Johnny Angel is another in the seemingly never-ending series of maritime intrigues involving murder and lust. It is slow and plodding, with poor story development [from a story by Charles Gordon Booth, adaptation by Frank Gruber].
George Raft plays Johnny Angel, a sea captain who becomes involved in the mystery of what happened aboard the ship of his father, also a captain, after the vessel is found adrift, with no one aboard, in the Gulf of Mexico. Involved, too, are the wife of Raft’s boss, who is infatuated with Raft; a French girl stowaway who was apparently the only witness as to what actually happened aboard the ship; a whimsical taxi-driver; and the steamship line’s owner. They’re all seemingly fugitives from a road company of a Jack London sea yarn or perhaps something out of Hemingway.
Raft is his invariably glowering self as a guy who really handles his mitts – and the dames – while Claire Trevor and Signe Hasso are the romantic interests. Rest of the cast is weighted down too much by the story, though of the feature performers, Hoagy Carmichael, the composer, as in the Bogart-Bacall To Have and Have Not for Warners, plays the character of whimsy with tongue in cheek.