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Johnny Eager

Posted by martinteller on November 23, 2011

Johnny Eager is a model parolee by day and a ruthless gangster by night, doing whatever it takes to get his dog racing track up and running… including seducing his prosecutor’s daughter.  At first this felt like a competent but mediocre picture, but eventually comes into its own, making for an above average experience on the whole.  Robert Taylor is good in the title role, charming and snappy.  Lana Turner has a smaller role than you would imagine and for the first half kinda seems like a nonentity, but has a couple of great scenes towards the end.  Overshadowing them both is Van Heflin as Eager’s literate lush of a right-hand man, a marvelous performance.  Although it takes a while for the film to develop interesting angles, Johnny’s various deceptions are entertaining, and later on his character shows faint glimmers of humanity.  Technically the film is solid but lacking in impressive shots.  Worth sticking through the lackluster beginning to get to the good stuff.  Rating: Good


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