Plot Outline: High-class gambler gets in trouble with the law. One commentator wrote: "As much as more touted actors such as Bogart and Mitchum, Dick Powell helped form the noir cycle, with his assumption -- the first on film -- of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet. He went on to star in such dark and definitive works as The Pitfall and Conflict (not to mention such lesser offerings as Cry Danger and To The Ends Of The Earth). Here, as title character and mid-level gambler/gangster Johnny O'Clock, he sports the thick shell and sub-zero emotional temperature of the noir protagonist, a type he helped to patent. But given a muddled script with noirish shots, situations and symbols thrown in willy-nilly, he fails to convince. Evelyn Keyes, as the sister of a murdered hat-check girl, has (as always) her moments, as does Ellen Drew, as the soused trophy-wife of big mobster Thomas Gomez. Lee J. Cobb puffs his cigar endlesslly, trying to enforce the law. Johnny O'Clock is not quite a bad movie but it's less memorable than many worse-made movies in the cycle. "
Personally, I liked it!
Dick Powell .... Johnny O'Clock
Evelyn Keyes .... Nancy Hobbs
Lee J. Cobb .... Inspector Koch
Ellen Drew .... Nelle Marchettis
Nina Foch .... Harriet Hobbs
Thomas Gomez .... Pete Marchettis
John Kellogg .... Charlie
Jim Bannon .... Chuck Blayden
Mabel Paige .... Slatternly Woman
Phil Brown .... Hotel Clerk
Runtime: 85 min / 96 min (Encore-Mystery Library Print)
Johnny O'Clock (1947)
On 12 May 1947, the "Lux Radio Theater" presented a radio version of this story. Dick Powell and Lee J. Cobb reprised their roles for the live radio broadcast.