Johnny Angel Reviews
March 9, 2010
Solid little film, short and to the point with a great pace. One of George Raft?s best performances. Claire Trevor, as usual, is great. Hoagy Carmichael does well in a supporting role. Good cinematography and score. Effective lighting. It always held my interest.
July 24, 2014
A fair to good B film noir I have seen better and I have seen worse film noir good cast makes movie more fun to watch
May 14, 2013
JOHNNY ANGEL (1945) Much has been written about the changes of fate in the film careers of George Raft & Humphrey Bogart. The irony is Bogart made lemonade out of flicks Raft believed were lemons in furthering his career. As Bogart reached stardom performing roles associated with Adventure rather than Gangsters, George Raft, still a viable Box Office Draw, was also given roles in a couple of movies that might have just as easily been offered to Bogart.The first opportunity for George Raft to try capturing the same success that Bogart had achieved in Casablanca & Across the Pacific (1943) was his Warner Brothers Swan Song - Background to Danger (1943) with Director Raoul Walsh, Writer William Faulkner and Co-Stars Sydney Greenstreet & Peter Lorre. The film successfully captured the Suspense and Non-Stop Thrills of a 12-Chapter Cliffhanger as the hero valiantly fights against a Nazi Fifth-Column in Neutral Turkey.Johnny Angel is George Raft's second swing at performing as an Adventurer. This film, like Background to Danger, is written to play-up Raft's strengths in the role of a Stoic-Tough-as-Nails Ship Captain, who's bound and determine to clear the name of his late father killed while in command of another Ship on its way from Casablanca with a cargo of Gold Bullion. This movie features several excellent Character Actors who have appeared over the years in several of Humphrey Bogart's Great WWII Adventure/Film Noir Flicks. Hoagy Carmichael, who made a big impression with audiences the year before in Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not, returns in another memorable character role as a Worldly-Wise Cabby named Celestial O'Brien. It is interesting to note a key scene where Carmichael bullies Raft into stepping-up his acting game. Playing with a funny looking Gee Haw Whirligig Carmichael deliberately ignores Raft, forcing him to break-off the stiff stoic gaze and seize the moment by breathing life into the performance. While Raft's on screen chemistry with women seems to be forever reserved for his frequent co-star Sylvia Sidney, Actress Claire Trevor (Key Largo - 1948) steps up her raw sexuality enough to smoke-up the cinema!Lastly, the presence of Character Actors Signe Hasso (Seventh Cross - 1944), Margaret Wycherly (Crossroads - 1942) and Marvin Miller (Dead Reckoning - 1947) all help strengthen George Raft's performance and the film's story.Johnny Angel would have a better status today, if it wasn't for its misleading Gangster Theme Title. The Danish Title 'Gold From Casablanca' would have been a far better marketing handle. The film's plot is well written. All three writers, who contributed to the script, are renowned for their work in Film-Noir: Frank Gruber - The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), Charles G. Booth - The House on 92nd Street (1945) & Steve Fisher - Dead Reckoning (1947). The film's Cinematographer Harry J. Wild is also well-known for his great work in the Film-Noirs Murder, My Sweet (1944) & Macao (1952). JOHNNY ANGEL is a Great 'B' that garnered 'A' returns for RKO Radio Pictures, it should be made available on DVD.
March 12, 2012
Johnny Angel is a solid film. It is about a ship captain who sets out to learn who hijacked a gold shipment from his father's ship and who killed his father. George Raft and Claire Trevor give remarkable performances. The screenplay is well written. Edwin L. Marin did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. Johnny Angel is a must see.
March 9, 2010
73/100. Solid little film, short and to the point with a great pace. One of George Raft's best performances. Claire Trevor, as usual, is great. Hoagy Carmichael does well in a supporting role. Good cinematography and score. Effective lighting. It always held my interest.