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Johnny Dangerously

Movie poster
Directed by Amy Heckerling
Produced by Michael Hertzberg
Written by Harry Colomby
Jeff Harris
Bernie Kukoff
Norman Steinberg
Starring Michael Keaton
Joe Piscopo
Marilu Henner
Maureen Stapleton
Peter Boyle
Griffin Dunne
Dom DeLuise
Danny DeVito
Dick Butkus
Byron Thames
Alan Hale, Jr.
Glynnis O'Connor
Music by John Morris
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Editing by Pembroke J. Herring
Distributed by 20th Century Fox (US)
Release date(s) United States 21 December 1984
Country  United States
Language English

The film Johnny Dangerously is a 1984 comedy spoof of 1930s' crime/gangster movies directed by Amy Heckerling. The movie stars Michael Keaton as an honest, goodhearted man who is forced to turn to a life of crime to finance his neurotic mother's skyrocketing medical bills and to put his younger brother through law school. The movie also stars Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne, Dom DeLuise, Danny DeVito, Dick Butkus and Alan Hale, Jr..

Contents

Music

The theme song "This Is the Life" was written for the movie by "Weird Al" Yankovic, though for legal reasons, "This Is the Life" was not featured on home video releases of the film, until the DVD was released in 2002. The VHS home video version of the film featured a version of the Cole Porter song "Let's Misbehave". [1]

Plot summary

A pet shop owner catches a young boy shoplifting a puppy. To discourage the kid from a life of crime, the owner tells a story . . .

It is 1910. Young Johnny Kelly is a poor but honest newsboy in New York City. Johnny beats up Danny Vermin in self defense and discovers his mom needs an operation they cannot afford. Since the execution of Johnny's father, Killer Kelly, his widow, Ma Kelly, has supported Johnny and his younger brother, Tommy, who is fascinated by the law.

Johnny's fight with Vermin attracted the notice of local crime boss Jocko Dundee, and Johnny, seeing no honest way to earn the money for his mom's operation, sees no choice than to do a job for Dundee, even though it probably means breaking the law, and in doing so, "breaking his mother's heart". He helps Dundee rob the nightclub belonging to Dundee's rival, Roman Moronie. When asked his name, Johnny coins the name, "Johnny Dangerously." But, Moronie never "forgets a fargin face."

Years pass. With his mom's continuing medical problems, Johnny goes to work for the Dundee gang full time. He becomes a suave young man, with plenty of folding cash. The whole neighborhood (including the Pope) knows that Kelly is really Johnny Dangerously, but Johnny's secret identity is carefully concealed from his brother and mother. They think he is a law-abiding nightclub owner. Similarly, the gang knows nothing of Johnny's mother and brother. Tommy is now in law school, with a girlfriend, and somewhat of a prig--he wants to drop out of law school so he can get a job, marry his girlfriend, and "get laid." With the assistance of a public health film ("Your Testicles and YOU"), Johnny gets him to go back to law school.

Johnny comes to Dundee's headquarters—he is still involved in a running feud with Moronie—to find he has taken on two new gang members: Danny Vermin, and his sidekick Dutch. Danny has lived up to his potential and become a total scumbag, with a taste for using opera audiences as shooting galleries with his .88 Magnum pistol ('it shoots through schools...'). Moronie, subtle as always, sends a robot with a machine gun to try to knock off the gang. He is not successful, and Johnny retaliates by knocking down Moronie's club (which was in need of expansion anyway) with a bomb dropped from a biplane.

The two gangs war. In the meantime, Johnny falls for a young showgirl new to the big city, Lil Sheridan. They go for a long walk together, ending in sexual fireworks.

The war continues. Moronie sends a plumber to plant explosives in Dundee's toilet. Dundee has a narrow escape, and he retires in Johnny's favor. Johnny negotiates a truce with Moronie.

Meanwhile, Tommy graduates from law school (Johnny's illicit earnings, of course, have paid for the tuition). Despite Johnny's efforts to steer him into a law firm, he goes to work for the District Attorney's office. A bit miffed that his money should be used to train a crimefighter, Johnny is nevertheless not worried—District Attorney Burr is on his payroll. The D.A. tries to sidetrack Tommy, but he becomes a major public figure. After he holds hearings looking into Moronie's activities, the rival crime boss is deported to Sweden despite his protests that he's "not from there."

Against Johnny's orders, Burr and Vermin conspire to kill Tommy. Tommy is badly injured, but survives. Divining the truth, Johnny has Burr killed—but this leaves Tommy as the new D.A.

Tommy recovers, and weds his girlfriend. Vermin discovers that Dangerously is the D.A.'s brother—and Tommy promptly overhears Vermin chortling about it. Tommy confronts Johnny, who agrees to quit the life of crime. The gang, though, isn't as eager and suggests Johnny may be turning state's evidence against them. Johnny denies this, and goes to turn the evidence against himself to the Crime Commissioner—who Vermin has just killed—under circumstances that suggest Johnny is the killer. Not only that, Vermin steals Johnny's prized bubble gum case (formerly Dundee's cigarette case).

Johnny is arrested for murder, but says he is innocent and the holder of the case is the guilty party. Tommy tries the case against him. Johnny is found guilty, sentenced to the electric chair and sent to death row. But when Vermin congratulates Tommy, and Tommy notices that he has Johnny's case, he realizes Johnny is innocent. Ma Kelly sucker punches Vermin in the crotch, and the cigarette case drops out of the stricken mobster's pocket. Ma Kelly and Tommy realize that "Johnny didn't do it."

Meanwhile, his mom is using her contacts to investigate the murder. She finds the cleaning lady who is a witness to Vermin's presence. Tommy hits Vermin with a grand jury subpoena, and he knows that he must kill Tommy.

Johnny arrives on Death Row, where he receives rock star treatment from the starstruck warden. He receives word of Tommy's danger, and plots an escape, prevailing on the warden to move up his execution ("We'll bump Steinberg.") As he is taken to the chair, Johnny assembles what looks like a tommy gun from parts handed to him by inmates. He escapes in a laundry truck driven by Lil.

Johnny, through a wild chase, arrives at the theatre where Tommy is to be killed. He shoots and wounds Vermin, saving Tommy. The governor pardons Johnny as Vermin is arrested.

Back to 1935. The young shoplifter is round eyed. Having taken in the lesson that crime doesn't pay, he is given a kitten as Johnny Kelly, law abiding pet shop owner, says "Crime doesn't pay." The kid goes on his way. Johnny, dressed in a tux, heads off in a riotous limo with Lil Sheridan: "Well, it pays a little!"

References

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Johnny Dangerously is a 1984 comedy film. It was directed by Amy Heckerling, written by Harry Colomby and Jeff Harris, and starred Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, and Marilu Henner.

Contents

Johnny Dangerously

  • The name's Dangerously. Johnny Dangerously.
  • I never should have picked a name like that. A name like that you gotta live up to. What's your last name?
  • Diversification. Yes, sir. Were constantly exploring new and exciting areas of crime. And I tell ya somethin'. We better, because there a couple Japanese gangs out there that are going to do it faster and cheaper.
  • And you know for you kids out there who are thinkin' about smokin', don't start. And if you started, stop. Smokin' don't make you look tough kids. It makes you look stupid. If you gotta put something in your mouth, make it a stick of chewing gum. Sure, thats what Johnny does. Smoking is the worst thing you can do to your body.

Danny Vermin

  • I've fulfilled a lot of people's predictions about me. I've become a real scumbag.
  • You shouldn't shoot me, Johnny. My grandmother shot me once... Once.
  • You shouldn't hang me on a hook, Johnny. My father hung me on a hook once... Once.
  • Dames are put on this earth to weaken us, drain our energy, laugh at us when they see us naked.
  • I enjoy collecting protection money, putting whores to work, loan-sharking. I enjoy planting bombs in people's cars. These are a few of my favorite things.

Ma Kelly

  • I know what you can't say. You wanna get laid. You wanna hump your brains out. Vavoom, vavoom, vavoom!
  • The Lower East Side. This really sucks.
  • Bless the saints, it's an ashtray! I've been thinking of taking up smoking. This clinches it!
  • With a father like "Killer" Kelly, it's a wonder neither of you turned out to be a piece 'o shit criminal.

Other

  • Roman Moroni: I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.
  • Roman Moroni: You fargin sneaky bastage. I'm gonna take your dwork. I'm gonna nail it to the wall. I'm gonna crush your boils in a meat grinder. I'm gonna cut off your arms. I'm gonna shove 'em up your icehole. Dirty son-a-ma-batches!
  • Tommy Kelly: ...that Roman Troy Maronie was responsible for the Mother's Day Massacre, the Christmas Day Slaughter, the Lincoln's Birthday Mutilations, and the Groundhog's Day Beheadings!

Dialogue

Dutch: It's the .88 Magnum. They made it for him special.
Danny Vermin: It shoots through schools.

Ma Kelly: You've gotten to be like a daughter to me and I wanna share somethin' with ya.
Lil: Awww, what's that Mom Kelley?
Ma Kelly: I go both ways.

Dutch: You can't park here. This is a handicapped zone.
Danny Vermin: I am handicapped. I'm psychotic.

Johnny: Say kid, what do they call you?
Lil: Impressive.

D.A. Burr: Why don't you ease into the job, by taking a vacation?
Tommy Kelly: But what about crime?
D.A. Burr: Don't worry. It'll still be here when you get back!

Lil: So when I was 18 I left home and came here to Chicago.
Johnny: Uh Lil, this ain't Chicago. We're in New York.
Lil: You're kidding... Well, New York, Chicago, to a girl on her own, it's all the same.

Johnny: Whatcha cookin' here, Ma?
Ma Kelly: Beer.
Johnny: With noodles! Great idea!

Tommy Kelly: I just have one last question for you. If a train left New York at 300 miles per hour, and accelerated speed 15 miles per hour, and traveled a distance of 683 miles, tell me sir: what time would that train reach Chicago?!
Roman Moronie: That's a fargin' trick question!

Tommy Kelly: Mom, it's prohibition!
Ma Kelly: Oh, shut up! Stop acting like some fag choir boy!

Danny: Hiya doll. Whats your name?
Old Cleaning Lady: Mary Margret Catherine Denine.
Danny: How would you like to make some money?
Mary: One at a time or both of you together.
Danny: How much would cost for you to go clean room 708 and forget you ever saw us?
Mary: Seventeen thousand dollars.
Danny: Alright seventeen grand it is.

Warden: Johnny it's an honor to have you on Death Row.
Johnny: Ah don't be silly. The pleasure is all mine.

Lil: Get this to Johnny on the grapevine. Vermin is going to kill Johnny's brother at the Savoy theater tomorrow night. Got it?
Polly: Got it.
Polly: Vermin is going to kill Johnny's brother at the Savoy theater, pass it on.
Prisoner: Vermin is going to kill Johnny's brother at the Savoy theater tonight, pass it on.
Prisoner: Vermin is going to kill Johnny's mother at the Savoy theater tonight, pass it on.
Prisoner: Vermin's mother is going to kill Johnny tonight at the Savoy theater, pass it on.
Prisoner: There's a message an the grapevine, Johnny.
Johnny: "Yeah? What is it?
Prisoner: Johnny and the mother are playin' Stomp It at the Savoy in Vermont tonight.
Johnny: Vermin's going to kill my brother at the Savoy theater tonight!
Prisoner: I didn't say that.
Johnny: No, but I know this grapevine.

Warden: Your turn, Johnny. The priest you've requested has arrived.
Priest: Are you ready my son?
Johnny: I'm ready if you are, Father.
Priest: Dominus hubiscum habisco. Esperitu sanctum. Dey gas da bus.
Prisoner: So long, Johnny.
Priest: Me gas da bus. You gas da bus. We missed the bus. They missed the bus.
Prisoner: Be brave, Johnny.
Priest: When's the next bus?
Johnny: Always, Neal.
Priest: Suma cum laude. Magna cum laude. The radio's too loudy. Odesti fidellas.
Prisoner: Good luck, Johnny.
Priest: Centra fidellas. Hi fidellas.
Johnny: (assembling pieces of the gun handed to him by the prisoners) Why didn't I take shop?
Priest: Post meridian. Anti-meridian. Uncle Meridian. All of the little meridians.
Prisoner: Bye bye, Johnny.
Johnny: Bye, Rocco.
Priest: Magna Carta. Master charga.
Prisoner: Spit in his eye, Johnny.
Johnny: OK, Rabbi.
Priest: Dume procellas. Lotsa vitalles
Warden: Any last words, Johnny? (sound of gun cocking) Well said!

Taglines

  • Organized crime has never been so disorganized!

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