Sunday, May 13, 2012

Elizabeth Montgomery in Johnny Cool (1963)

Kill, kill, kill... The poster for Johnny Cool says it all. When a Sicilian rebel leader (Henry Silva) is ambushed by the police, he's presumed dead. He's really been smuggled to Rome where he's given a new identity by exiled American gangster, Johnny Colini. He becomes Johnny Cool, the epitome of the iron fist in the kid glove. Sent to America to exact revenge on the men who deposed his benefactor, Johnny Cool is merciless. Along the way, he meets, and becomes the obsession of divorced socialite Darien Guiness (Montgomery). She becomes entangled in his plot of revenge and murder and soon regrets it. Will Johnny Cool complete his homicidal plans and emerge alive or will he lose the game?
This Rat Pack production has the distinction of being produced by Peter Lawford and features many familiar faces from that illustrious group of stars, including Sammy Davis Jr. as a craps shooter called Educated, and Joey Bishop as a used car dealer. It was directed by William Asher, who cast his wife as Darien (oddly close to Darren, isn't it?) and she gives a performance which will be a revelation to fans who only know her as Samantha Stevens. Look for Jim Backus and cerebral comedian Mort Saul in a pivotal role.

Johnny Cool has been out on DVD less than a year. It's part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection, which is similar to the Warner Archive in that it's printed on demand. It has something of a cult following and clips can be found on YouTube. Above is the trailer, uploaded to YouTube by Soapbxprod.

Obscurity factor: 8 (on DVD, has cult appeal)

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe zero comments on Johnny Cool. This is Rat Pack 101, like Ocean's Eleven. Oh well. Off topic, is it just me or is the best thing about this season of Mad Men Don Draper and his new wife's apartment?