Johnny Eager

Film, Thrillers

Time Out says

The John Lee Mahin/James Edward Grant script for this gangster movie proposes an intriguingly sleazy scenario about a cold-blooded hoodlum (Taylor), his homosexual whipping-boy (Heflin), and the masochistic society girl (Turner) who can't wait to sample his wares ('I think he'd beat a woman if she made him angry'). Given the full-gloss-and-redemption MGM treatment, it emerges as the sudsiest of soaps. Taylor seduces Turner for his own nefarious purposes, conning her into thinking she killed a man; having discovered l'amour fou, she starts going round the guilt-ridden bend; and after much prodding from the drunkenly philosophising Heflin, Taylor does the far, far better thing. LeRoy handles the grand operatics with a certain style and excellent camerawork from Harold Rosson; but nothing can salvage a film which suggests that its hero went to the bad because he never owned a dog as a boy.

By: TM


Release details

107 mins

Cast and crew

Mervyn LeRoy
John Lee Mahin, James Edward Grant
Robert Taylor
Lana Turner
Edward Arnold
Van Heflin
Robert Sterling
Patricia Dane
Glenda Farrell
Henry O'Neill
Barry Nelson
Charles Dingle
Paul Stewart
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