Johnny One-Eye


1h 18m 1950

Brief Synopsis

Big-time racketeer Martin Martin (Pat O'Brien), on the eve of his projected move into New York politics, barely escapes the District Attorney's men who attempt to arrest him for a murder committed five-years earlier by Martin and his former partner Dane Cory (Wayne Morris.) Martin, who knows that Cory has copped a plea with the D.A. to save himself, arranges a meeting. At the meeting, Cory's henchman, Cute Freddie (Harry Bronson), shoots Martin and the latter kills Freddie. Cory hides in the Greenwich Village apartment of his girl friend, burlesque queen Lily White (Dolores Moran.) With them is Lily's six-year-old daughter, Elsie (Gayle Reed), and her dog Skipper. Martin trails Cory, but weakened by his bullet wound, is forced to seek refuge in an abandoned building next to Lily's. Bad-to-the-bone Cory kicks Skipper and the dog finds shelter with Martin, where Elsie finds them sleeping. Martin is charmed by Elsie and the dog, whom he names Johnny One-Eye, and takes the animal to a vet (Donald Woods) who can't help the dog but does take the bullet slug out of Martin. Barely eluding capture, Martin returns to the building where Elsie tells him she is Lily's daughter, and that Cory is hiding in their house. Later Cory follows Elsie to where Martin is hiding. She is caught in the line of fire and, to save her, Martin exposes himself for a fatal wound from Cory but not before he kills Cory. His last words to a policeman are: "Buy Elsie another dog, and make sure he has two good eyes."

Film Details

Also Known As
Damon Runyon's Johnny One-Eye
Release Date
May 5, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Cahuenga Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Johnny One-Eye" by Damon Runyon in Runyon a la Carte (Philadelphia, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,044ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In New York City, a gangster known as "The Dutchman" steals $50,000 from his partners, Dane Cory and Martin Martin. After The Dutchman boards a ferryboat in an attempt to escape, Cory and Martin shoot him and dump his body overboard. Some years later, at his Park Avenue penthouse, Martin receives a visit from his lawyer, whom he affectionately calls "Lawbooks." When Lawbooks tells Martin that some men from the district attorney's office are on their way to arrest him, he quickly escapes. Later, Lawbooks tells Martin that after the police finally recovered The Dutchman's body, they persuaded Cory, who is now a local show promoter, to implicate Martin in his murder. Martin goes to Cory's theater, and without giving his name, asks to speak with Cory. When Cory appears at the door, Martin shoots at him, hitting his henchman, Freddy, instead. Freddy returns fire, and after he is hit in the shoulder, Martin staggers out onto Broadway. As he passes a newsstand, Martin reads about the reward that has been offered for his capture. Later, Martin finds the address of Cory's girl friend, singer Lily White, who is also known as "Beautiful Mama," and decides to hide inside the condemned building across the street from her apartment. Inside her apartment, Beautiful Mama watches as Cory beats her daughter Elsie's dog, Skipper, bloodying his eye. Desperate to escape his tormentor, Skipper runs into the condemned building. When Martin sees Skipper, he decides to call him "Johnny One-Eye" because of his wound. Soon, Elsie enters the building looking for Skipper and finds Martin crouched in the corner. He tells Elsie that he is Santa Claus and makes her promise not to tell anyone that she has seen him. Meanwhile, Cory offers Martin's assistant, Ambrose, $10,000 in exchange for information about his boss's whereabouts. When Martin decides to leave the building later, he is followed by Skipper. Putting aside his own suffering, Martin takes Skipper to a pet shop. There, the attendant dresses Skipper's eye and then notices that Martin has been shot. Promising not to alert the authorities, the attendant removes the bullet, for which Martin is grateful. Soon, however, Martin develops gangrene and begins hallucinating. When he thinks that he is seeing Freddy's ghost, Martin returns to the condemned building, where Elsie tells him that Cory has been invited to dinner. Martin writes a note for Elsie to give to the police and then instructs her to return home. As soon as she walks into the apartment, Cory discovers the note, grabs his gun and rushes into the street looking for Martin. Realizing that she has placed him in danger, Elsie rushes to warn Martin, but her foot becomes stuck in the decaying floor of the building. Cory sees her enter the building, and when he finds Martin, the two shoot each other. The police arrive, and before Martin dies, they assure him that Elsie will receive the reward for finding him.

Film Details

Also Known As
Damon Runyon's Johnny One-Eye
Release Date
May 5, 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Cahuenga Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
New York City, New York, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Johnny One-Eye" by Damon Runyon in Runyon a la Carte (Philadelphia, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,044ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's title card reads: "Benedict Bogeaus presents Damon Runyon's Johnny One-Eye." While most sources list the film's release date as May 5, 1950, Variety and Daily Variety indicate that the film was previewed on June 13, 1950. According to a April 14, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, Bogeaus was planning to shoot the film in Rome, although the Hollywood Reporter review notes that it was shot in New York City. Modern sources complete the above cast list with the following character names: Barton Hepburn (A Cory henchman), Forrest Taylor (Man quoting Lord Byron on street), Lester Allen (Designer-choreographer), James Little (Captain of police) and Lyle Talbot (Official from D.A.'s office).