Review: ‘Johnny Cool’

Henry Silva, as a Sicilian-born assassin, is at home as the 'delivery boy of death' for deported underworld kingpin Marc Lawrence. While his escapades would probably fall apart if analyzed, he puts such driving force into them that the viewer becomes too involved to dispute his actions.

Henry Silva, as a Sicilian-born assassin, is at home as the ‘delivery boy of death’ for deported underworld kingpin Marc Lawrence. While his escapades would probably fall apart if analyzed, he puts such driving force into them that the viewer becomes too involved to dispute his actions.

Elizabeth Montgomery, however, plays the emotionally and morally mixed-up heroine like a high-school drama teacher demonstrating to her class how to play a nymphomaniac – 10% sex, 90% self-consciousness.

Joseph Landon’s script [from John McPartland’s novel The Kingdom of Johnny Cool] has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese but he stuffs most of them with action and director William Asher cuts the action in thick slices. Plot centers on Silva doing a job for Lawrence which takes him from Sicily to Rome, then to NY, LA and Las Vegas before he’s finished. When a doll comes into his life and gets worked over by some hoods, he adds revenge to his baser reasons for wiping out his assorted victims.

Johnny Cool

Production

Chrislaw. Director William Asher; Producer William Asher, Peter Lawford; Screenplay Joseph Landon; Camera Sam Leavitt; Editor Otto Ludwig; Music Billy May

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Henry Silva Elizabeth Montgomery Marc Lawrence Telly Savalas Jim Backus Sammy Davis Jr
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