A cute start to this George Raft starrer.We see a shop window with the name “John Allegro,Florist” on it. Inside the shop,George Raft,as Allegro is finishing off a floral arrangement. His assistant Addie (Gloria Henry) admires the flowers and Johnny says,”I’ve done better but it’ll do!”
The first shot of Nina Foch (as Glenda) has her coming up to Johnny in the foyer (his shop is a concession in an hotel). She kisses him and whispers,”Please help me. Pretend you know me!” She’s being followed but wont tell him what’s going on.
There’s a nice touch by director Ted Tetzlaff to show a passage of time. Johnny has been in Glenda’s room when she is out. He finds some photos of her and takes one away with him.The next shot is the photo,framed and signed to him. Addie indicates she’s been taking orchids up to Glenda’s room for weeks.
Treasury agent Schultz (Will Geer) comes to see Johnny to enlist his help. It turns out Johnny had escaped from Sing Sing . (I like how Schultz describes Johnny’s early life – Johnny had a job in a florist and was delivering flowers to gangsters and ended up joining them!)
George Macready is Morgan Vallin, Glenda’s husband (though she hasn’t told Johnny she’s married).Johnny joins Glenda on Vallin’s island off Florida. Macready,very much in Gilda mode,has a large stash of counterfeit money which he distributes at race tracks. Vallin prefers a bow and arrow to guns – “..a weapon for a man of culture!” Johnny’s response is “In a tough spot,gimme a trigger instead of a piece of string.”
As in Gilda, Vallin throws Glenda and Johnny together and of course there’s a scene on the dance floor where Raft shows his smooth moves.
Vallin is also a big game hunter and there’s a touch of The Most Dangerous Game as he goes after Johnny on the island – “I like this.It’s a new experience, hunting man.”
This is an ok story but,as much as I like George Raft,he just seemed too old for all the action.Nina Foch, George Macready and Will Geer provided good support.
(Just struck me, there are a lot of classic period films with ‘Johnny’ in the title – JOHNNY BELINDA, JOHNNY O’CLOCK,JOHNNY CONCHO, JOHNNY EAGER, JOHNNY ANGEL ,JOHNNY GUITAR,JOHNNY STOOL PIDGEON,JOHNNY APOLLO. To name a few)