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Johnny Cool


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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Silva, Elizabeth Montgomery, Richard Anderson
  • Directors: William Asher
  • Writers: Joseph Landon, John McPartland
  • Producers: William Asher, Milton Ebbins, Peter Lawford
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052SO0FG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Criminals who betrayed a crime boss are in for a bloody revenge. A Sicilian mobster (Henry Silva) is in town to rub them out. Among those waiting for the bullets are Telly Savalas, Mort Sahl, Jim Backus and Brad Dexter.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Glad to finally be able to get this wonderful old movie on DVD.
Pat Dale
It is an absolutely fine film, with Henry Silva (one of the best gangster actors of all time) and Elizabeth Montgomery.
Dwight Logan
There were a lot of great actors and it was a great gangster movie.
Joseph Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Fred Rexer on September 16, 2011
Format: DVD
In the early 1960's the Hollywood Rat Pack, made up of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford and other so-called swingers of the era, were so popular that they could get any movie green-lighted. Consequently they produced a few great films and several notable turkeys. In my opinion, "Johnny Cool" is one of their best. It's got a fast-moving plot, lots of action and - like all Rat Pack films - beautiful dames. In this case the beauty is stunning young Elizabeth Montgomery a few years before her signature role in TV's "Bewitched." The story line is simple but plausible: an infamous Sicilian gangster is spirited away to the United States in order to kill off the leaders of an opposing mob faction. Surprisingly the story is very loosely based on fact; the real Salvatore Giordano, Henry Silva's character, was a tough Sicilian ganglord who became an American ally and renowned anti-Nazi guerrilla fighter during World War II. After V-E Day Giordano reverted to his criminal ways and was eventually gunned down by the local police. In the film Giordano's death is faked and he's transported to America as a hired gun. The film is in black & white which lends it a kind of gritty timeliness. Henry Silva, who made his bones playing heavies in movies like "The Tall T" and a "Hatful of Rain" before he struck gold in 1960's "Ocean's 11" is at the top of his game here. For those who like vintage action flicks I give this film my highest recommendation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. GRIMM on October 9, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film on British television around 1968 when, of course, it still seemed quite fresh with its shockingly violent anti-hero. Violent anti-heroes were very much in fashion then (eg Clint Eastwood in the 'Dollars' films). It was also quite surprising then to see Elizabeth Montgomery (famous at the time for her cute comedy role as Samantha in Bewitched) playing in such a hard-edged movie. For many years Johnny Cool seemed to be unavailable. There were internet rumours that disputes over ownership of the movie rights prevented its distribution. Not having seen it in over 40 years I remembered it as being as sharp a gangster movie as Point Blank with which it shares some similarities. Point Blank has aged well but Johnny Cool looks a little dated now. The advert for the film (included on the DVD) is a curio in itself. It looks quaint, almost amateurish, with Silva looking less than deadly in his rather ill-advised trilby hat. Strange to see William Asher proselytizing the story as though Johnny Cool were a new kind of hero in a new kind of movie. Sammy Davis Junior's title song sounds very corny these days and his acting is barely adequate.

The abrupt and unexpected ending to the story intrigued me. I wanted to know what the author, John McPartland, originally had in mind so I bought the novel 'The Kingdom of Johnny Cool'. The movie actually follows the book quite closely but what is missing (inevitably) is a deeper insight into the background and motivation of the characters. McPartland is excellent at filling out these details with a few brief lines. The film makers have changed some characters without apparent reason. For example, Oby Hinds, in the book an exceptionally brutal gangland thug, is depicted in the movie as just a fat greedy Las Vegas casino owner.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
J.F.K.'s brother-in-law Peter Lawford executive produced this stark b/w crime
thriller, and roped in Rat Pack pals Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop for bit
roles, and also Brad Dexter, noted for once saving Old Blue Eyes Sinatra from
actually drowning in the ocean. Fans of sixties' T.V. will also enjoy har-har-
ing Jim Backus, bald-but-sexy Telly Savalas, and delectable Elizabeth Montgomery
as the gorgeous gal that Johnny Cool makes into his moll.

A Mafia chieftain (the great cobra-faced Marc Lawrence) captures a notorious Sicilian
bandit (the tall, cruel-eyed Henry Silva), and grooms him for two years into a
cultured, well-dressed professional assassin. Now called "Johnny Cool," Silva is
sent to the U.S.A. on a coast-to-coast rampage of revenge on the "Don's" enemies.
In between murders, Johnny sweeps Liz Montgomery off her delightful feet. When
he is away, Liz weeps to her gal pal, "If I saw him now, I know I would crawl just
to be with him!" The lucky dog! Posing as cops, two rival hoodlums burst into
her hotel room, and abuse her most sorely. When Johnny returns and sees Liz
hurting, he pockets a Ginsu steak knife and goes to show those rats "It cuts,
it slices, or your money back!"

"Johnny Cool" was originally reviewed as a brutal, sadistic, vicious, non-stop
bloodbath. As a matter of fact, much of the violence is not shown directly,
and no blood is on display. What does come across is a completely ruthless
attitude on the part of Johnny, his employer, and also their enemies. I must
say the conclusion, rife with betrayal and fiendishly lingering punishment, should
chill you to your marrow. Dig the furioso jazz music by Billy May, and the
immortal "Ballad of Johnny Cool" (Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen), sung over the
finale by Sammy Davis, Jr. "Johnny Cool" was "Headline Hot" in 1963, and it's
still pretty cool today.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Heinz Gf Matuschka on August 28, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Saw this decades ago and thought it was pretty good. Even though I am not crazy about B&W movies, this one is so good (my opinion), that I wanted it in my DVD movie library. Just be warned, it's rather violent. Johnny Cool (MGM Limited Edition Collection)
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