Johnny Handsome

A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey].

With:
Mickey Rourke Ellen Barkin Elizabeth McGovern Morgan Freeman Forest Whitaker Lance Henriksen

A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey].

At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and wound up a petty criminal.

Johnny is sent to the pen where he comes to the attention of kindly Dr Resher (Forest Whitaker), a plastic surgeon who, after a series of painful ops, has Johnny looking like Mickey Rourke. Johnny is allowed out of prison each day to work on the docks, where he meets pretty accountant Elizabeth McGovern and a relationship blossoms.

But Johnny isn’t content with his new circumstances: he wants revenge. He plots with his old gang members (who don’t recognize him) to rob the dockyard payroll, meaning to double-cross them. It all leads to a grim, violent downer of an ending.

Rourke works hard at his character but fails to make Johnny the least bit sympathetic. Ellen Barkin creates one of the ugliest femme characters seen in recent films, while Lance Henriksen is typecast as yet another seedy hood.

Johnny Handsome

Production: Carolco/Guber-Peters. Director Walter Hill; Producer Charles Roven; Screenplay Ken Friedman; Camera Matthew F. Leonetti; Editor Freeman Davies; Music Ry Cooder; Art Director Gene Rudolf

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: Mickey Rourke Ellen Barkin Elizabeth McGovern Morgan Freeman Forest Whitaker Lance Henriksen

More Film

  • David Cronenberg10th Beaune International Thriller Film

    Venice Film Festival to Honor David Cronenberg With Lifetime Achievement Prize

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

  • Female Filmmakers Center Stage at Sundance

    Female Filmmakers Center Stage at Sundance Film Festival London

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

  • Dubai Film Festival Cancels Next Edition,

    Dubai Film Festival Cancels Next Edition, Ends Existing Format

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

  • Love Gilda Tribeca Film Festival Review

    Tribeca Film Review: 'Love, Gilda'

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

  • Saoirse Ronan Margot Robbie

    Saoirse Ronan-Margot Robbie's 'Mary, Queen of Scots' Pushed Back to December

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

  • Damon Lindelof Jason Blum

    Universal Dates Damon Lindelof-Jason Blum's 'The Hunt' for September 2019

    A promising idea is gunned down by sickening violence and a downbeat ending in Johnny Handsome, a Mickey Rourke vehicle [based on The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey]. At the outset, John Sedley (Rourke) is anything but handsome. Born with a cleft palate and badly disfigured face, he’s struggled through life and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content