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Johnny Handsome (1989)

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1:24 | Clip
After being double crossed and thrown in jail, a deformed gangster gets a new face and rehabilitation, but his desire for revenge looms.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

John Godey (novel), Ken Friedman (screenplay)
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley / Johnny Mitchell
Ellen Barkin ... Sunny Boyd
Elizabeth McGovern ... Donna McCarty
Morgan Freeman ... Lt. A.Z. Drones
Forest Whitaker ... Dr. Steven Fisher
Lance Henriksen ... Rafe Garrett
Scott Wilson ... Mikey Chalmette
David Schramm ... Vic Dumask
Yvonne Bryceland Yvonne Bryceland ... Sister Luke
Peter Jason ... Mr. Bonet
J.W. Smith J.W. Smith ... Larry
Jeffrey Meek ... Earl (as Jeff Meek)
Allan Graf ... Bob Lemoyne
Ed Zang Ed Zang ... Prestige Manager
John P. Fertitta ... Prestige Salesman (as John Fertitta)
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Storyline

Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and Mikey are double-crossed by Sunny and Rafe---Mikey is killed and Johnny sent to prison. While in prison, Johnny is invited to a rehabilitation program, where Dr. Steven Fischer rebuilds Johnny's face and helps Johnny get paroled. Johnny starts working in a shipyard, where he meets Donna McCarty and starts a romance. Lt. A.Z. Drones is a skeptical detective who follows the rehabilitation of Johnny. Johnny's new life is consumed by the desire of payback. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge has a new face See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1990 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Handsome - Der schöne Johnny See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,237,794
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mickey Rourke's character is known by a few different names: John Sedley, Johnny Mitchell, and Johnny Handsome. The name of the movie's source novelist was John Godey - he also being named "John". See more »

Goofs

During the graveyard scene, Larry "pumps" the action on a double barreled shotgun. See more »

Quotes

Vic Dumask: I don't know you, Mr. Mitchell. What can I do for you?
John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley: A laundry service. Could be five million dollars worth.
Vic Dumask: That sounds illegal.
John 'Johnny Handsome' Sedley: [sotto voce] It is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il solitario (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much better than its reputation
27 August 2006 | by mattbaxter72See all my reviews

The ratings at IMDb are generally pretty accurate; if a film is rated 8, it's good, if it's rated 6 it's not so good, and if it's rated 4, you shouldn't waste your time. This is the first time I can remember being really baffled by a rating - this film really deserves to be rated much higher.

The plot is simple enough. Johnny Handsome has been given an ironic name because of his hideous disfigurement which makes him repulsive to everyone he meets. In the circumstances, he doesn't have much choice but to turn to crime, and when he's betrayed by his accomplices, he ends up in jail. There he meets a brilliant surgeon, who fixes his face and makes him look like - well, like Mickey Rourke. Released on parole he finds a job and a girlfriend, but he can't escape his grim past and his need for vengeance.

Now I'm not saying the film is perfect by any means. There are plot holes a-go-go, and the whole thing falls apart a bit in the last twenty minutes or so - the ending is especially disappointing. But come on, it's better than 5.6, with good performances from Rourke, Forest Whitaker and a turn of twinkly eyed cynicism from Morgan Freeman, who effortlessly steals every scene he appears in. And let's not forget a deliciously over the top effort from Ellen Barkin as the baddest girl ever to walk the earth.

It isn't Shakespeare, but it's directed in typically robust style by Walter Hill, and to my surprise I found myself caring about Johnny and hoping it all worked out for him. I won't say whether it does or not, because it's worth seeing this one to find out for yourself. Just get a big bucket of popcorn and don't think too much, and you'll have a great time.


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