JOHNNY HANDSOME (1989)

A film by Walter Hill.
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Elizabeth McGovern.
Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and Mikey are double-crossed by Sunny and Rafe—Mikey is killed and Johnny sent to prison. While in prison, Johnny is invited to a rehabilitation program, where Dr. Steven Fischer rebuilds Johnny’s face and helps Johnny get paroled. Johnny starts working in a shipyard, where he meets Donna McCarty and starts a romance. Lt. A.Z. Drones is a skeptical detective who follows the rehabilitation of Johnny. Johnny’s new life is consumed by the desire of payback.

“Johnny Handsome” comes out of the film noir atmosphere of the 1940s, out of movies with dark streets and bitter laughter. This is a simple film by all mean. A great film noir by long shot. Walter Hill, who directed this film, and Rourke, who seems to seek out difficult projects, would not have been interested in a simple approach. This is dark material, and they head for the shadows. This film has real style. the cinematographer Matt Leonetti has done a great job to make you feel the loneliness of the characters as well of the city, the music between blues and Jazz sob as I call it. The performances of the actors stand out and it look like Rourke likes doing those difficult project at the time. Nice going Hill I love this one.

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