In this smart, sassy, dramatic gangster movie, Edward Arnold stars as a Wall Street big wig. He gets convicted of embezzling, and while he's in jail, his son Tyrone Power tries to get him released. Ty starts out innocent, but when he talks to a grizzled, drunken lawyer, Charley Grapewin, he learns that only hard cash and a backroom deal will get his dad out of prison. He turns to a life of crime and gets involved with a ruthless gangster Lloyd Nolan, who controls nightclub singer Dorothy Lamour. Do you think he'll get into trouble by falling for her?
If you guessed correctly, that doesn't mean you can skip this movie. Johnny Apollo is a great movie, well acted, well written, and entertaining. Edward is given some choice scenes to show off his acting chops and serves as a great contrast to his son, experience and sorrow to Ty's eagerness and energy. Nearly every scene is tight and clever, and even the dramatic scenes are given wit to carry them through. Charley spills some alcohol on the carpet and tells Ty, "Don't worry, if that carpet could walk, it would stagger." While the line itself is funny, it also shows us Charley's character concisely.
Rent this movie. It's not the most famous gangster picture ever made, but it deserves to be at the top of its genre. It has all the classic elements, and it's much better than many of the famous ones.
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