I have to admit, I’ve been on a bit of a Tyrone Power bender of late. He’s handsome. Who can deny that? Some of his movies were pure schmaltz, but that’s okay. I wanted something light-ish.
Johnny Apollo isn’t a light movie. Not by a long shot. It’s not super heavy, but it’s not dashing-leading-man-sexy-and-fun fare that I’m used to by Power. Sure, he took a serious turn in Nightmare Alley, Blood and Sand and Witness for the Prosecution, but I guess I wasn’t expecting this story to be quite so dark. Still, I enjoyed the viewing.
Johnny Apollo is definitely a movie of it’s time. The mob was in full force and so was the depression. The notion that crime doesn’t pay is woven throughout the film. Yes the crime happened and Johnny wanted it for the right reasons, not the wrong ones… still it doesn’t pay.
I liked how Power played the character of Bob Cain, aka Johnny Apollo, like George Clooney might play him–dashing and sexy, but stern. He knows he’s doing bad things, but he makes it look…good. There’s a certain naivete in his performance that shows through the film. His heart is in the right place and he’s trying to earn the love and respect of his father. It’s typical of a young adult or one just out of college to think they know it all and while I agreed with some of Power’s character’s assessments, I could see the father’s side, too.
Power is shot well…almost better than costar Dorthy Lamour. You know he’s the star turn in this film. He’s handsome even in jail after being in solitary confinement for a while. That’s a challenge.
The movie isn’t long and it’s not bubbly fun, but it’s interesting to watch. I recommend Johnny Apollo if you want a crime drama or just another one of Power’s films for a Tyrone Power film fest. You can’t go wrong with Johnny Apollo…even if he’s very wrong.