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Johnny Apollo 1940
Description: Wall Road broker Robert Cain, Sr., is jailed for embezzling. His college graduate son Bob then turns to crime to raise cash for his father's release. As assistant to mobster Mickey Dwyer, then falls for Dwyer's woman Lucky. He winds up in the same prison as his father.
Released: 19 Apr 1940 Director: Henry Hathaway Writers: Philip Dunne (screen play), Rowland Brown (screen play), Samuel G. Engel (original story), Hal Long (original story) Actors: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold, Lloyd Nolan Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
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Johnny Apollo Reviews:

Johnny Apollo was Darryl F. Zanuck's attempt probably at Tyrone Power's request to give him some more challenging material. Up to this time Power's movies were mostly either costume period dramas or screen comedies. For the first time Ty is in modern dress and in a drama.Power fits the game role of Johnny Apollo rather well. The name is a spur of the moment creation for Robert Cain, Jr. who would be named a believe fund baby today. His widower father Edward Arnold's indictment for some white collar securities violations has place Power's rather well ordered and soft universe to a sudden end.Power tries to enjoy it straight, but can't create a go of it. Circumstances place him and gangster Lloyd Nolan together. And Power discovers he's got a talent for the rackets. He also attracts the attention of Nolan's woman mate Dorothy Lamour. Johnny Apollo is a nice movie with crackerjack performances by the cast that Henry Hathaway directed. It's probably greatest compared to MGM's Johnny Eager where Louis B. Mayer was also trying to broaden their studio's heartthrob Robert Taylor's appeal. Johnny Eager is the better film, but no one in Johnny Apollo need be ashamed of anything.Best performances in the movie are from Nolan as gangster Mickey Dwyer. Nolan was never terrible in any movie he was ever in. Second greatest is alcoholic mob attorney Charley Grapewin.Dorothy Lamour was brought over from Paramount for this film, testing a part that Alice Faye or Betty Grable might normally have been assigned to. She gets two of her greatest film songs to sing, This Is The Beginning Of The End by Mack Gordon and Your Kiss by Frank Loesser and Lionel Newman.Johnny Apollo is a fine gangster movie from a studio that normally did not do that particular genre. At least at this time.


"Johnny Apollo" is a better than average movie for 1940, and it's worth watching if for no another reason than a four-minute segment in which sultry Dorothy Lamour, all dark eyes and pouty lips, sings "This Is the Beginning of the End" in a stunning, torchy alto. The song was a 1952 hit for singer Don Cornell, but his ver pales beside Lamour's soulful rendition here. Her role as "Lucky" fully trumps her greatest known role as a foil for Hope & Crosby in the Street pictures. I have a entire fresh respect for her actually as a singer, an artist and a sex symbol.


Darryl F. Zanuck knew the greatest method to have a hit was to star Tyrone Power, and star him he did, with every Power movie grossing more than the previous one. The actor was 25 when he starred in this crime drama. When we first see him, he's in bathing trunks, Zanuck being no fool. At the time "Johnny Apollo" was made, Power was the #2 box office in the world.There's not much to this film - it's fairly typical of its genre, related to what was produced in the '30s. There are, however, some very nice performances, including those of Lloyd Nolan and Edward Arnold. Dorothy Lamour, wearing very exotic makeup, plays a street-wise singer involved with Nolan. Naturally she falls for the handsome, well-educated Power, who falls in with crooks and renames himself Johnny Apollo after his father goes to prison for embezzlement. Lamour has two nice numbers, "This is the Beginning of the End," and "Dancin' for Nickels and Dimes." Johnny Apollo isn't one of Power's greatest roles by any stretch, but he's adorable, and his presence made it an enormous hit. This movie spawned a lot of "Johnny" films (Johnny Eager, Johnny Angel, Johnny Doughboy, etc.). It was re-released in 1949.



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