Darryl F. Zanuck knew the best way to have a hit was to star Tyrone Power, and star him he did, with each Power film grossing more than the previous one. The actor was 25 when he starred in this crime drama. When we first see him, he's in bathing trunks, Zanuck being no fool. At the time "Johnny Apollo" was made, Power was the #2 box office in the world.
There's not much to this movie - it's fairly typical of its genre, similar to what was produced in the '30s. There are, however, some very good performances, including those of Lloyd Nolan and Edward Arnold. Dorothy Lamour, wearing very exotic makeup, plays a street-wise singer involved with Nolan. Naturally she falls for the handsome, well-educated Power, who falls in with crooks and renames himself Johnny Apollo after his father goes to prison for embezzlement. Lamour has two good numbers, "This is the Beginning of the End," and "Dancin' for Nickels and Dimes." Johnny Apollo isn't one of Power's best roles by any stretch, but he's adorable, and his presence made it an enormous hit. This film spawned a lot of "Johnny" movies (Johnny Eager, Johnny Angel, Johnny Doughboy, etc.). It was re-released in 1949.
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