Johnny O'Clock (1947)

95 mins | Film noir | March 1947

Director:

Robert Rossen

Writer:

Robert Rossen

Cinematographer:

Burnett Guffey

Editors:

Warren Low, Al Clark

Production Designers:

Stephen Goosson, Cary Odell

Production Company:

J. E. M. Productions
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HISTORY

This was the first film of producer Ed Nealis and well-known celebrity lawyer Jerry Gielser. The film also marked Robert Rossen's directorial debut, and the screen debut of actor Jeff Chandler. Film editor Warren Low was borrowed from Hal Wallis Productions, actor Lee J. Cobb was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox and actor S. Thomas Gomez was borrowed from Universal. According to articles in Columbia News , at the time of production, the film's casino set was the most expensive set constructed in Hollywood since the lifting of wartime restrictions on such expenditures. The set consisted of fourteen gambling rooms filled with $50,000 worth of gambling equipment that was shipped to Hollywood from Las Vegas. Dick Powell reprised his role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 12 May 1947, co-starring Marguerite ... More Less

This was the first film of producer Ed Nealis and well-known celebrity lawyer Jerry Gielser. The film also marked Robert Rossen's directorial debut, and the screen debut of actor Jeff Chandler. Film editor Warren Low was borrowed from Hal Wallis Productions, actor Lee J. Cobb was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox and actor S. Thomas Gomez was borrowed from Universal. According to articles in Columbia News , at the time of production, the film's casino set was the most expensive set constructed in Hollywood since the lifting of wartime restrictions on such expenditures. The set consisted of fourteen gambling rooms filled with $50,000 worth of gambling equipment that was shipped to Hollywood from Las Vegas. Dick Powell reprised his role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 12 May 1947, co-starring Marguerite Chapman. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Jan 1947.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1947.
---
Film Daily
10 Jan 47
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 46
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 46
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 46
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
20 Jul 46
p. 48.
Los Angeles Examiner
15 Aug 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Jan 1947.
---
New York Times
27 Mar 47
p. 39.
Variety
5 Feb 47
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Chief prop man
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod assoc
Tech adv
Stunts
Stunts
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 March 1947
Production Date:
10 July--6 September 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 February 1947
Copyright Number:
LP836
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in feet):
8,604
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11988
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Johnny O'Clock, a sharp-witted New York gambling house overseer, has many "friends" in the city's underworld: His associates include Pete Marchettis, Johnny's senior partner and owner of the lavish casino he operates, and Chuck Blayden, a crooked, trigger-happy cop who is investigating other gambling houses in town. After trying to cut into the casino's profits and warning Johnny under threat of death not to interfere with his intention to become Marchettis' partner, Blayden ends his relationship with cigarette and coat check girl Harriet Hobson, then disappears. Harriet is later found dead of an apparent suicide in her apartment, and Inspector Koch begins his investigation into her death by questioning Johnny, Harriet's sister Nancy, who is smitten with Johnny, and Johnny's associate, Charlie. Blayden's body turns up in a nearby river, and when it is learned that Harriet was actually murdered by poison, Johnny and Marchettis become the prime suspects in both murders. When Marchettis discovers that his wife Nelle has given Johnny a watch with the same diamond that she gave him, he suspects that Johnny is having an affair with her and sends some gunmen to kill him. Marchettis' hit men pull up beside Johnny's car as he is driving Nancy to the airport and spray the car with bullets. Johnny and Nancy survive the attack, after which Johnny roughs up Charlie and accuses him of talking to Marchettis about Nelle's interest in him. Charlie confesses that he tipped off Marchettis, and Johnny, now certain that Marchettis has betrayed him, goes to the gambling house to dissolve their partnership. Marchettis is surprised to see Johnny alive, and although he coolly consents to the break-up ... +


Johnny O'Clock, a sharp-witted New York gambling house overseer, has many "friends" in the city's underworld: His associates include Pete Marchettis, Johnny's senior partner and owner of the lavish casino he operates, and Chuck Blayden, a crooked, trigger-happy cop who is investigating other gambling houses in town. After trying to cut into the casino's profits and warning Johnny under threat of death not to interfere with his intention to become Marchettis' partner, Blayden ends his relationship with cigarette and coat check girl Harriet Hobson, then disappears. Harriet is later found dead of an apparent suicide in her apartment, and Inspector Koch begins his investigation into her death by questioning Johnny, Harriet's sister Nancy, who is smitten with Johnny, and Johnny's associate, Charlie. Blayden's body turns up in a nearby river, and when it is learned that Harriet was actually murdered by poison, Johnny and Marchettis become the prime suspects in both murders. When Marchettis discovers that his wife Nelle has given Johnny a watch with the same diamond that she gave him, he suspects that Johnny is having an affair with her and sends some gunmen to kill him. Marchettis' hit men pull up beside Johnny's car as he is driving Nancy to the airport and spray the car with bullets. Johnny and Nancy survive the attack, after which Johnny roughs up Charlie and accuses him of talking to Marchettis about Nelle's interest in him. Charlie confesses that he tipped off Marchettis, and Johnny, now certain that Marchettis has betrayed him, goes to the gambling house to dissolve their partnership. Marchettis is surprised to see Johnny alive, and although he coolly consents to the break-up of their partnership, a gunfight ensues when Johnny tries to take his half of the casino's profits. Johnny kills Marchettis, and Nelle, who is still in love with Johnny, asks him to let her go into hiding with him. Johnny refuses, and Nelle takes revenge by telling the police that her husband was killed by Johnny when Marchettis caught Johnny in the act of robbing the gambling house safe. Wounded in the gunfight, Johnny hides in the gambling house while Koch surrounds the building with police. The standoff continues until Johnny takes Koch as his hostage and uses him as a shield to make his escape. However, when Johnny sees that Nancy is waiting outside the casino for him, he realizes that she truly loves him, and he has a change of heart. After surrendering his gun to Koch, Johnny gets an indication that Nancy will wait for him, and he willingly accepts his arrest. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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