|Directed by||Henry Hathaway|
|Produced by||Harry Joe Brown|
|Written by||Samuel G. Engel (story)|
Hal Long (story)
Curtis Kenyon (uncredited contributing writer)
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Johnny Apollo is a 1940 crime film directed by Henry Hathaway. It stars Tyrone Power as a man who resorts to crime to buy a pardon for his embezzler father (Edward Arnold). Lloyd Nolan plays the gangster he works for, while Dorothy Lamour portrays the boss's girlfriend. Anthony Caruso makes his film debut as a henchman.
After his stockbroker father "Pop" Cain is sent to prison for embezzlement of funds, Bob Cain, Jr., after having a falling out with his father, quits college to look for a job, but is unable to find one due to his father's notoriety. When he uses an alias, he finds works, but is then fired because of doing so.
Later, gangster Mickey Dwyer, sentenced on the same day as Pop, is granted parole. Bob, disgusted with his father's lawyer, goes to see Dwyer's attorney, an old former judge named Emmett T. Brennan, but he is not there, yet. Bob, calling himself Johnny, meets the gangster's girlfriend, Lucky Dubarry, outside Brennan's office and they talk. She is immediately attracted to him. Brennan arrives. Lucky pretends she knows Bob, and he, not wanting to disclose his identify at all, when asked by Brennan tells them both his full name is Johnny Apollo, taking the surname from the neon sign marquee on the dance-club he sees across the street through an open window. Lucky leaves, and Bob inquires of Brennan how to get Pop paroled. With money, he is told.
Dwyer arrives and asks about Johnny. Brennan 'vouches' for him. Dwyer, not wanting to be anywhere near police, asks Bob to go bail out one of his crew, offering a hundred dollars to Bob. Bob accepts the task.
Soon, Dwyer offers Apollo employment, working for him. Apollo decides to work for Dwyer to raise the dough he needs. They commit various criminal acts (not shown). After accumulating much money, Bob visits his father in prison. They reconcile, and Bob talks of a forthcoming parole, so Pop is happy. But after he leaves, his father discovers from a guard that his son, 'Johnny Apollo', is now a criminal, and a disgusted Pop Cain wants nothing to do with him.
Brennan attempts to make a deal for Dwyer, offering the district attorney evidence on all of his crew, if all pending charges against Dwyer are dropped. The D.A. does not accept, but counteroffers: he will drop all pending charges against Apollo, in exchange for evidence on Dwyer. Brennan accepts, knowing Apollo is essentially a good man, and that Lucky is in love with him. He hands over damning evidence on Dwyer.
In retaliation, Dwyer murders Brennan. Bob alibis Dwyer, and both he and Dwyer are sent to prison, using Brennan's evidence, the D.A. ignoring the deal he had with Brennan, due to Bob's recalcitrant attitude. A jailbreak is set in motion, but Lucky is able to sneak word of it to Pop, who prevents his son from getting involved. An angry Dwyer shoots Pop and knocks out Bob, but is then killed by guards.
Bob is blamed and faces a longer sentence, perhaps even execution. Pop recovers, however, and alibis his son. Bob's future looks brighter, particularly with Lucky on the outside, waiting for him.
Lamour sings (no voice-overs) several songs in the film, including the 1938 hit song "They Say" by Edward Heyman, Paul Mann and Stephen Weiss. Miss Lamour also dances in nightclub scenes.
"I'm leaving town". "Where to?". "As far as 20 bucks and a mink coat will take me".