JOHNNY APOLLO was an early attempt by Fox at film noir, but it pales by comparison with other entries during the busy '40s era of crime melodramas. Part of the fault has to be the story itself, which is highly improbable and full of holes, and the casting of handsome and intelligent TYRONE POWER as the kind of guy who would go into a life of crime because his father landed in jail.
EDWARD ARNOLD is his crooked father, LLOYD NOLAN is a crime boss and DOROTHY LAMOUR is the nightclub singer who switches her affection from Nolan to Power as fast as a showgirl changes her costumes. She gets to warble a couple of torch songs rather nicely and looks attractive for all her close-ups, but she's not exactly right for heavy dramatic roles and Paramount would be using her more effectively in those "Road" pictures with Hope and Crosby.
The story is pure hokum and nothing can disguise the fact that Power's motivations are too thinly sketched to be believable. In this genre, MGM's Robert Taylor had better luck with his JOHNNY EAGER opposite femme fatale Lana Turner. Tyrone deserved a better story and screenplay than he gets here.
7 out of 18 found this helpful