Johnny Allegro


1h 21m 1949
Johnny Allegro

Brief Synopsis

A reformed hoodlum gets mixed up with counterfeiters and a deadly manhunt.

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Film Details

Also Known As
Hounded, The Big Jump
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jun 1949
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 May 1949
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

When florist Johnny Allegro makes a delivery at the Los Angeles hotel in which his shop is located, an attractive blonde greets him noisily and then quietly begs him to pretend that he knows her. Curious, Johnny goes with her to the hotel bar. She introduces herself as Glenda Chapman and tells him a story of great intrigue. Although Johnny immediately sees through her story, he agrees to help her dodge the police detective waiting in the lobby. Over the following days, Johnny becomes romantically involved with Glenda. One night, treasury agent Schultzy visits Johnny and confronts him with his past as a gangster and fugitive from Sing Sing prison. Because Johnny risked his life in the O.S.S. after his escape, Schultzy offers him a chance to redeem himself by gathering information about Glenda. When Johnny meets Glenda that evening, she tells him that she is leaving but will not tell him anything else. Johnny agrees to help her leave the hotel secretly, but when they arrive in the basement, a policeman is waiting, and Johnny shoots him. He then insists that Glenda take him with her to protect him from the police. Glenda reluctantly agrees, not knowing that the killing was faked, and that Johnny is working undercover. Johnny and Glenda fly to Florida in a private plane and then take a boat to an unidentified island. On the island, Johnny learns that Glenda is married to Morgan Vallin, a mysterious man who believes that the bow and arrow is a better weapon than a gun. Suspicious of Johnny, Vallin forces him to hand over his gun. Realizing that his deception will be revealed if Vallin discovers the gun is loaded with blanks, Johnny tries unsuccessfully to retrieve it. In the morning, Johnny explores the island and sees the arrival of two men, later identified as Pelham Vetch and Grote. In the afternoon, Vallin takes Johnny and Glenda to the mainland for the races. There, Vallin gives Johnny a package to deliver, and Johnny takes the opportunity to get a message to Schultzy. Later, while Glenda and Johnny have dinner together, he pretends to have a malaria attack. At the hospital, Johnny meets secretly with Schultzy, who tells Johnny that Vallin works for a group which plans to flood the West Coast with five million dollars in counterfeit money. He asks Johnny to find out where the money is hidden. Back at the island, Glenda makes a pass at Johnny, which is interrupted by Vallin. Vallin then threatens Johnny, warning him that he is a bad loser. Late that night, Johnny sneaks to the boat and calls Schultzy on the radio. Using that information, the Coast Guard moves in to surround the island. Vetch and Grote spot the ships and accuse Vallin of treason. Eavesdropping on their argument, Johnny learns that the counterfeit money is hidden on the island. Then Vallin kills the two gangsters and prepares to leave the island, and Johnny again signals the Coast Guard. This time, Glenda finds him and divulges her wish to leave Vallin and start fresh with him. She then leads him to the cave in which the money is hidden. Meanwhile, Vallin discovers the blanks in Johnny's gun and hurries to the cave, where Johnny is fighting with one of Vallin's henchmen. Armed with a bow and arrows, Vallin stalks Johnny, but Glenda prevents the murder. Johnny and Vallin then grapple, and in the ensuing fight, Vallin falls to his death. Glenda and Johnny are rescued by the Coast Guard and are promised light sentences for their help with Vallin.

Film Details

Also Known As
Hounded, The Big Jump
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jun 1949
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 May 1949
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

Johnny Allegro


George Raft was nearing the end of his tenure as a leading man when he went to Columbia for this stylish film noir. The story, about a gangster on the lam recruited to smoke out an even bigger fish, combined the genre's twisted tales of divided loyalties with a villain out of The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and a hint at the Red Scare (the powers behind the mobster are foreign agents, possibly Communists). Raft could still rattle off clipped dialogue at a rapid pace, one of the skills that made him a star in earlier gangster pictures, but the real honors here go to his co-stars. George MacReady, as the epicene Morgan Vallin, brings all the decadence and hauteur that had made him a memorable match for Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). Just to add an extra dash of daring to the character, he prefers to hunt down his enemies with a bow and arrow. And Nina Foch, as his wife, who might or might not be on Raft's side, is a revelation. Her combination of icy blonde exterior and throaty, impassioned line-readings make her seem as if she had been cast as an Alfred Hitchcock heroine.

By Frank Miller
Johnny Allegro

Johnny Allegro

George Raft was nearing the end of his tenure as a leading man when he went to Columbia for this stylish film noir. The story, about a gangster on the lam recruited to smoke out an even bigger fish, combined the genre's twisted tales of divided loyalties with a villain out of The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and a hint at the Red Scare (the powers behind the mobster are foreign agents, possibly Communists). Raft could still rattle off clipped dialogue at a rapid pace, one of the skills that made him a star in earlier gangster pictures, but the real honors here go to his co-stars. George MacReady, as the epicene Morgan Vallin, brings all the decadence and hauteur that had made him a memorable match for Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). Just to add an extra dash of daring to the character, he prefers to hunt down his enemies with a bow and arrow. And Nina Foch, as his wife, who might or might not be on Raft's side, is a revelation. Her combination of icy blonde exterior and throaty, impassioned line-readings make her seem as if she had been cast as an Alfred Hitchcock heroine. By Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working titles were The Big Jump and Hounded.