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Johnny Handsome (1989)

Mickey Rourke , Ellen Barkin , Walter Hill  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Johnny Handsome + Angel Heart (Special Edition) + Year of the Dragon
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker, John P. Fertitta
  • Directors: Walter Hill
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NY4WXS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,577 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Mickey Rourke is John Sedley, a petty gangster whose facial deformities earned him the nickname "Johnny Handsome." When Johnny and a friend are double-crossed during a robbery by two partners, his friend is killed and Johnny is sent to prison. There, a sympathetic surgeon makes a deal to give Johnny a new face - and a new shot at life. Once on the outside, Johnny discovers that staying straight isn't easy. But his new look does open one door for Johnny - revenge. An electrifying tale from the director of 48 HRS., this thrilling crime drama features superb performances from Rourke and costars Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern, Morgan Freeman, Lance Henriksen and Forest Whitaker.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, bad DVD September 21, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This moody drama piece is for the most part very good. Mickey Rourke is excellent in the title role; a disfigured criminal who gets a shot at redemption but ultimately chooses revenge.

Well directed by Walter Hill with a good music score by Ry Cooder. All the cast do a good job, the story is tight and fast paced and some good action sequences to boot.

Pity about the DVD, it's fullscreen and this deserves to be in glorious widescreen.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No honor among some thieves May 17, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I have this movie on VHS so I can't comment on the quality of the DVD as others have. As far as the movie goes, it is somewhat gut wrenching. Mickey Rourke plays the part of John Sedley (Johnny Handsome), a horribly disfigured man due to a birth defect. He isn't stupid, although a life of crime is about all he's known, but he isn't difficult to identify. He has a good friend named Mikey (Scott Wilson) who is hurting for money and persuades Johnny to do a jewelry store holdup. Johnny plans it well but two of their accomplises (Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin) want it all for themselves. They kill the driver and Mikey and almost get Johnny too. Johnny ends up behind bars while Raff (Henriksen) and Sunny (Barkin) buy Mikey's old establishment and are living fairly well with the proceeds from the robbery. They try to get Johnny murdered while in prison but the attempt fails. Johnny wakes up in a hospital and sees Forrest Whitaker, a plastic surgeon who wants to give Johnny a new face and a new life and does. He gets Johnny a decent job and Johnny meets and falls in love with a woman (Elizabeth McGovern) he meets there. Johnny's parole officer (Morgan Freeman) is constantly keeping tabs on him because he knows what Johnny is going to try to do: exact revenge on the two people responsible for Mikey's death. They won't recognize him now, his looks and speech don't give him away. Donna (McGovern) is in love with Johnny, he tells her about his past. She tries to persuade him to leave the past behind but Johnny can't. He could never live with knowing that the two people who killed his best friend got away with it.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, lousy DVD. November 7, 2002
I was at first excited to discover that Walter Hill's 1989 cult favourite was finally being released on DVD.
Unfortunately this DVD is issued by Artisan who did a an equally terrible job with Hill's Extreme Prejudice DVD.
What's so bad about it? It's Full Frame (!). The picture looks like it was transfered directly from a a muddy VCR print.
Save your money and hope that one day someone will release this DVD PROPERLY.
Artisan should be ashamed of themselves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "B" Movie with "A" Actors January 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
How can you beat this cast? Mickey Rourke, Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Forrest Whitaker, Elizabeth Montgomery, Lance Henriksen; and since it's a B movie, they all get these great, cheesy lines, and since it's set in Louisiana, they get to use that hilarious Creole-chef, swamp-talkin' accent. I'm a sucker for movies where you get to root for the likeable bad guy, even though you know he'll die in a hail of bullets. Johnny Handsome isn't camp, but it's close. A must-have for Mickey Rourke fans.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great motion picture, but a very poor dvd release. January 30, 2003
By A Customer
I really liked this movie, so i bought it the moment it came out on DVD. But i have to say what a poor job did they do at Artisan. Full Screen transfer and blurry picture. I should say that they used a VHS tape as master for the dvd, what a mistake to make. So i give two stars because of the movie not because of the dvd release.
If you want to buy this picture on DVD, buy the region 2 version of Momentum. This edition is Widescreen Anamorphic and has really good picture quality.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Pulp Fiction January 9, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember seeing this film during it's initial run at a decrepit old movie palace in the Bronx with probably a handful of people in the audience. It's a shame because this unheralded gem deserved better. Before Quentin Tarantino there was Walter Hill as a purveyor of adrenaline charged pulp entertainment. Everything here clicks on all cylinders. Hill masterfully directs this intricately plotted story of a disfigured man given a second chance in life torn between going straight and settling down with a nice girl or returning to crime and getting revenge on his accomplices who set him up. New Orleans is a perfect locale with it's ominous steamy seediness. Mickey Rourke gives probably the performance of his career in capturing the poignance and ultimately the tragedy that is John Sedley. Not to be overlooked is Morgan Freeman as the cop who is tailing Johnny. Our first impulse is to loathe this character but, alas, it is he who truly knows Johnny. Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin are positively reptilian in their evil. Also effective are Forest Whitaker and Elizabeth McGovern as Johnny's surgeon and girlfriend who are hopeful that he can reform.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Once Great Artist At His Prime October 19, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The films that Mickey Rourke made in the 1980s make me cry because he was such a great artist! He cared so much about the characters he portrayed that you forgot it was a movie and were convinced they were real. Johnny Handsome was the last of his great roles. After this film, Rourke just went through the motions of earning a paycheck. But, good Lord, what an amazing film Johnny Handsome was! I saw Johnyy Handsome last weekend back-to-back with Angel Heart, Barfly, 9 1/2 Weeks, and Year of the Dragon and actually shed tears. Why did I weep? Anyone who knows great acting knows that Rourke, since then, has put his talent on strike and done drek like Point Blank and Double Impact. Most actors nowadays are awful. Only Sean Penn, Daniel Day Lewis, Nicholas Cage, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Jessica Lange give performances that touch my soul. Rourke was one of the best. What happened? Was it the Marlon Brando Syndrome? At least in Johnny Handsome, we know what brilliance we had once, way back when. In a world where posing nude or engaging in a scandal give one enough credentials to earn a SAG card, it is refreshing to know that, at least with one actor 10 years ago, genuine exposure came from the soul.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars 5-star movie, but Amazon needs to do better...
Some customer reviews for movies go back as far as the 1990s. They complain about unrelated things (the product didn't arrive, the VHS tape was defective -- they don't even release... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tom O'Bedlam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This is a great movie, glad it came out in Blu- Ray. I am glad I had the opportunity to buy this movie.
Published 6 months ago by krisy fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Good ol Mickey
Love Mickey, and got this to add to my collection of Mickey movies. This is one of his first and glad to have it. Thank you Amazon.
Published 7 months ago by cyndylu
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big (Un)Easy
Johnny Handsome is a horribly disfigured hanger-on in a gang of lowlifes about to pull off a heist. Without giving away too much of the plot here, things go wrong and Johnny ends... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joseph Hirsch
4.0 out of 5 stars I saw this back in the day and I love it
I saw this back in the day and I love it - I thought it was on the "Can't git' this" list along with the original "Salem's Lot" and the TV mini series... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anthony Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Thumbs Up
A thriller to been seen over and over with the most "grab you by the seat epic SURPRISE ending" SUPERB!
Published 8 months ago by Chris Ramon
(quote DAL LAZLO).
Published 9 months ago by dadaloco
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must have' movie
This film noir manages to fall short of greatness and yet it should not be overlooked given the performances of most of the major players. Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Don Le Couteur
5.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Rourke a fav Baddass of mine through the years.
Was glad to grab me a copy of this movie. Love Mickey Rourke. He is always awesome.
Thanks for reading my review.
Published 14 months ago by Noel Duran
5.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Rourke Movies
This is Mickey Rourke at his best. Before the big melt down. He was one of my favorite actors back in the day. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cance911
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