Johnny Dangerously (1984)
Film and Plot Synopsis
Johnny Dangerously is a devoted son with an ailing mother. She needs several operations, but the family doesn’t have any money. With nowhere to turn, Johnny goes to work for a gangster named Jocko Dundee in order to cover his mother’s medical bills. However, Johnny hides his nefarious association with Dundee from his younger brother Tommy, and pays for Tommy’s law school. Soon, Tommy joins the local district attorney’s office for a man named Burr who’s on the mob’s payroll. Once Dundee decides to retire, Johnny replaces him, but it look’s like an evil associate named Danny Vermin will allow that to happen.
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‘Johnny Dangerously’ Movie Summary
Teenager, Johnny Kelly, is in need of paying his carpet-munching mother’s rising medical bills. Johnny, tired of being on the nut, accepts a job offer from Jocko and begins a life of crime. He quickly demonstrates Batman-like skills with his resilience, charm, and wit. He quickly rises to the ranks as Jocko’s right-hand man and becomes the notorious gangster, Johnny Dangerously. Jocko is afraid of being fitted for a Chicago overcoat after bathroom explosion nearly ends his days. He decides to retire from life as the big cheese and leaves Johnny in charge of our days and our nights; of our wrongs and our rights.
Johnny also lands himself his own personal canary, a dame by the name of Lil. This Sheba is a broad with class, with emphasis on the ass. The kind of girl who is used to getting out of a Rolls-Royce, not a Taxi. She is the bee’s knees, and she brings Johnny to his.
Crime pays for Johnny. He’s able to take care of his mother, put his little brother, Tommy, through law school, and still has enough time in the day to snag oodles and oodles of poontang. The plot thickens when Johnny’s virgin brother, who has committed his life to stamping out crime, joins the DA’s office. Tommy quickly deports Johnny’s nemesis, Maroni, for the crime of butchering the English language.
With only one gang controlling New York, Tommy unwittingly takes on his own brother, putting Johnny behind the eight ball. Meanwhile, a pre-steroid Joe Piscipo, tries to take over Johnny’s gang from the inside. Piscopo plays Danny Vermin, a mug who gets his jollies by grabbing his gun and squirting metal. Vermin has had a beef with Johnny since when they were kids, and has dreams of being the big man.
After some pretty hilarious one-liners, site gags, and jokes full of sex and testicles, Johnny decides to go legit. Vermin, however, has apparently started his first cycle. In a fit of roid rage, the likes of which had only previously seen in the squared-circle, Joe Po turns murderous, framing Johnny in the process. Johnny is sent to big house, sentenced to the big one. With Johnny playing patsie for a crime he didn’t commit, Piscopo then turns his sites on the new DA, Tommy Kelly, and Johnny’s squeeze, Lil.
Johnny is able to break out of jail to save his brother and go legit as the owner of a local pet shop.
The moral of the story: innuendo and crude humor is hilarious, and crime doesn’t pay, but it gets you poonany, and isn’t that all that matters? Well, it pays a little.
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Twentieth Century Fox released Johnny Dangerously to theaters on December 21, 1984. Amy Heckerling directed the film starring Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, and Marilu Henner.