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JOHNNY O'CLOCK (1947)


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Anyone else love this film as much as I do...? 

 

Powell and Keyes are both on my top ten actor/actress lists. The supporting cast is excellent-- Nina Foch, Lee J. Cobb, Ellen Drew, Jim Bannon and Jeff Chandler in a very early role.

 

But the real draw is the crackling dialogue-- and the completely perfect way the characters exude cool. They're all at their physical peak in this film, with clothes and hairstyles to match.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

For its genre, its definitely  on the must watch list. Its the type of film you couldn't remake. Its perfect for its time.

I've watched it twice in the short time since I made the original post. I love Evelyn Keyes in this picture. When she says the line 'Johnny O'Clock's no fool, because he told me so'-- it just goes to another level. She repeats it at the end of the film.

 

If we could add an audio clip to our avatars on TCM's website, I would certainly use this piece of dialogue.

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I've watched it twice in the short time since I made the original post. I love Evelyn Keyes in this picture. When she says the line 'Johnny O'Clock's no fool, because he told me so'-- it just goes to another level. She repeats it at the end of the film.

 

If we could add an audio clip to our avatars on TCM's website, I would certainly use this piece of dialogue.

 

I also watched this film twice in a short period of time (GET-TV is featuring it).    As you said there is a lot to like about this film but as noted in the book Film Noir (Ward \ Silver),  the Powell character's character is very ambiguous.    He really has no mission or goal as it relates to his actions unlike a private eye (whose mission is to solve the case) or just wanting to be a decent guy.     Yea, he somewhat cares that the Nina Foch character was killed but not really even when he starts to fall for her sister.   He is mostly all about himself and the money.  Therefore it is difficult to have an emotional connection with him (just like it is for Keys until she can't help herself). 

 

Still a fine film with a great cast,  well paced,  and some very well directed scenes.  

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I also watched this film twice in a short period of time (GET-TV is featuring it).    As you said there is a lot to like about this film but as noted in the book Film Noir (Ward \ Silver),  the Powell character's character is very ambiguous.    He really has no mission or goal as it relates to his actions unlike a private eye (whose mission is to solve the case) or just wanting to be a decent guy.     Yea, he somewhat cares that the Nina Foch character was killed but not really even when he starts to fall for her sister.   He is mostly all about himself and the money.  Therefore it is difficult to have an emotional connection with him (just like it is for Keys until she can't help herself). 

 

Still a fine film with a great cast,  well paced,  and some very well directed scenes.  

I don't think it matters much in most noir whether we can identify with any of the leads. Most cases in noir are bogus, typically smoke-and-mirrors for other issues. Often solving these cases just leads down more ambiguous avenues. 

 

What's great in this film is how Evelyn Keyes' character starts to believe in Johnny and then because of that, he starts to believe in himself. There's an interesting turn of events in the later portion of the film. After most of the main characters have spent over two-thirds of the narrative being ultra casual and detached, suddenly, they start to realize their lives matter.

 

Powell and Keyes would team up again for another film two years later (MRS. MIKE) which was not a crime drama but a romantic adventure story set in Canada.

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Just watched this again last night (DVr'ed off Get TV). Thomas Gomez also does a good job 

Yes. And Nina Foch, who gets bumped off early, is wonderful too. 

 

There's a character actress (forget her name) who plays the landlady when Cobb is searching the apartment-- she's perfect in those scenes.

 

There isn't one false note with this cast, from lead parts on down to bit parts. They're all great in this film. 

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Another notable performer here is Ellen Drew, who is a revelation as an alluring tramp -- a most unusual role for her.

Yes. It's a change of pace for her. People seem to overlook Ellen Drew, but she made a lot of movies in the 1940s and early 1950s.

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Yes. It's a change of pace for her. People seem to overlook Ellen Drew, but she made a lot of movies in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Including IF I WERE KING, a wonderful picture starring Ronald Colman and Frances Dee, and written (but not directed) by Preston Sturges. "The pigs beseech you to accept their fattest hams" -- what a line!

 

I haven't been able to locate a DVD of this one.

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