarties who are as hard and shiny as brass on the outside but who muffle hunks of goodness within their little-boy hearts is the unoriginal hero of Columbia's "Johnny O'Clock," which came yesterday to Loew's Criterion with Dick Powell as its star. And another of those smoldering exhibitions of gambling-joint jealousy and greed, set off against the law's resistless close-in is what you get in it.
JOHNNY O'CLOCK, screen play by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes; directed by Mr. Rossen and produced by Columbia Pictures. At Loew's Criterion.
Johnny O'Clock . . . . . Dick Powell
Nancy Hobson . . . . . Evelyn Keyes
Inspector Koch . . . . . Lee J. Cobb
Nelle Marchettis . . . . . Ellen Drew
Harriet Hobson . . . . . Nina Foch
Guido Marchettis . . . . . S. Thomas Gomez
Charlie . . . . . John Kellogg
Chuck Blayden . . . . . Jim Bannon
Slatternly Woman . . . . . Mabel Paige
Hotel Clerk . . . . . Phil Brown
Turk . . . . . Jeff Chandler
Punchy . . . . . Kit Guard